A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Something that I have learnt over the past two and half years of studying in the Hague is that I am extremely sensitive to cabin fever. To those who aren’t familiar with cabin fever it is the irritability or restlessness experienced when someone is stuck in an isolated location for an extended time. My isolated location in this case is my 21 m2 room. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little space – it is my home. However, I do often find the need to escape it – especially when studying. Thus, I have come up with a repertoire of study spots to relieve me of my cabin fever.
Cafés are my go-to spots for study sessions. The combination of delicious coffee, a calming aesthetic and others working around me makes for the perfect scene for productivity. I adore sitting in a café for hours on end “getting work done”. The benefits of a café are obviously the coffee and cakes, they are cosy and provide a large change in scenery from my room. However, the cons are the price and occasional noise associated with these spaces. Coffee in the Netherlands can be quite pricey and so can the food. As well as an annoying loud chatter that comes about every now and then. But overall it is still a great spot to escape cabin fever. Some of my favourite cafés include House of Tribes, Coffee Company and Foodmaker.
Leiden has a great set up for study sessions. There are a combination of silent areas and communal areas that allow you access to whatever scenery you prefer best to study in. The Wijnhaven building has three floors – providing maximum space for students. The pros of going to university to study is that it is free, it can be very social as well as very productive and there are nice cheap food options right on campus. The draw backs are that it can get very busy and space can thus be an issues. It is also subject to much student chatter and distraction, yet it is still my best option for study spaces when my bank account is running on empty.
The public library is located right in the centre of town, right next to the municipal building. The library is the perfect place for those who require silence when studying as no talking is allowed. It also provides a great change of scenery and people from home or university. The other benefit is that it is free to go and sit down and get a good load of work done. However, you aren’t allowed to bring any food or drinks inside, you have to pay to go to the toilet and it can often be difficult to find a space. It is however, a great way to get out of the house.
A Friend’s House
Now this option is probably the most fun study spot but with that also potentially the least productive one too. Going to study at a friend’s place is cosy and social while still providing the change of scenery to beat cabin fever. Nothing beats having coffee and a snack with your friends while trying to get through piles of readings or lectures – there is a permanent companion to have a break with. However, as I said it may not be the most productive place to get a lot of studying done but it is the best way to get rid of the dreaded cabin fever.
So if you’re like me, and get a bit of cabin fever here and there, don’t worry. There are many ways to cure the fever while getting your work done.