Opinion

What does your preferred study spot say about your personality?

CozyStudy.jpg

Illustration by Grace Wehniainen.

As a graduate of the BuzzFeed School of Pop Psychology, I know what kind of person I am based on my favorite fast food and how many kids I’ll have based on my dog breed of choice. But there’s one question I haven’t found answers to online (yet): What does my preferred study space say about me?

For much of the semester, I made my home in the little vending machine hallway connecting Richter’s two wings. Holed up against a then-in-progress dead end, there was nothing behind me but the buzz of construction. No one to walk behind me or judge me for split-screening “This is Us” on Tuesday nights.

Some passersby definitely saw me crying over particularly heart-wrenching episodes but probably just chalked it up to midterm blues, rather than my incurable procrastination. I liked the disguise.

The library’s new Learning Commons forced me to address this introversion. The renovated space boasts an openness, an air of collaboration marked by colorful clusters of chairs and big, beautiful work tables. I’m certainly not complaining – if my spot had to go to make room for some really comfy seating and outlets (a hot commodity) every few feet, it was a worthwhile sacrifice.

But you’ll still find me clinging to corners wherever I can find them. Life experience can affect choices like this. (It’s a common preference for members of the military, for example.) Though in my case, I do it for the same reason people choose green over blue, rap over rock – it’s just a personality thing.

We already know that where you sit at a table, whether it’s for a work meeting or family dinner, can say something about your role in the group dynamic, and how much (or how little) you want to be there. Sitting at the head of the table conveys that “you are in control,” according to body language expert Bernardo Tirado in a blog for Psychology Today, while picking a middle seat communicates your team-player attitude.

It’s not so far-fetched, then, to think our personalities play into our study spots of choice, too.

Maybe a BuzzFeed quiz on the topic would tell you that your preference for the stacks means you’re “committed to concentration, and will happily tease yourself with views of Coral Gables from behind prison-esque windows to motivate yourself to finish studying.”

Or your penchant for poolside reading says you’re “an able multitasker and find inspiration in sunscreen and clear, blue H2O.”

For those corner and cranny-dwellers, maybe “you like to observe from afar – you don’t mind the chatter so long as you can spot its source.”

I won’t pretend to understand the real intricacies of your choice, though if you have a friend in psych, that might be worth a conversation. It is clear, though, that your choice warrants reflection, if for no other reason than to better understand yourself and what makes you tick.

Just like you might have a go-to work playlist or coffee order, make the physical locale of your studying a conscious consideration – and see if you can’t cram a little better.

Grace Wehniainen is a junior majoring in motion pictures.

April 4, 2018

Reporters

Grace Wehniainen


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It wasn’t long ago when the Miami Hurricanes’ Class of 2020 included the top three rising senior pro ...

Six new Hurricanes football players arrived on campus and began classes Monday, a group including a ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship schedule is set. The No. 4 seed Miami Hurricanes ...

The first regular season of Gino DiMare’s head-coaching era ended Saturday at Mark Light Field. But ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ hopes for hosting an NCAA regional were damaged a bit on Friday night by a 12- ...

Imagine simulating diabetes, lung cancer, or heart disease on a device no larger than a credit card. ...

Alabama’s new abortion law puts the issue of women’s rights in the spotlight for the upcoming 2020 e ...

The University of Miami is shaping the future of education by using innovative approaches that drive ...

Six short films created by University of Miami film students will be screened in Los Angeles this we ...

Researchers from 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries, hosted by the Institute for the Advanced ...

Four Miami Hurricanes were among those recognized by the Atlantic Coast Conference Monday for their ...

Top-seeded Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team started her NCAA Singles Cha ...

The Barcelona, Spain, native caps his sophomore campaign with a team-high 21 singles wins. ...

The University of Miami track and field program garnered 20 entries in the 2019 NCAA East Preliminar ...

Miami's schedule features seven matches against teams that reached the NCAA Championship. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.