Campus offers many unique study spots

Alex Russell

The brain by Merrill Hall is a unique feature on campus and a quiet study spot.

Credit: Beth Rankin

Study rooms are oftentimes the worst places to study. In the residence halls, students may use these designated study areas to do anything but … well, study.

Distractions range from people on cell phones to people eating dinner, and if lucky, the occasional drunk person walking in to strike up a conversation.

There are other options for places to study on campus, however.

While working on his thesis paper, senior English major Dennis Wise chooses to study on front campus because he doesn’t have classes in that area, so it’s nice to visit.

“It’s quiet. It’s outside. There’s plenty of shade,” Wise said.

Sometimes, students may find there is a lack of grassy areas on campus because of all the construction.

Sarah Hilker, senior integrated social studies major, feels construction is limiting places to study. She found a study spot on the second floor of the Student Center on one of the couches lining the windows that look out over Risman Plaza.

“I can see the main part of campus,” Hilker. “I can see people walking. I can see the weather. I like that.”

Air conditioning is also a plus for Hilker and other students during the hot, summer months, and this spot continues to be a good one during the winter when studying outdoors isn’t exactly an option.

Matt Coven is working to earn his master’s degree in history. He likes studying in the Student Center Hub because “there’s food nearby — it’s easy to eat and study.”

Christopher Bellas disagrees about the Hub. He doesn’t like being anywhere near a restaurant when he’s trying to study.

“It has to be really quiet for me to concentrate,” said Bellas, who’s working toward a doctorate in political science. “For groups, I like to study in the May 4th Room (in the library).”

His philosophy on the library is, “the higher up you go, the quieter.”

Amelia Akinyemi graduated from Kent with a double major in psychology and criminal justice. She works at the information desk in the Student Center and gets to observe a lot of students during the day. She sees that it’s a place many students choose to study.

“I used to study in the Student Center,” Akinyemi said. “It’s a good balance — not too noisy, not too quiet.”

Mark Rigby, senior chemistry major at the University of Akron, ventures out to Starbucks in Kent to study. He says “caffeine” makes Starbucks the perfect place to study.

“Most of the time it’s a quiet place to study with a little background noise,” Rigby said.

Down the street from Starbucks, students can also be found studying at Susan’s Coffee and Tea.

“I think the atmosphere is really warm and friendly,” said Emily Clark, a junior journalism major who works at Susan’s. “There’s comfortable seating and you can also sit outside. It’s really quiet during the day.”

Besides knowing where to study, students must also be aware of how to study. Ronnie Love, reading and writing specialist and course coordinator at the Academic Success Center, lists some helpful study tips for students to follow:

– Manage your time.

– Have a set amount of pages to read for each study session.

– Divide the chapter into readable chunks.

– Use marginal notes and highlighting to help remember what you’ve read.

– Read the assigned chapters before the lecture.

– Go to class and take notes.

– Keep up with the reading assignments. Don’t do it all at once. Don’t cram the night before a test.

– Make sure to review what you’ve read.

Love stresses this last tip.

“It’s really important for students to monitor their own comprehension — always adding on to what they’ve read, but always going back.”

Love wants students to take advantage of the resources available at the Academic Success Center before it’s too late.

“I want students to come in proactive,” Love said. “We usually see them after they’ve failed a test.”

She said the Center isn’t just for students struggling with a subject. Many good students come in hoping to improve their skills.

“We provide all types of academic support — math tutoring, writing tutoring, writing intensive courses,” Love said. “Tutoring should be an active learning session. You get out of tutoring what you put into it.”

Besides providing tutors for individual students, the Academic Success Center is also in charge of supplemental instruction sessions. The sessions are taught by trained students who have taken the class before and done well in it.

“SI sessions provide a smaller setting to help students work through the material,” SI Coordinator Karen Schroeder said.

The sessions are related to high-risk classes, Schroeder said. These are usually large lecture classes where 30 percent of the students failed or dropped the class.

Students should be aware of SI sessions and use them to their advantage, Schroeder said. They are based on times that most students are available and are offered to assist students in more challenging classes.

The fact of the matter isn’t where you study or how you study, it’s that you study, period.

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Alex Russell at [email protected].