Strategies to Stake Out the Best Study Spots at UBC

 Student studying  with laptop and coffee beside himYou go to bed with the study ambitions of a dream student. You imagine yourself waking up to the gentle music of your alarm at 6 am and gliding out of bed to make coffee and a healthy breakfast. By 7 am you are out the door, stomach full and ready to take on the world. You have packed multi-coloured index cards for maximum studying efficiency and a healthy, delicious lunch complete with homemade scones. You make your way to your favourite study spot on campus on the third floor of IKBLC where you have your pick of seats. Each one seems to glimmer at you; it’s quiet and calm and the day stretches ahead of you. You choose the spot by the window with the soft sunlight. It’s perfect. 

The reality is a little different. You snooze your alarm so many times they should include your name in the book of world records. By the time you drag yourself out of bed it’s 12pm. The anxious knot in your stomach makes it hard to eat so you grab one of the cardboard-esque granola bars you’ve been avoiding in the back of your cupboard and run for the bus. By the time you get to IKBLC, it’s buzzing. You walk the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floor only to find all the prime study spots have been taken. You can tell who got here early because they have that optimistic study glow. Finally, you find somewhere to sit at one of the tables, wedge between one person mumbling to themselves about something that seems physics related and the other who is eating their lunch while talking on their phone about how they’ve been studying all morning. Great, you think, sarcastically. Just perfect.

Here at the CLC we want to help you avoid this scenario and achieve your study exam dreams. We’ve come up with a few strategies to help you stake out the best study spots on campus.


Get there early.

No doubt this one comes as no surprise; the early bird does indeed get that glimmering, sunlit, perfectly arranged study spot. If you find yourself in the habit of hitting that snooze button, try arranging to meet someone from your class to work together in the morning, or moving your alarm away from beside your bed so you are forced to get up to turn it off. Check out other strategies to help get your day started earlier here. 


Plan ahead.

If you are someone who thrives in group study scenarios, make your way to the online library room booking system as soon as you get your exam schedule (or even before) to make sure you get access to best group study rooms. Make a study schedule and plan out where you are planning to study that day. That way you know exactly where to head once you get to campus so the stake out can begin. 


Get a study buddy.

Ahhh yes, the classic study buddy. It may sound cheesy but having someone you trust who is able to watch your stuff when you go grab lunch or have to go to the bathroom is priceless during exam time, especially when ideal study estate is hard to come by. Try to find a classmate or friend who you know you work well with (bring headphones if you’re tempted to chat or choose a silent study area to meet). They will not only hold you accountable to your study plans but also ensure you are able to keep your favourite spot as long as you need.


Find a spot that works for you.

You might be someone who likes a cafe buzz while you work, or perhaps, you are that certain someone who mumbles to themselves when they are memorizing information and needs somewhere where it’s OK to talk. Maybe you are a no distractions, silence at all times kind of studier, or someone who prefers to work in groups so you can chat out ideas and ask questions. Finding a spot that works for you is crucial to the staking out process. Check out this great list for spots on and off campus and find your very own swoon worthy spot.


Do you have any other strategies for staking out the perfect study spot for exam season? Where do you prefer to study? Let us know in the comments below or on our twitter and Instagram @UBCLearn

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