Study Essentials: Pitzer College

Having your study routine down means having your essentials there to help keep you focused. To start off this series, we hear from Aaron, a student at Pitzer College (who also happens to be one of our co-founders!).


I would have said headphones originally, but the truth is that I don’t need headphones to listen to music. I just need Spotify. Spotify nails my playlists almost everytime and I appreciate it a lot because I am way too lazy to make my own. 


Study music varies but some specific keywords could be: Ryo Fukui, Lo-Fi, Jazz, Classical, or anything with minimal lyrics. 


I am not a study-in-silence type because if I try and study in silence I get scatterbrained and lose focus easily.

Water Bottle

I like to have my water bottle near me when I’m studying. Almost like my safety blanket. Although it means a lot of bathroom breaks, staying hydrated keeps me running like a well oiled machine.


It seems like Hydroflasks have become as popular as Birkenstocks, but here’s another option that I’ve tried and work just as well (at about half the price).


Pro Tip: just slap a sticker on that puppy and nobody will ever know the difference

Green Tea

I’m usually a coffee drinker, but too much coffee before studying will have me shaking like a chihuahua the whole time. I’ve gotten really into green tea since I got to college because it just seems like that type of caffeine is a little more subtle. This is my favorite green tea – it’s available at most stores and it’s affordable.

Blue Light Glasses

I’d estimate that I spend about 6-7 hours a day looking at a screen; whether its homework, zoom classes, or the occasional netflix binge. This is not a number that I’m proud of at all, but with all those hours staring at a screen my eyes begin to hurt and then I get a headache in my forehead. This is not a nice feeling and I started using blue light glasses freshman year on recommendation from a friend. 


They’ve helped immensely and have reduced the strain on my eyes over sustained hours and days looking at screens. These are the pair I have always had, I don’t know if there’s better ones out there, but these have done the job. I found this article from Forbes with a number of different options ranging in price (my pair seem to be pretty middle of the road)

Phone Timer

I use my phone timer when I’m studying to hold myself accountable. I try to do intervals of 30 minutes of focus with a 5 minute break. It’s not really that easy for me to study for 30 minutes straight, I can barely read a paragraph of text without losing focus. But the mind is muscle so I find that as I’ve practiced implementing this technique, the 30 minutes gets easier and easier. 

Far from perfect, but a work in progress. Maybe I’ll have it down by the time I graduate – apparently you work for longer than 30 minutes at a time in the real world. 

Note – I googled it and this technique is called ‘the pomodoro technique’; if you’re wondering why a focus method is named after an Italian tomato, here is a Wikipedia page about it.

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