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How to Find the Right Study Environment For Your Success

It’s Midterms szn. Let’s get sh*t done.

Someway, somehow, we’ve already made it to the midpoint of the semester, which means it’s time to grind out those midterm papers and prepare for exams. I can personally attest to the fact that this slew of assignments snuck up on many college students, and has left us feeling sliiiightly overwhelmed.

As a senior, I’ve had to unlearn a lot of preconceived notions I had about academic success. That includes abolishing the myth that there is one right way to study. The study environment that’s best for your own personal productivity and comfort might be someone else’s worst nightmare, and vice versa.

Over time, I’ve developed a philosophy that all study environments can be consolidated into three key groups: cozy, sterile, and ambient (a.k.a slightly chaotic). If you’re feeling lost or stuck about what environment will be most conducive to your success this semester, I highly encourage you to figure out which you are most compatible with.


If you find that studying feels best done in the evening by candlelight, and accompanied by classical music playing in the background, this study environment is best for you. You can create the ultimate cozy study space in your dorm or apartment bedroom by setting up a desk with a himalayan salt lamp or essential oil diffuser to get the vibes just right. If you are a regular cozy studier, you may already be familiar with the wide array of ambient soundscapes on YouTube, which range from woodland forests to ancient libraries to rolling meadows. These create a completely immersive experience and provide a light, controlled background noise that allows you to zero in on your notes, Quizlet review, or essay draft. Other great options are study jazz, lo-fi hiphop, or bossa nova, all of which can be found as playlists on Spotify or