If it’s not too cold on campus, you might find that you get some of your best finals studying done outside.
As a college student, I’m always looking for a quiet place to study and to do homework assignments, especially during finals season. Although I’ve found some of the stereotypical study places to be a bit stifling, there are places beyond the library or student union that deserve your consideration next time you venture out to find the perfect study spot. Without further delay, here are my favorite study spots that are on or neighbor most college campuses:
1. Your favorite local coffee or bagel shop
Personally, my favorite is Bruegger’s. Perhaps it’s the memories of going there before high school for breakfast. Maybe it’s the aromatic hazelnut that tastes even better than it smells or maybe it’s the fact that — at least at the Ohio State location — it has free refills. Also, something important to note is that its coffee prices are a good 30 cents cheaper than Starbucks’, so you’re saving money on the coffee you’ll likely be drinking anyway. With great food and a relaxing atmosphere, Bruegger’s easily glided to the top of my list.
2. Barnes & Noble
I happened to stumble upon the Starbucks inside Barnes & Noble by accident. I was going to purchase a new OSU hat for the winter months before, coincidentally, going to Starbucks to work on some homework. But then I saw the Starbucks inside Barnes & Noble and realized I could just stay there. Before I knew it, I had my laptop out and was quite productive. The shop has a similar feel and comfort of the stand-alone Starbucks, but it’s rarely crowded and tends to be far less noisy.
I find studying outside — in appropriate weather, of course — to be ideal for catching up on any reading or writing I may have to do. While I don’t think that I’d be as focused if I were preparing for a midterm or final, I find myself happiest when I’m doing my reading assignments in the great outdoors. I find few things more enjoyable than reading a book in a serene setting immersed in nature. At Ohio State, Mirror Lake is this perfect refuge for me, almost hidden by its surrounding trees. A few benches are spread out around the outer rim as well as a grass field on its west side. I love it, so I would recommend that you find your college’s equivalent.
4. Local museums
This is a long shot, and I realize that I am fortunate to have the wonderful Wexner Center for the Arts located a short walk from my dorm and on OSU’s campus. However, it has a wonderful cafe and is one of the quietest places I’ve come across since arriving on campus. Also, just being in the presence of art or artifacts is tranquil in itself. If I need to totally cut myself off from the outside world for a while, I look no further than my friendly neighborhood art museum.
5. Dorm room
If you’re looking for a study spot that has the feeling of home, look no further than your own bedroom. That is, if you can avoid the many distractions there. Xbox, television and Netflix can all get in the way of a student trying to study. However, if you are disciplined enough to focus, the dorm is great. Personally, I find my dorm room better for writing papers (when I need music or some sort of background noise) compared to reading assignments (where I need dead silence). If you can master the power of the dorm though, it can absolutely be an effective work environment.
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