After a long day filled with assignments and quizzes, I sat in front of my laptop inside my dorm room to blow off some steam. Just as I turned on some music, however, an irritated shriek immediately came from my stuck-up roommate; “Can you please not? I’m trying to study here.” For a moment I felt immensely guilty for being a disturbance to those who were trying to study around me. But then, I also wondered, “why do I have feel sorry for being loud in my room, instead of my roommate feeling sorry for turning the room into a boring library?” After all, if he considered me to be a distraction to his studies, I was entitled to consider him a buzzkill during my playtime.
Moving away from petty skirmishes between roommates, we will conclusively determine what the predominant atmosphere of a dorm should be. Dormitories should not become hallways of room after room filled with students smothering themselves in endless piles of books. On the other hand, many would object dormitories degenerating into chaotic apartments with students running amok and partying full-on. It would be nice if students finished their work outside the dorm and came back to their respective rooms to rest. Unfortunately, not all students can be highly focused and disciplined enough to follow a regimented timetable. The majority of people, including myself, cannot cope too well with distractions and procrastination, thereby unproductively dealing with assignments at a slower pace. This means that many of us are inclined to bring the work we could not finish to places where work does not belong, even our own resting places.
Depending on whom you ask, you may receive varied answers to where one should work where one should not. The general consensus is that students should study in classrooms, libraries, and any quiet place that is uninterrupted by other activities, while students should try to go on about their non-academic businesses in the cafeteria, bathroom, or in the gym. Opinions are also divided on whether one’s dorm room is a place for relaxation or a quiet study room that you also happen to sleep in.
Personally however, I believe that dorms should be a work-free zone. As the urban saying goes, “Don’t defecate where you eat”; try not to bring the troubles of your work to places where you regularly find yourself. I find dorm rooms to be places of social interaction, recreation, and relaxation. After a long and tiring day, we retreat to our dorm rooms to goof around on the internet, catch up on some sleep, or chill with our roommates or neighbors from other rooms. Even if you try to work in your dorm room, you probably will have difficulty focusing because of the countless distractions.
Referring back to my opening anecdote, if you insist on being that one guy who demands silence in the dorm rooms so as to create a study-friendly environment, you are only ruining other people’s fun. I don’t mind when, where, or how you prefer to study as long as you keep your work out of the dorm room and keep the dormitories a sanctuary free of work. If you find yourself indiscriminately working anywhere and everywhere without a particular setting, perhaps it is time to draw the line between work and play. Try to distinguish between locations where you can focus on your studies and places where you can relax and completely forget about your looming deadlines. Please, keep the dorm a work-free place.