A Breath of Fresh Air? Important Benefits of Outdoor Studying
March 10, 2021
The pandemic has caused the normalization of remote work and education. However, at-home learning should not keep you indoors forever.
The phrase “go outside and have a breath of fresh air" is almost cliche, sounding like a parent scolding their child for using too much technology. However, people forget that going outside has legitimate mental, emotional, and creative benefits. Across the United States, colleges have started classes online as a continued response to COVID19 while disallowing certain students from moving back to campus. For many, this means staying at home or renting an apartment. There may be hesitation on spending too much time outdoors. Nonetheless, one of the best ways to vary your education and thought process is to study in a variety of locations.
Most people understand that Vitamin D is important, but most people are not getting enough in their daily lives. Students can easily get some Vitamin D of their own by working outside on a sunny day. According to the University of Newcastle, Vitamin D is proven to naturally boost your energy on a cellular level. It’s simple, more energy equals more productivity to ace your classes.
Now that students are working remotely, their home will become a haven for all things academic. This is a necessary transition. However, transforming the home into school may create a stressful environment that, at times, student’s will need to leave for the betterment of their mental health. Removing yourself from a stressful environment and finding a new location is sometimes all a student needs to calm their nerves and begin working more effectively. A sunny outdoor work session can address a plethora of emotions such as stress, anxiety, disconnection, fatigue, and sadness.
Boosts Creativity Juices
There will be plenty of times this semester where you will be sitting in your room, turn your head to look out your window and see a beautiful, sunny day waiting to be enjoyed. Don’t resist the urge to enjoy the outside world! Sometimes, student’s need a simple boost of creativity, whether to solve complicated problems, get over writer's block, or merely brainstorm project ideas. New ideas cannot be fully realized when cooped up. In fact, a study done by Stanford University reveals that a simple walk, especially in a natural setting, can improve creative thinking. Take in the footsteps of CEOS such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, who regularly held meetings on foot and drum up some new inspiration.
Improved Memory and Focus
While virtual learning keeps students safe, it can also put them in a state of boredom. This can lead to nonchalant procrastination. Staying in the same place for too long can make certain students frustrated and unfocused, which does them no good when exams loom. Working outside eliminates major distractions that come from the familiarity of the home. There is less of an incentive to get too comfortable or take breaks. For some, studying outside may also limit the distractions of chaotic households with parents, siblings, and pets. With less distractions, students can focus on the course material and memorize the necessary information at a greater capacity than if they were in their rooms. The only thing to make sure of is to choose a spot relatively quiet. For example: a coffee shop is a good choice but not at peak hours when the place is bustling with customer’s chit-chat.
There are many ways to study outdoors without compromising social distancing. Use common sense rules such as mask wearing if you go somewhere public. The college tradition of studying on quadside when the weather is nice does not need to be forgotten. Take care of yourself and enjoy the academic benefits of the natural world while the warm weather still shines.
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