By Megan Tack
t’s finally a few degrees above freezing in Michigan, and for several students that means shorts, t-shirts, and lying out on the beach. Even if you don’t think you’re quite ready for that, you can still appreciate the newfound sunlight by taking your studying outside when the weather warms up. Grab a blanket, your homework, and these 5 tips to have a great outdoor study session.
- Take a jacket. If you can’t do your homework because your hand is shaking so hard from the cold, you’re probably not bundled up enough. Avoid this problem by wearing plenty of layers.
- Find a good spot to study. Especially with the snow melting, there are some soggy spots on the ground that you’ll definitely want to avoid. Try to find a nice dry place sheltered from the wind, but with plenty of sunlight to keep you warm. (The benches outside of the OC near the library are perfect for this time of year!)
- Bring all of your supplies. It seems obvious, but there’s nothing worse than going outside, finding the perfect spot, and realizing that you forgot your pencil. It’s discouraging and a big time-waster, so make sure you have everything you’ll need before you go outside.
- Plan your homework. Remember that in exchange for the sunlight and gentle breeze, you are sacrificing some luxuries that come with being indoors. These luxuries include not having to worry about sunlight glaring off of your computer screen, and having a solid workspace. You can combat that by making sure to work on homework that is conducive to being outside. Don’t bring a laptop if you won’t be able to see the screen, and don’t bring your calculus homework if it’ll mean you’re trying to juggle a textbook, notebook, and a graphing calculator all at one time. Keep in mind the limitations of not actually having four walls and a desk.
- Give yourself plenty of time! Make sure that if you are going to study outside, you’re not putting yourself in the position of having to check the time every two seconds. It takes a while to get ready to head out and to actually find a spot, so give yourself at least a few hours to enjoy it!
Studying outside is not only fun and refreshing, according to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, “outdoor learning was found to be significantly more time efficient compared to learning in a controlled or familiar environment”. Being outside makes you feel better and study better, so the next time you have a test or project, take these five tips and enjoy the Michigan sunlight!