5 tips for studying at home

Jemma Smith, Editor
August, 2022

If you're wondering how to effectively study from home read on to discover tips on making the most of this method of study

Benefits of studying at home

Many students chose to study from home and benefit from online learning in the following ways:

  • You can study at your own pace - while you'll still have deadlines to meet online learning usually gives you more of a chance to work at your own speed. If you need extra time to digest what was said in a seminar - no problem.
  • Flexible hours - on campus lectures and seminars are often scheduled at specific times. Studying at home is more flexible. Perhaps you're more productive in the mornings or work better in the afternoons after a lie in. Either way you can fit your study hours around other commitments.
  • Less distractions from classmates - virtual lectures mean you'll probably be more attentive without the distraction of sitting next to a friend.
  • The facilities are your own - studying at home means you don't have to fight for a computer in the library. A lot of the material will be online so there's no need to worry about the textbook you need being out on loan. What's more you can study from the comfort of your own surroundings.
  • You'll save money - being homebound means you'll save cash on takeaway coffees, on-campus lunches, after lecture drinks and public transport costs.

Establish a study area

Do your best to create an individual study area, separate from your sleeping and living space. This can be a challenge if living at home or in shared student accommodation, but at the very least this means getting off your bed and sitting at a desk, kitchen or dining table. It's hard to be productive while buried in your duvet.

Before getting started set the space up and make sure everything's to hand. You'll need a laptop, charger, stationary, printouts, textbooks and a drink of water.

If others use the space use a rota system that enables everyone to use it for a set amount of time, as and when they need.

Schedule your day

To use your time effectively and to keep on top of assignments you're going to have to plan your day. Rising at 11.30am and seeing where the day takes you won't cut it.

The best way is to establish a routine and stick to it Monday to Friday. Leave your weekends free to recharge your batteries if possible. If you're unsure how many hours a day you should be putting in speak to personal tutors, lecturers and coursemates for guidance.

Virtual lectures and seminars will likely be scheduled at set times but studying from home gives you the flexibility to work around these. Remember to schedule in breaks for lunch or to get some fresh air.

Another good tip is to get dressed. Wear what you would usually wear to attend a lecture. Sitting in your pyjama's isn't a great motivator.

Set goals

If you're worried that studying at home will negatively affect your productivity set yourself daily and weekly goals. For this method to be effective make sure that they're achievable - this could be ticking off two or three tasks in a day or reaching a set word count on an assignment by the end of the week.

Having something to work towards is a fantastic motivator; it'll also help you to avoid distractions such as Netflix and social media as it's hard to relax when you've got a to-do list waiting on you.

Keep in touch

While you're studying at home it's important to keep in touch.

Regularly check in with tutors and lecturers and don't be afraid to ask for clarification if there's anything that you don't understand. Email or call them if you have concerns about deadlines or access to course materials, they might be working from home but they're still available to help.

Socialising is a big part of university, so use technology to stay connected to friends and coursemates. Set up WhatsApp groups to discuss lecture slides, seminar tasks and assignments and use virtual meeting spaces to work on group projects and presentations. Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, Join.me and Microsoft Teams are all useful.

Know where to find support

If you're struggling to adapt to studying from home support is out there.

Student support, health and wellbeing services are open and available. Check your university website for contact details.

If you don't have the necessary equipment or are struggling to access software and course materials contact your university.

Find out more

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