Where We Study

Illustration by Augustine Ng

This week, we asked Ryerson photographers to show us their study spaces and tell us why their zone works for them.


Natalie Nguyen

The elements of the perfect study space for me consists of bright natural light, good jams, and a plant or two. This space gives a cozy and inspiring touch to those days where I need creative stimulation and motivation to stay and finish those long readings. Play on, Sam Cooke.

Adam D’Addario

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My study space works for me because it’s an organized mess. Which is a perfect metaphor for my life. 

Dakota Nguyen

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As a typical visual art student, I keep my desk messy and my cork board well organized. Moving into Pitman Hall for a month made me realized how useful this board is for someone who a. can never sit down in one spot and study and b. always craves inspiration. Like Pinterest mood board, but your roommates can pin up drunk notes and stupid memes on it.

Toronto can get really lonely sometimes for it being such a big city, so I decided to hang up polaroids of my loved ones and my dog just to aid those days missing Vietnam. I also pinned some extra prints I have of the six “best” photos which I used to apply for Ryerson Photography Studies. Although my style in image art has improved tremendously since, looking at these photos makes me appreciate not only the progress, but also the opportunity I’m so privileged to be able to receive–being here in one of the biggest cities on the planet, earning a spot in this competitive program in one of Canada’s best schools for visual art, doing what I love and learning more about what I love to do. All thanks to these six photos, taken by a shy kid who just ordered a Rebel camera off of Amazon, shrugged and decided to finally do something big in her life for once.

I believe that your study space should not be limited to the top of your desk, or your bookshelves. Your study space should be inspirational and motivational. It should be the reason that makes you wake up every morning knowing exactly what to do for the day, and every once in awhile it should remind you how far you have come.

Priya Dooby

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I study on my bed 90% of the time! It’s probably not the greatest idea if you want to avoid back pain, but I am usually comfortable enough by bracing against a few pillows as I work. PRO TIP: a wise person once told me that it’s best to study at an actual desk, so your body is forced to face the reality of how you will actually be sitting during a test or exam. So closer to midterm and exam season, I usually avoid the bed and use my desk instead.

Lauren Henderson 

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I frequent a number of coffee shops because I generally work best when I am out of the house. It gives my studying a finite start and end time and its harder for me to get distracted. It also has the added bonus of soothing my little pretentious soul and feeding my caffeine addiction. 

Andrej Ivanov

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My current favourite space is on my couch. As I haven’t finished unpacking, my comfortable spaces at home are few and far between, so I appreciate being able to sprawl on my big couch. This is doubled by the fact that most of my “studying” revolves around reading and writing. Being able to sit comfortably somewhere to work is something I have found to be the key to my success. It’s not ideal for photo editing, but for reading and writing, it’s definitely a great space.

Paige Neddeau

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I am a first year RTA Media Production Student that commutes over an hour and a half from Oshawa to Ryerson. As a commuter, I spend most of my time on the subway, GO train and the Student Learning Center. I find The SLC specifically Floor 6 as my ideal study space. Floor 6, also known as the beach, provides a comfortable laid back study space that allows you focus and get your assignments done. As a RTA student, I enjoy the SLC because it allows me to collaborate with other students when working on projects. I don’t know what I would do without the SLC at Ryerson. 

Olivia Gordon

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I need a comfortable environment to focus, which is why I prefer my bed over a rigid desk to study. The lighting isn’t harsh in my room, which puts me at ease in this cozy space. 

Serena Nguyen

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My study space is situated in the comfort of home, 5 steps away from unlimited (well, to an extent) of a fridge full of free food. There’s nothing better than snacking and studying! 

Masumi Rodriguez

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Only moved in a month ago. No furniture, no money to buy anything but a couch, a coffee table and a few pieces of art to make the house lively. This space is the only place in the house I can do homework – because really, I can’t do my readings on my bed. The space is clean and spacious, enough room to spread out my notebooks. I will sit on the couch for hours on end, whether reading, writing reports or simply working on Illustrator. The dim mood light feel gives a warm atmosphere for the grey windy fall days in Toronto. This is my study space.

Carina Grodek

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I need space when it comes to a study space, lots of space. Not only space but also windows. Big windows. My motivation depends on the environment I’m in, and so if I’m stuck in a cubicle surrounded by an enormous number of people, chances are I won’t get anything done. It doesn’t matter where, really, though quiet Coffee shops are my go-to. It’s also important to change the location every so often. New locations reach new ideas.