The Great Studying Ritual

When I came to college two words basically left my vocabulary: “teacher” and “homework.” Don’t worry, though, they were replaced with “professor” and “study.”

I don’t know why the change in terms occurred, but it did nonetheless. Even talking about high school now I often find myself accidentally saying “professor” instead of “teacher,” and even when I’m doing something like a worksheet to be turned in for Spanish class I still find myself saying “studying.”

Homework was quick, didn’t involve much thought and was, largely, just done because, in my experiences. Studying, however, involves lots of thought, heavy erasing (who am I kidding, I haven’t used a pencil in years… heavy crossing out), and certain routines. Especially near the end of the year.

Routine may not even be the best word, let’s go with ritual. If I have to study for more than two hours in one setting I have to do certain things. First, I make a to do list with target completion times, then I pack everything up: textbooks, MacBook, Kindle, iPod and all the charger that go with it (I have a big bag…) and then I cart it all to the car.

I can’t study at home… the bed is way too tempting.

Once in my car, I head over to a gas station. True studying requires large amounts of caffeine. (For today’s study session I bought two Diet Dr. Peppers, but any diet soda will do.)

Then its off to the library… The William T. Young Library on UK’s campus, that is.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Transy’s library and there are tons of great little nooks to study in, but for serious studying the temptation to talk to classmates is too strong. It is a much better idea to hide on one of the six levels in UK’s library and pretend the outside world doesn’t exist.

The Starbucks located in the basement doesn’t hurt matters either.

A neat fact: Transy students have equal access to the “Willy T” library as UK students. So, while the library does close to the public at certain hours it is still open to us.

Once in the Willy T. I find a table close to the bathroom, for reasons related to the caffeine consumption, and get to studying… Only after checking Facebook, Twitter and CNN.

I realize that this ritual ends up costing me about an hour of time just to prepare for studying, but I’m definitely not the only one. With these habits, though, studying doesn’t seem quite so unbearable. There is something oddly satisfying about going to the Willy T. knowing that, when you leave, you’ll have put a serious dent in your to do list.