It is more of a personal preference between matte/glossy. Glossy has more clear and vivid picture, but if there is light pointed directly at the screen it will be tough to read what is on the screen. As for matte, well, the picture is less sharp (IMHO) but if light behind you will not really affect you.
I'm also a student and I've found that the best combination is glossy(truelife) screen that has a dim backlight and I like when resolution is huge (letters small, so less eye movement). For example:
- Insipiron 9400 17' Truelife WUXGA LCD with modded inverter (chip that controls brightness level). Inverter I'm using is from a different LCD and it significantly lowered brightness level of the screen, making it is easier on my eyes.
- Acer Aspire One. I put on lowest backlight, in graphic settings put on lowest brightness and highest contract (picture becomes way more dimm) and I use it like that.
I have also found that wearing sunglasses (especially if you are using laptop in poorly lit conditions) also helps.