What Every Student Needs To Know About Studying In The Bathroom

studying in the bathroomHave you ever considered how much time you waste when you’re in the bathroom? Do you ever do something to pass the time while you’re on the can? For example, read a magazine or book, answer text messages or emails, etc. Here’s a trick to learn more information and minimize study distractions without adding any extra study time to your day.

When you’re “taking care of business” your mind usually wanders; seeking something to occupy it. If you were to add up all the minutes that this happens on a daily basis you’d be surprised how much valuable time you waste in the john each day!

It’s risky to take your cell phone to the toilet. Many a phone has lost its balance and died a disgusting death. Books and magazines are entertaining but how can you read for pleasure when you know you need to study?

Use this precious bathroom time to study instead!

How to Fill the Void When You Void

  1. Write a list of topics clearly on a piece of paper. For example, reactions, mechanisms, reagents; something that you need to know in bite-size bits.
  2. Hang the list in easy viewing distance of your toilet.
  3. Study the list every time you go to the bathroom.
  4. When you’ve got that list down pat, make another list.

(If you know you’ll be in for more than a few minutes, bring A COPY of some textbook pages or notes)

By doing this you’re adding information to your knowledge base when you normally wouldn’t have been studying. Maybe you’ll remember a reaction, definition or mechanism.

Remember that it’s important to stay hydrated when you study so the more you drink the more you’ll need to visit the bathroom. The more you visit the bathroom, the more you’ll expose your brain to the information posted on the wall! And you know what? It slowly adds up.

Leah Fisch on military deploymentIn boot camp, which I attended as part of my U.S. Navy enlistment, they had strategic information posters pasted in all the bathrooms. For example, in our ship’s head (barracks bathroom) the posters included military ranking and the 11 general orders of a sentry, which we were required to memorize. Every time I went to the bathroom I would look at it and test myself. This was a good way to continually refresh the information in my mind.

Do You Feel Guilty Taking A Bath When You Should Be Studying?

Not anymore! In fact, the bathtub is a very effective place to study and relax at the same time.

  1. Take one or two pages of summarized topics or material you need to memorize, and make a copy!
    The only thing worse that dropping your phone in the toilet is dropping your entire notebook in the bathtub!
  2. Paste your copied notes to the bathtub wall.
  3. Draw yourself a hot bath.
  4. Get in, study, and relax.

Even if your mind is reviewing or memorizing information, your body is calming down. If you can’t paste your notes on the wall just hold the notes and leave a towel nearby to keep your hands dry.

Reward yourself for making such good use of your time and close your eyes and really relax for the last five minutes.

Shower Markers to Justify Staying in Longer

I love long showers. Standing under the hot water in winter time when it’s freezing cold out. Not showering, just not getting out.

Shower markers will help you justify the delay.

  • Amino acids to memorize?
  • Pathways to map out complete with reactants and intermediates?
  • Reaction mechanisms to master?

Use these Shower Markers to draw them out again and again till you have it mastered.

Studying In The Bathroom Helps Minimize Interruptions

An added bonus of studying in the bathroom, and leaving your computer and phone in your room, is that if you have family members or roommates who tend to interrupt you when you’re studying, if you’re in the bathroom, they’ll assume that you’re “taking care of business” and hopefully won’t bother you! And you won’t get distracted by your phone ringing or computer pinging.

Study in peace!

What about you? What is weirdest place you’ve ever studied and what did you like most about it? Let me know by leaving a comment below


  1. Ipad + freezer zip bag = bath time iPad. I do this all the time to play games, now for studying! I wish there was a way to write notes easily, aside from Aqua paper pads…

  2. I put a sheet of notes in a plastic protector and tape it to my shower wall. I find memorizing the easiest when I first wake up, and it gives me an extra 20 min of studying each day.

    • Absolutely!! Never thought to do that in the shower though I do recommend doing that in the tub. Awesome idea Alyssa

  3. you can also put the notes in the plastic protectors to have waterproof notes!

    • That is a great idea Maria. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it. I’d still make a copy just in case, but yes, brilliant!!

  4. Georgetown PostBac PreMed Student Association says

    I love the image with the bubble bath. Can’t get much more studious. Thanks for reminding us organic chemistry students to do whatever it takes!

  5. I set up my iPad on my closed toilet lid and watch your videos while a bathe. My baby (iPad) is a safe distance away, and I get to soak away without feeling guilty. 🙂

  6. I do that. Also, I always have a list in the car. So much time wasted at red lights, in traffic jams, waiting to turn. Other areas: walking to class, in between class, waiting for food. I have learned that utilizing the little minutes that we waste, leads to great results. Whenever I even have a sec. I pull out my lists! It has helped me memorize everything 🙂 Drive safely though!

    • Too true and I absolutely agree about the car thing. I actually discovered this while working EMS during college. So many hours of driving from calls, and so many red lights. I actually mentioned it (with caution) in my blog post on flashcards http://leah4sci.com/flashcards

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