Napoleon said something like (paraphrasing aggressively here), “The results of every battle are determined ahead of time by the geography, weather, and factors pertaining to the supply of war materiel.”
This notion of meta-factors’ outsized importance also applies to studying, especially in college.
When you are studying hard, your brain will become attuned to small details. It is best to point this detail-oriented focus at the text you’re trying to learn, such as Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning course or one of my personal favorite MOOC’s, The Theory and Practice of Dodge Diesel Truck Repair for Strongly Heteronormative Men.
In most candidate study locations, there will be a million small distractions that, when compounded, will significantly diminish your focus. Do not waste your mental oomph on small blinking lights on the back of an HP Elitebook’s NIC, loud IT managers, people walking in your field of view, etc. It is so important to find somewhere with very few audiovisual distractions, where you know you can be productive.
Instead of taking the first seat in the library that comes into view, you ought to find the single canonically best place to study, and then study there every single time.