Much like a fisherman with a secret pond, I am reluctant to disclose my favorite studying retreat. That said, everyone seems to have found their own niche, with preferred spots including everywhere from windowless cubicles to the bleachers in the gym. Choosing a location to study is one of the most important decisions in the first two years of med school, because much of your effectiveness during this time is governed by your environment. In order to learn the material better in less time, it is vital to make connections rather than simply memorize. Connections are best forged with intense focus, so bear this in mind when vetting potential study spots.
As I’ve said before, active studying is a necessity, so find a study spot where you can spread out and move around. I prefer a large table and a white board. Ditch the computer screen in favor of tangibly engaging with the material.
Instead of wasting willpower trying to avoid distractions, study in a place where distractions are irrelevant. In other words, leave your phone behind and disconnect from the internet during your study block. Find somewhere with good lighting and low noise. Consider using earplugs if people around you are talking or playing music.
I was once advised to study in a cafe where the refills are free, but my advice is to study with such intensity that you’ll be done before your first cup is dry.