Image with a tablet, stylus and keyboard against a bright yellow background

5 tips for sprucing up your study space

Although studying at uni is the preferred style for a lot of students, sometimes you just want to be in the comfort of your own home when you spend hours hitting the books. You may stay home due to the flu, maybe your car breaks down, or maybe you just don’t want to change out of your classic uggs, regardless you find yourself swapping the University funded desks for the op-shop dining table that Mum picked up last Christmas and it is looking a little bare.

Do you know what that means? It’s time to spend an afternoon of your study period getting your makeshift home office looking like it stepped straight out of Queer Eye!

But because we don’t all have Netflix money, we’ll be doing this on a student budget. Here are a few (affordable) tips for you to get your home study spaces looking absolutely fly.

Tip 1: Find your perfect space to photosynthesise

Vampires were a thing in 2011, guys. It’s time to get some sunlight, which I’ve heard is absolutely free! If your desk is movable, wheel it around to a window, or a place that gives you optimal light and shade ratio for you to find your inner nature child while you study.

That way, you can be reminded of all the nature you will be exploring once all this blows over (or nature you will be staring at from your window if you’re the more indoorsy type) 

Bachelor of Speech Pathology student Chloe’s sweet digs, with plenty of natural and added lighting.

Tip 2: Keep as organised as your nan’s spice rack

Keeping your space clean and tidy can also mean organising in style. While you could pop into your nearest K-mart to buy any new file holders, try using the things you have around you instead. Here are some ideas:

  • A mason jar could be a rustic pen holder.
  • Paint an old box for all your messy cables to hide in.
  • A book-end could be made out of anything, how about your favourite pot plant? Or something you have lying around?
  • Organise your subjects together to give a seamless study experience.
  • Pinch that old cork board from the other room and use it to keep your important notes.
  • Don’t clutter! A cluttered workspace means a cluttered mind.

Third-year Bachelor of Communication student Sophie’s (that’s me!) setup, including a lot of millennial pink. I used a $3 roll of marble lino from K-mart to make it look a little more Instagram-edgy too.

the authors desk with a laptop, books, and mini globe

Tip 3: Plants are your friends

Because we won’t be seeing a lot of vegetation outside, why not study amongst it and pretend you’re a  jungle warrior? If you’ve got any houseplants, they make a stylish and environmentally fulfilling addition to your workspace. They also can’t cause any unwanted procrastination, unless you like to have a chat with your plants (which we do encourage, seeing as plants respond to good moods!)

If you’re following my first tip, your plants should be able to survive in some filtered sunlight indoors. Or if you’re a serial plant killer (like me), you can always move your plants back to their original spot after you study to keep them alive and well in the sun.

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) student Callum’s plant-iful array in his study place. I’m absolutely green with envy!

Tip 4: Write yourself some nice things because you deserve it

You know those motivational memes your lecturer always puts in at the end of lecture that tell you to “hang in there” and “keep working hard”? You can also print them out and stick them right in front of your face to remind yourself that you got this!

Depending on how aesthetic you would like to be, you can either get crafty and do some nice running writing fit to feature on your Pinterest page, or just print out your favourite pop-culture related content. Feel free to use my favourite:

Tip 5: Show off your goals so you don’t forget them

When I say goals, I don’t mean you have to literally plan out your future aspirations of having a stable job and a flat in Sydney. Start small, what are your assessment dates? When do you want to have them finished by? What do you want to achieve during this semester, do you want to fix your procrastination habits? Do you want to get that sweet HD? What about mentally, how do you want to feel at the end of the semester?

If you have a whiteboard, go crazy on it! You could also use post-it notes or a corkboard, or even just a piece of paper to list where your head is at and where you want to be. That way you can keep a reminder in your space that you aren’t just watching Zoom tutorials every day, but also working toward a better you.

Bachelor of Communication student Clare’s motivational goal poster, also including her own mantras to keep her going. 

Tip 5: Make it comfy, but not too comfy

One of the perks about studying from home is that you don’t have to spend your lectures in any desk/chair setups! While it is suggested you study upright to keep yourself from dozing off, there’s no rule saying you can’t lather your workspace with as many cushions as you want.

There’s definitely something lavish about walking into a study space that has enough plush for all your lounging desires and will also give you that little bit of incentive to transfer from your bed to your luscious, pillowed paradise and start learning.

As you can see, I really like (pink) pillows.

I hope these few tips can come in handy when you have a spare moment to give your study space some life. Don’t forget to tag us if you upload your photos on Instagram (@uni_newcastle_students) so we can all enjoy how you isolate in style.


Feature image via Unsplash

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