tips for long library study sessions

Aight kids buckle up. Exams are starting (for me at least). I’m gonna share my best tips for those long-ass library days. Now, I don’t condone spending upwards of 12 hours in the library but sometimes it’s the only option you’ve got.

find your spot

Find at least three places around the bib where you will be comfortable sitting. I’m saying three because sometimes certain places fill up super fast on the randomest of days. My preferred seats have these requirements:

  • Guaranteed access to an outlet. I rely on my iPad for everything so if it dies, I do too.
  • Back facing the wall / not very many people. This is an anxiety thing – corners are my best friends. Plus when the studying is driving you absolutely insane you can people-watch.
  • Within reach of the bathroom. I do NOT want to trek across the entire floor to reach the bathroom because you know when someone walks across the floor that everyone looks at them. No thank you.

Of course there aren’t a ton of seats that meet these requirements. That’s why I like to get to the bib early and find them seats. I cannot work if I feel like I’m being watched, so finding seats where I am comfortable sitting is a Must.

hydrate hydrate hydrate

I cannot stress how important it is to drink water. Especially in a library where you are most likely about ten seconds away from falling asleep. My library only allows see-through water bottles so I tend to tote a plastic water bottle back and forth. My incentive for drinking water is that I’m allowed to stand up and stretch a bit once I finish a bottles-worth of water. I end up peeing a Lot but hey #hydration.

caffeine

I am ashamed to admit my reliance on caffeine. But on those days that you struggle to keep your head upright, it can be amazing. I wish I could get through a week day without caffeine but that hasn’t happened yet. Try not to overdo it though. She says. Having consumed three cups today and exams haven’t even started yet.

snaaaaacks

There is nothing more motivating to get through a study session than the promise of something yummy afterwards. Some of my preferred ones:

  • Fruit!! I like to bring berries from home in a little glass jar to snack on during my breaks
  • Something from the bakery like a pretzel or bread roll
  • Dried foods for a satisfying crunch. I prefer crunchy peas.

headphones

Headphones have saved my life more than a dozen times. Obviously it depends on the type of work you’re doing, but listening to gentle music or rain noises can stop you from breaking your favourite pen out of annoyance at the person clicking their pen next to you or the one across from you muttering what they read out loud. You could go all out with noise-cancelling or just keep it chill with regular old earbuds.

extra supplies

There is nothing worse than finishing a notebook or a pen or going through an entire pack of Karteikarten (flashcards) only to discover that it was your last one and it’s now 3pm on a Sunday so you have time left in which you could study but you have no access to the supplies you need to do so (Germany is dumb and everything is shut on a Sunday). It Sucks with a capital S. I usually bring two pen refills and one more pack of karteikarten than I think I’ll need. They have saved my life numerous times.

chargers. all the goddamn chargers.

As I have stated previously, if my iPad dies, I die. And I do not want to die, thank you very much. May I suggest keeping a charger in your backpack that is solely dedicated to uni. This is also where sitting somewhere with guaranteed access to an outlet really helps.

gum

Your breath gets stanky after so many hours. Be nice to the people around you and use gum occasionally. Maybe deodorant too. Don’t sacrifice personal health and hygiene for the sake of studying.

take breaks. lots of them

Walk around. Stretch. Do something that isn’t sitting at your desk. You will go i n s a n e if you stay sitting and staring at the same things the whole day. Here are some of the things I do to get the blood flowing:

  • Literally just walk a loop around the library
  • Squats in the bathroom
  • If I’m really in need I’ll sit on the floor and stretch there
  • Walk to the nearest cafe to pick up a coffee to go (blood flow AND caffeine so this is my personal fave)

don’t be afraid to go home

This is not a competition. You are not the coolest or the best student if you are the last one to leave the library. When you get too tired to absorb any more information, go home. Eat some decent food and then go to sleep. Never ever ever try and stay at the bib longer to win some make-believe competition. You will make yourself so ill and it will NOT have been worth it.

I would like to reiterate that I do not suggest that you stay for so long at the library that you spend more time there than at home. The pressure of Uni makes us do some crazy stuff but please keep your mental, physical, and emotional health a higher priority than your grades and studying, especially when the “studying” is nothing but detrimental. Do as I say and not as I do.

Thanks for reading, and good luck to anyone who has to suffer through exams like me ❤

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