Flyby's Guide to Outdoor Studying

By Courtesy of GIPHY

Let’s face it: fall is here and your days of wishing for AC are over. Not to get too dark here– pun intended– but winter is coming. You should probably take advantage of the Vitamin D and fresh air before we all go into hibernation, and your only glimpse of sunlight is on your frantic dash from the Science Center to Berg. The point is, you should try ~studying outside~, but if you’re anything like me, you know it is nearly impossible to nail down the perfect outdoor study situation. There’s nothing worse than packing up your belongings, trekking down to the river and then realizing you’ve forgotten something, or that your laptop is about to die. Or maybe you’ve chosen to study in the Yard, but the only thing you can focus on is being the perfect muse for the tourists’ awaiting cameras #can’thelpit. But fear not because this is Flyby’s guide to studying outside this autumn!

Charge it up

This tip, arguably the most important of all, requires some forethought. But—I believe in you. Charge your devices. That means your laptop and iPad should be full of juice when you embark on your journey. And if for some mysterious reason your devices just happen to run out of battery, what a shame: you’ve stumbled upon the perfect excuse to take a sun nap or immerse yourself in the sites and sounds of Cambridge nature.

Fuel and Hydration

We all know that studying when you’re hungry is a slippery slope that always results in hanger and half-assed psets. So, make sure you have enough Trader Joe’s snacks in your bag to feed a monster before you sit down and realize you are that monster, and you’re starving. Don’t have time to hit TJ’s? Grab a piece of fruit and some yogurt at FlyBy, or maybe a cup of off-brand cereal to munch on from the dhall. Feeling boujee? Make a stop at Black Sheep or Tatte and get some top notch eats for the day. And don’t forget hydration! Your water bottle better be filled, and no, your pumpkin spice latte is not a replacement for water (though I endorse drinking both simultaneously).

Prep for the Elements

Looking out your window it may seem like a smoking hot day, but don’t be deceived. The minute you let your guard down, that crisp autumn breeze will hit you with a nice reality check. Winter is coming, babe. Bring a jacket! Even if you’re sweating when you leave your dorm, throw a hoodie in your bag because when you end up sitting down to study, the sun won’t be so high in the sky anymore and the goosebumps will start to set in. On the other hand, make sure you are also ready for the sun. Can’t have that UV giving us wrinkles before we’re 30! We’re manifesting the agelessness of J.Lo here. Pack some sunscreen or maybe a baseball hat. Also sunnies! Can’t be squinting into the sun trying to decipher your super important Gened paper that you definitely didn’t put off until the last minute—so shades up.


So, the question of where this outdoor studying will take place… the options are nearly endless. If you’re feeling photogenic, I suggest studying anywhere near the John Harvard statue. Want to catch the traffic between Berg and the Science Center? You should probably sit on one of those red chairs in the plaza. Want to watch runners fighting for their lives along the Charles? Pull out a picnic blanket or stake out one of the benches along the river. Want to take part in a “great community?” Go to the Quad lawn. If you really feel like adventuring, make the hike across the river and sit at a picnic table behind the SEC—you can even spend some BoardPlus while you’re at it (don’t let that free money go to waste!).

And with that, you are now fully equipped to brave the great outdoors and maybe even study a little while you’re at it. Don’t let the turkeys and tourists scare you off! Procrastinating—I mean working—outside is good for the soul (seasonal depression who?). You could be productively avoiding your midterm prep anywhere, so you may as well do it outside :)

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