So midterm week has finally arrived, and I am so incredibly unprepared it is ridiculous. Classes here have less busy work assignments and assigned readings, but teachers are also just less on top of you to keep up in class. They expect us to be responsible college students and motivate ourselves, which is kind of an optimistic idea of what college students in Rome are up to. While normally I am much more prepared and attentive to my classes, here I’ve been spending weekends going to wine festivals and museums and days exploring the city. Even though I know that we’re here primarily to study, any time spent on studying or doing work for classes feels like time wasted, time that could be spent exploring the streets of Rome or planning day or weekend trips away from the city. But, it’s finally past the time where avoiding studying is a good choice and moving in to panic time. So, with that in mind, here is my guide for studying in Rome even though you don’t want to at all!
First, I recommend going to the school building and studying in the library or computer lab. There are less distractions here, and you’ll feel more of a push to study than if you stay at the residence. Rome doesn’t have a lot of coffee shops with wifi, so the Starbucks studying method is pretty much out. For reliable internet and an actual drive to be studious, coming to school is probably your best bet.
Don’t study on your computer! Grab your textbook or class notes and go sit outside and work. If there’s no internet connection, you’ll study better anyways, that’s just a basic rule of life. I’ve been trying to study on my laptop, but it always seems to morph into googling things to put on my Rome sightseeing list and booking tickets to other places. But this way you can be outside in Rome and still be be productive! There are a variety of parks or public piazzas that you can go sit in, and you’ll actually get some work accomplished. Try not to get distracted by people watching though. While entertaining, you came out here to study, so get on it!
Try to focus on doing actual work as well. As soon as studying comes up, all of a sudden everything else seems so much more important and I guess studying will just have to wait then, won’t it? Classes are important, the grades you get here are important. It seems like sitting down for a couple days and just seriously working is a tragic waste of time when we’re only here for three months, but the classes here are just as important as learning on our own. We won’t be able to have classes where we visit actual historical sites and museums like this ever again. Actually treating these classes as valuable is an important part of the study abroad experience, and we should treat these classes as more important than the ones we can take back home.
Well, this post makes me kind of a hypocrite as I have been writing it as a way of procrastinating about studying, but I think I’ve managed to inspire myself to study. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel though- next week is Fall Break!