Where to sit down and study was one of the first things I thought about when choosing a flat in my new city. I’m located several subway stops away from my University campus and library, and so I wanted to make sure that I had somewhere to sit where I could be productive and not be distracted by all that was going on around me. The University library is largely out as, even if one arrives before nine in the morning, it is invariably packed, particularly in the current run-up to undergraduate examinations and essay deadlines. Added to that, despite the English floor being a silent one, I still find it quite distracting; it is often possible to hear the main doors slamming, people noisily pounding their keyboards, and illicit snack wrappers being crumpled.
Please bear in mind that my current residence is in the centre of the city, and as I write, I can hear buses careening down the adjacent road, a lone bagpipe, and the brushstrokes of a painter and decorator as he coats the outside of the living room window with pungent white paint.
I have a desk situated in the window bay of our spare bedroom, and have decorated it to my liking, with the help of a paper intray and an enormous old-fashioned lamp, which I’m really rather fond of. Literary postcards adorn the walls and windowsill around it. It’s the perfect study space. The only thing is, I haven’t used it very much thus far. The aforementioned painters and decorators have been working on the building since September; there is often noisy machinery on the go (just as I type, a constant drone and the beep of a cherry picker have kicked in). Alas, the rather out of tune singing of said painter can still be heard over it. The looming faces of workmen appearing randomly at the window are frankly quite alarming too.
So, what have I done? Where do I study? I have currently installed myself at our dining room table which sits in a corner of the living room; there is enough room for me to spread out with my laptop and various books and sheets of paper, and with my noise-cancelling headphones on, it is working well for now. I’m itching to get back to my desk proper, however, and am hoping that my return in the New Year will be a peaceful one, with an end to the exterior work already behind us.
Where do you find you do the most studying? Do you have a special desk set away from everything else, or are you happy to sit down wherever you find yourself and concentrate on your books? Do you try and do all of your work in your University library and barely any at home, so that it can be a place of relaxation?