Summer exam season is upon us! Therefore, I thought it might be useful to mention a few interesting study spaces in Swansea. Revision is a key part of exam preparation and I know first-hand that it is not the most enjoyable experience; it can in fact be quite monotonous, or spaces become too noisy (or too quiet as I have heard some people say), or too busy or even that you can lose focus and procrastinate. Especially if you are revising for hours in the same space, you can become almost experience a form of cabin fever; therefore it is good to have a few places to study to keep revising as interesting as possible.
So let’s have a look at some options:
1. Your room/ residence.
Of course the easiest place for you to use as a study space would be your room or residence. This is the most convenient (you can even revise in your pyjamas and make yourself as much tea and coffee as you want). You can also host your friends and form a study group. But this can also lead to distraction, (I know myself I would often clean the house rather than revise), or you get distracted talking to your housemate and then before you know it a couple of hours have passed. Additionally, I have read that in terms of emotional health and psychological well-being it is not always good to revise in your room. Your bedroom should be seen as a place of relaxation and so if possible one should not study where they sleep to create a clear division between work and relaxation.
2. Your department
Each department should have a room or break out space for students to be to use. For instance, in my department which is located in the Haldane building there is a breakout space with 4 computers and some tables for students to use. I have seen many students using this space to work in, as there is a lot of light and it is quiet with the occasional noise. So, it might be useful to see what your department can offer in terms of study spaces as this could be a useful option that many may overlook.
3. University Libraries
This is the next obvious place to choose to revise. There are ample study spaces and access to resources just in case you have to look things up. But, it can become a bit crowded and noisy depending on where you choose to work. However, the libraries do have the added benefit of being open 24 hours, so if you like working through the night, then you can still work on campus. For more information look on the main university library website: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/iss/libraries/openinghours
4. South Wales Miner’s Library
Another library which may be a good place to study is the South Wales Miner’s Library which is located on the Hendrefoelan Campus. This is not on one of the main campuses so may be a bit quitter and the resources are limited but it could prove a nice place for you to study if you fancy a change from the main libraries. For more information, click on this link: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/iss/swml/
5. Swansea Libraries
Swansea city is very fortunate to have community libraries throughout different parts of Swansea. I know that some students may live quite far away from the main campuses so one of the community libraries may be a good place to study. Of course, access to certain books/ journals/ internet may be limited but if you need a different place to study away from distractions then why not try your local library. This link below gives details of the libraries in Swansea, with opening details. http://www.swansea.gov.uk/swansealibraries
These are the perhaps more traditional study spaces but depending on how you like to study and the means by which you need to study there are a few more considerations.
This seems like an odd one, but I have written a few essays and revised for a few hours in cafes. I don’t always like to work in silence and so the background noise of a café can be quite nice, I tend to veer towards smaller and quieter cafes. For instance Square Peg in Sketty is a nice café with very friendly staff and lots of plug points for laptops. Or Squirrel in Uplands can be a good place. Again this is a quiet café with friendly staff and good food. Even if you only study in a café for about an hour, it may reinvigorate you or increase your focus because you are not always in the same room studying away.
7. Parks/ the beach- e.g. Singleton Park, Brynmill Park, Cwmdonkin Park, and Swansea Bay
This option is weather contingent but can be a nice way to study and top up the vitamin D levels. Occasionally I have worked outside and it can be a nice change, especially if you are revising with a peer group. I don’t think this lends itself to working on a laptop or doing lots of reading but if you are revising notes or quizzing each other about concepts this could be a nice way of studying in a more informal space and manner.
These are just a few suggestions but I guess the main thing is to try and constantly change where you work and what you do if possible. Revising in different ways helps keep studying interesting e.g. practice essays, revising concepts, quizzing my peer group, reading etc. This also goes for finding a study space; think about how you work best and look to revise in different spaces so you are not holed up in your room for days.
Good luck everyone and I hope these suggestions help! Thank you for reading.