As students of U of T, we really lucked out with our campus. It’s beautiful all year round and has so many buildings, which means so many different places to study…
While I love the libraries as much as the next person, spending hours upon hours in silence can be too much for me. I feel restless and jittery if I have limited human interaction and lose my sense of productivity.
Cafes are great but if you’re there during a peak hour then you can forget all about studying. All you will be able to do is squeeze yourself in between two different conversations while you eavesdrop and pretend it’s “studying.”
I also love study groups with friends, but sometimes that can lose its productivity real quick once the conversation begins to digress. So, I decided to go out and look for different study environments that could cater to my need for white noise, human contact, and remaining focused.
CLNx, the Career & Co-Curricular Learning Network, is the go-to spot for many Student Life events. What caught my eye were the “Study Hubs,” which are scheduled for two hours at a time in different buildings across campus. This seemed like exactly what I was looking for so I figured, “why not” and went to check it out!
The Study Hub I went to was in the Classics building on the corner of Bloor and Queens Park. I’d been eyeing this building since I began university but never had the guts to just walk in and look around. It felt like an immersive experience of the myth of the Minotaur in the Labyrinth (see what I did there?): this Study Hub was already winning in my eyes. Once I found the room I was greeted by a small group of people all studying around a table. There was a sign-up sheet and, most importantly, SNACKS.
I had a bunch of work to do so I said my hellos and got down to work. Going into this, I was worried things were going to be awkward or that newcomers weren’t welcome. Soon into my study sesh, however, I realized that this was the most conducive study experience I had had in a long time, as well as one of the most welcoming. People were free to eat and study, which definitely helps a person like me who likes to snack. Small talk wasn’t really forbidden but if it went on for a little too long the mediator (a fellow student) would kindly remind them that this was a study time. I thought this was the best thing EVER. I have gone off on many a tangent while studying, so knowing that someone was there to help everyone stay on task was amazing!
The time I spent studying was the most focused and stress-free environment I have been to in a long time. It was so refreshing to not be overwhelmed by the sea of people you see at the library. It was also so relieving to know that if you had to stretch your legs or go to the bathroom, this small group would watch your things and you would not have to lug everything with you.
Little things like this can completely change your study experience: it definitely changed mine! So, if you’re looking to stay on task, make friends or even just have some free snacks, checking out a Study Hub is the way to go!