Hot Study Spots

Amanda Doyle

The weather is warming up and time is running out. Finals are creeping up on unsuspecting students, basking in the gloriousness that is the campus during springtime. Reality is beginning to set in for Villanova students, and each student has his or her own way of coping with finals.

Many students can be seen studying outside, a way to integrate the beautiful weather into their finals schedules.

“Being outside just puts you in a better mood,” sophomore psychology major Maija Taylor says while sitting on the CEER patio.

For those looking for other outdoor places to study, the Grotto is off the beaten path and provides a quiet, shaded place for you to study.

“It’s peaceful and warm here,” sophomore economics and political science major Vivian Gaddis says as she studies with sophomore philosophy major Don Miller in the grass. “It’s just very tranquil,” Miller adds.

Gaddis notes that although the outdoors may soothe the soul while studying, they also provide a plethora of distractions.

For those more easily distracted, look to the campus’ newest construction, Driscoll Hall. It features a fully stocked Holy Grounds, where freshman business major Amber Ferrero was found studying.

“Just recently I’ve started coming to Driscoll,” she says. “I tried studying in Connelly, but I usually come here or go to Bartley.”

Driscoll has other benefits aside from the sandwiches and coffee.

“I come here because it has the individual study rooms,” sophomore nursing major Angela Shannon says. “If I have a problem, there are always other nursing majors around.”

Other places on campus that are conducive to studying include the President’s Lounge in Connelly Center, a room where the only noise heard is the subtle tapping of keyboards as students study silently, and the computer lab in the basement of Tolentine.

“I come to the basement of Tolentine,” sophomore accounting and economics major Kevin Bloomfield says. “No one knows about this computer lab, but people are scrapping for a computer in the library.”

Whether or not to study with others is another question students grapple with. Dr. Edward Reilly, a study skills counselor in the University Counseling Center, says that students often make a mistake in choosing to study with other people.

“I don’t recommend students to study together because too often it comes socializing,” he says. “If you study everything, then you can get together with people in your class and talk about the test and try to predict questions.”

Besides predicting questions, Reilly suggests getting interested in what you are studying. If you engage in conversation about the topic, especially for subjects like economics, you will retain information better.

You can do this by meeting with professors and reviewing what you have previously done incorrectly.

“Suppose you think you did well on a test or paper but get a C,” Reilly says. “Go in and ask to see an example of an A.”

Aside from getting an idea of what an A looks like, seeking extra help will put you in your professor’s head as someone with initiative.

Students have their own methods of studying, ones that they hope will pay off during finals week.

“I use a lot of mnemonic devices,” Taylor says. “I make rhymes and use the first letter of words to remember terms.”

She adds that she spreads out her studying over several days, although Reilly recommends doing it over several weeks. Most students don’t have that much time to study, so it is important to plan effectively.

Bloomfield says he tries to map out the days before his finals.

“I try to spread out the studying over a few days,” he says. “I make a schedule for finals. I’ll plan out my studying, so I study two or more subjects in one day.”

Bloomfield also listens to music while he studies, citing soft music without lyrics as being the perfect background to his studying.

“I always listen to music while I study,” he says. “Normally, I listen to classical music. Recently, it’s been Beethoven’s symphonies.”

Gaddis says that Sigur Rós is on her playlist, while Miller says Cat Stevens hits are what he listens to.

With tomorrow being Reading Day, students have a chance to organize their study schedule, make a playlist and pick out a place on campus to study. The most important thing to remember is not to let the work get to you.

“How much reality can be held in a test,” Reilly says. “Tests are artificial. They aren’t judging who is the best at [an occupation] but who is the best reader.”