What are the Pros and Cons of Studying at Home?

G. Wiesen

There are a number of pros and cons with regard to studying at home, when compared to somewhere like a library or study lab. Some of the major advantages of such studying include the fact that some people learn better while in the comfort of their own home, it may be easier to access a computer, and someone can more easily stop to get a drink or something to eat. There are also disadvantages to home study, however, such as a greater chance for distractions and a lack of access to resources found in a library.

Resources like microfiche records aren't available at home.
Resources like microfiche records aren't available at home.

Many people prefer studying at home rather than studying in a library or workspace that is specifically set aside for individuals who need to study. This typically comes down to personal preference, as well as other obligations a person may have that require him or her to be home. There are some inherent pros and cons to home study, however, which should be considered by someone with a choice of where to study.

People who study at home are more likely to fall asleep during a session.
People who study at home are more likely to fall asleep during a session.

One of the major advantages to studying at home is that some people simply learn better when in a comfortable environment. While sitting at a table in a potentially uncomfortable chair found in a library does work for some students, others may find that being on a couch in their own home is preferable. Libraries and study labs may also have a number of other students in them, all trying to utilize the same resources simultaneously. This can make it difficult to use a computer or other public device, especially near the end of a school term, and someone’s computer is typically easier to use while studying.

New parents may find it difficult to study at home.
New parents may find it difficult to study at home.

Someone studying at home can also typically start and stop more easily, especially for breaks to get something to eat or drink. At home, a person may be able to simply walk into the next room and get some food. While studying at a library, however, it is likely that someone would have to pack up his or her study materials and leave the building completely to find something to eat.

There are some disadvantages to studying at home, however, such as the increased opportunities for distractions. Television, movies, music, video games, roommates, family, and many more sources of distraction can all be present in a home but might not be found in a library or similar setting. There are also typically certain resources that can be accessed from a library which may not be accessible from a person’s home, such as microfiche records. More and more information is being transferred to digital formats that can be accessed through a computer in someone’s home, however, alleviating some of this concern.

Having a quiet room in the house that mimics a library can make it easier to study at home.
Having a quiet room in the house that mimics a library can make it easier to study at home.

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Discussion Comments


@indigomoth - It's not really people that are the distraction for me so much as the internet in general, and there isn't really a place to get away from it these days. Even if I go to the library or to a cafe, there is going to be wifi and I can always use my phone.

I've found the best thing to do is to have a laptop that doesn't have internet set up in my study space, so that I can go in there and not be tempted to look up my email every five minutes.

I don't know if I'd be able to cope with online learning, because it would be too much of temptation.


@Fa5t3r - I think the only cure for that is to try and set up a habit of studying every day at the same time. Make it as regular as brushing your teeth and make it so that you have your door closed and everyone understands that you are only to be contacted in an emergency.

It gets even more difficult once you've got kids around because they are tough to ignore, and of course, sometimes you simply have to help them with stuff. But if you can establish boundaries like that and get everyone to respect them, you might start feeling an obligation to get work done during that time, to justify your isolation.

I did an online course a while ago and it took some time to get into this habit, but once I did it went really well.


I would study better from home if it weren't for the fact that there are so many distractions there. I have more access to things I might need like scrap paper or whatever, but I also have the chance to get on the internet or start hanging out with my roommates or whatever.

If I make myself go to the library, I basically feel obligated to study rather than mess around. I wish I could create that same feeling at home.

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