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Use the campus, literally

March 30, 2016 by Olivia Kathleen Richards   

Most people aren’t successful while studying in their room. In my room, you could hear a pin drop because my roommate and I do not speak. But, MOST people, aren’t “so lucky” to have such a quiet room. Even I, with an extremely quiet room, need other places to go to study. Needless to say, find a few comfortable places that fit your studying style in order to be productive, whether you’re cramming for an exam or finishing a project. It may be your dorm room or a cozy corner of the library, but find a place that works best for you to get your work done, while avoiding as many distractions as possible, unless you like distractions! Some people do. Everyone is different.

Use your campus resources as well. Seek professional help if and when you need it. Most colleges have health and counseling centers. If you’re sick or feeling isolated or depressed, please take advantage of the many services these offices provide students. Even if you want to just talk to someone, do it. You don’t ever have to face these issues by yourself. If your friend suggests it and thinks it’s a good idea, try it. You’ll never know if it helps if you don’t try.

Find the Career Services center on campus. Regardless of whether you are entering college as undeclared or have your entire future mapped out to the minute, seek out the wonderful professionals in your college’s career services office and get started on planning, preparing, and acting on your future. Update your resume and make the update from being a senior in high school to a freshman in college. They are different. Have someone look at it before you show it to anyone important.

Also, meet with your advisor. While you might think they don’t care about you because it is a random person, they will if you care as well. I have the pleasure of meeting with my advisor every three weeks as a part of my program on campus. Indeed, it was annoying at times if we didn’t have anything to talk about last year, but now, meetings are incredibly important because my life is constantly changing. They will help you with course conflicts, adding or dropping courses, scheduling of classes for future semesters, deciding on majors and minors. This person is a key resource for you. They should be the person you turn to with any academic issues or conflicts, in addition to any mentors that you have. And don’t be afraid of requesting another adviser if you don’t click with the one first assigned to you. At most large schools, you can go to Drop-In Advising Hours as well.

Also, use the resources that make you happy as well. Get a gym membership. Go to fitness classes, especially if that is an easy way for you to exercise. Go swimming. Take a bus to the mall if you have a shopping problem like me. Watch movies at the student center. Get your tv time in if you enjoy that. Just don’t forget to do something for you, every week.

Until next time…


  1. Talayah Johnson says:

    This is something i will really work on next semester because I have always study in my room and i can see that it is definitely not as productive as it can be. I also feel that I should start studying with groups of productive people because I learn better when studying with people who have a common goal in mind. I really like this blog because it really will change a lot for next semester and even upcoming weeks.

  2. Phillip R. Clauer says:

    Interesting advice. I know I have some special study spots on campus, where I know I can focus much better than in the dorm room. Similarly, I am great places to take a place between study sessions and activities that can take my mind off of my stressful schedule sometimes. My Netflix time is essential to me not going insane and I am glad you mentioned these moments necessity in college life. Penn State has an amazing number of resources available and it is important every student know how to use them (which I dont believe I do).

  3. Amanda Craine says:

    Meeting with my advisor has been the best thing Millennium has required us to do. I look forward to my meetings with Georjanne and I always feel a little bit closer to having my life figured out (I don’t know if I can say the same thing for those who have Tina). As for studying, I like to switch it up between going to the study lounge and traveling to another study spot. Staying in the dorm is nice because I can ask questions, but going somewhere else is nice when I need alone time. Having the best of both worlds on campus is really great!

  4. Sarah Magee says:

    This is great! Especially the last part because I think some people forget to treat themselves between studying or doing homework. I usually work downstairs in the study lounge to do homework because I can ask questions to my peers and also have a quiet environment. I also agree that although some advising meetings aren’t always necessary, they do help a lot in the long run.

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