By: Cassidy Martenson
Indiana University South Bend will be closed from Nov. 20 to Feb. 7, thus eliminating on-campus study spaces for students. As students head home to finish out the semester, there are plenty of options to study off campus to suit individual needs.
The first thing students should do is consider their favorite study location or environment. Perhaps that is a study room in Schurz Library or a seat by the windows of the Education and Arts Building. No matter what students prefer, it is possible to recreate that environment at home.
Students who prefer a quiet desk space should consider utilizing or purchasing a table or desk for their home that they can dedicate to studying. If students do not have a desk or extra table at home, it would be most cost efficient to visit local thrift stores like Goodwill or Restore. Students may find that creating a space in their homes that is dedicated to studying will allow them to study more effectively.
Talking with housemates or family about your study habits is equally as important as creating a dedicated study space. By discussing course schedules and preferred study hours, students and their housemates can create dedicated quiet hours. For students who love the peace and quiet of study spaces on campus, this is essential. Whether it be a few hours in the morning or dedicated quiet hours in the evening, setting aside time for silence can greatly improve studying abilities.
For students who miss the hustle and bustle of campus, there are a couple of options for safely studying in public. Local grocery stores such as Martin’s Supermarket offer socially distanced seating for individuals needing a place to work. These spaces are situated within the store, which provides a lot of background noise. Another perk of studying at a place like Martin’s is the availability of stable Wi-Fi, coffee and snacks.
Another option is to study at a local coffee shop. Some Starbucks locations as well as local shops such as the South Bend Chocolate Café and Zen Cafe offer indoor, socially distanced seating for customers. If students choose to study in a public space, it is crucial that masks are worn to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19.
While public places like Martin’s or Starbucks offer free Wi-Fi, some students may not be comfortable entering a busy environment during the pandemic. IU South Bend is offering free Wi-Fi in the Student Activities Center parking lot that students can access from the safety of their vehicles.
While this semester may not be optimal for some students, it is important to be patient with oneself as well as others in the community. Mental and physical health should come before studying, and students should understand their personal limits. Studying for hours for an exam cannot take precedent over personal wellbeing.
Students with questions about the campus closure can visit the campus updates page of the IU South Bend website at https://www.iusb.edu/campus-updates/index.html. Students struggling with mental health during these times are encouraged to set up a virtual appointment with the Student Counseling Center by visiting https://students.iusb.edu/student-support-services/counseling-center/index.html