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My perfect study space at home: Annika from Germany

Are you struggling to study at home? HanzeMAG International comes to the rescue! In this series, we ask Hanze-students how they organize their ‘study nirvana’ during lockdown. We start with Annika Horstmann, a second-year International Communication student from Germany.

‘I always write notes. I started doing it in fifth grade and I’ve been doing it ever since. Every night, on a little piece of paper, I write what I have to do the next day. In general, I always have a schedule in which I plan at least a week ahead. Not only for studying, but for leisure activities, too, so I’m able to combine it.’

‘At home, my desk is only used for studying. I just have thirteen square metres of room space, so I really needed to create a specific area for studying. I keep it minimalistic: the only things that matter are my laptop, my charger, a glass of water and some pencils. I always put my phone away – no distractions! And this is pretty much what my study environment looks like, nothing else, so that I can fully concentrate on what I’m doing.

‘If I have to learn something new, I prefer keeping it quiet. I often put ear plugs in, so I don’t even hear the cars outside. I strive for absolute silence. In other cases, if I work on a report, for example, I listen to piano music or something really calm, with no lyrics to sing to, so that I can focus on the work.’

‘After I’m finished with a task, I like to reward myself by catching up with friends. After a day of studying, socializing creates the right balance for me. Between study sessions I also like to have good food, that is something I’m spending a lot of time on. I also always try to do sports as a way to free my mind, relax a little bit.’

The secret
‘What probably differentiates me from many students is that I tend to get up pretty early, around 7 am. I like to start doing stuff at a time when other students are probably still sleeping, as they are more productive at night. I’m more productive in the morning and I take advantage of that by waking up early, not wasting any time.’