I mostly studied at home till the tertiary level when I was allowed to study outside with classmates. We sat at McDonald's.

While the classmates seemed ambivalent to McDonald's advertisments continuously looping on the monitor nearby, sound blaring, I struggled to focus. Finally, jamming earphones into my ears helped to dim the sound.

Entering university, I realised that many friends played music while they studied. Wondering if it helped them to study better, I emulated them. Pop, rock, jazz, classical, etc. Nothing helped. It proved to be distracting.

What worked best was when being alone at home or in an extremely quiet area with one other friend. No noise, no distractions.

Having lived in my own apartments, which afford a certain measure of privacy, I've come to appreciate and find joy in silence.

No music plays at home, except when friends comes over and opt to play their own music. In lieu of music, podcasts are played.

Mostly, I enjoy the whirr of the ceiling fans and the occasional noise from residents below[1].

“You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.”

― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Sherlock Holmes

  1. Thankfully this is a relatively quiet neighbourhood ↩︎