In high school when I needed to get an extensive assignment done or study for a big exam I had that one spot I always went to do my work. I went to the office in my house, locked the doors, turned on my study playlist, and went to work. I usually focused in hard for about 30 minutes at a time while taking snack breaks or stepping out to talk to a family member in between. Now that I’m at Penn State in a completely new environment where my bedroom is my living space, and the computer labs and library are usually filled with students, I don’t have that one favorite office space anymore.
When things change, we must adapt. The absence of my favorite study spot is no excuse for me to cave into the distractions when I need to get work done, but that doesn’t mean I can’t work to find another good spot. Tonight I needed to make serious progress on my upcoming speech. I knocked out 2 solid hours of research in the computer lab in the Pollock Building, and then started to lose focus, so I decided to find a different spot. I ended up at Dunkin Donuts on College Ave because it’s open 24 hours and has free wifi. I ordered my coffee, got myself situated, plugged my headphones in, and got to work. I realized after an hour that I may have found my new favorite environment for making progress on big assignments. A late night cafe low on customers might just be my new “home office.” Discovering new things like this makes the first year at college a fun adventure.