From Southeast University, SAF Summer Correspondent Jingzi Zhou is chronicling her experience at University of California, Berkeley.
Academic performance is beyond doubt one of the most important issues during college years. Basically, what grade a student can obtain for a course depends on how much efforts he or she has personally spent on it. Hence, it is of crucial importance to find an optimal place for individual reviewing and studying. Unlike in China where most universities have flexible policies which allow students to access empty classrooms or even officially assign several rooms to overnight study purpose, at UC Berkeley these rules are rather uncommon especially during summer. Instead, students resort to other alternative places and resources. Libraries are ideal options, but the open hours are much shortened compared to fall or spring semesters. So where should one go for study during the summer session at Berkeley?
First, your dorm room. One is free from worries such as important documents or notes being left out or electronic devices running out of batteries. One can post whatever gestures or facial expressions while devotedly finishing their work without being afraid of acting weirdly, if only one has reached consensus with his or her considerate and quiet roommate(s). Another downside is that sometimes the temptation of quilts and pillows is too hard to resist.
Second, study lounges or residential academic centers. At on-campus housing sites like Unit 2, there are study lounges on almost every floor of Davidson Hall and a joint academic center which stays opens till 12.00 am on weekdays. The public study place shared by residents creates a preferable atmosphere, but meanwhile the competition for electricity outlets aggravates, potentially reducing the efficiency of studying to a certain extent. When one heads for a spot with all their nitty-gritty belongings but finds no power points, it is very frustrating.
The same thing could happen in libraries and cafes, but both of them have their respective edges thus being considered as good places to go. In libraries, people not only attempt to find unoccupied desks and chairs, but also busily locate additional services and resources. And for cafes, it is nice to sip a cup of coffee when one is quickly typing or to take a grab-and-go meal five minutes right before the class begins.
These are all fantastic choices one could turn to if needed. However, what I want to say that to succeed in getting an A does not necessarily rely on wherever people kill their time dealing with assignments. Rather, it lies in one's understanding of the true focus of a meaningful summer session, i.e. whether it's study-oriented or for entertainment purposes. My summer session at Berkeley in 2019 has now approached to an end, but for those prospective visiting students, adjusting their mentality to the right track matters a lot.
Hope everyone gets through their tasks with flying colors! Good luck!