Staring blankly at the same aisles of old books, dirty chairs, and caffeine-wielding, dead-eyed students isn't the ideal way to spend your Friday night. Yes, it's that time of the semester: midterm season (or if you're a fellow woman in STEM, just another week where you may have 2 or 3 exams back to back). Strictly for research purposes, I visited all 5 spots in 1 particularly stressful week of exams. When the 24-hour section of the library just isn't cutting it, you can visit one of the 5 places below for a new spot to spice up your study routine.
*I know things can be difficult now with classes being made online and many people leaving campus, but I hope that once things get back to normal, you can enjoy these places and integrate them into your study routine!
1.Ultreya Coffee and Tea
Conveniently located right off campus on College Ave., Ultreya is perfect for a quick study sesh in between classes. Their chia pudding with peanut butter and granola is a great healthy lunch option. I love how it is so open and has a lot of natural light coming in to keep me awake when I get tempted to take a nap.
Pros: reliable wifi, easy parking, specialty drinks, friendly baristas, lots of milk substitutes
Cons: small space so it can get crowded easily
Recommendation: Summit Fever (cold brew, tupelo honey, macadamia nut milk)
2.Living Room Cafe
Truly one of the best places to work late at night, this cafe is open every day from 6:00AM-1:00AM. Originally a house, it got converted into a coffee shop but kept its original design layout. Their tiramisu is *chef’s kiss* god-tier, and they serve an extensive variety of drinks. It has a cozy atmosphere and always makes me feel motivated to be productive because everyone is usually college students trying to do their homework. They also have a water spout shaped like a fish that never fails to make me smile.
Pros: cheap refills, lots of outlets, indoor and outdoor seating, dog friendly, kombucha on tap
Cons: can get very busy during exam season (for good reason), food items can be a bit expensive
Recommendation: blonde white mocha
3.EIS outdoor patio
An under appreciated part of campus, the outdoor patio of the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Studies building is a perfect place to relax between classes when you don't necessarily have enough time to go drive somewhere to study. It also has a BCB coffee shop, so you can get caffeinated and stay focused. There is also a very nice study room right next door with walls you can write on so you can draw out all the giant organic chemistry functional groups that you have to memorize for your next exam.
Pros: on campus, beautiful architecture, nice study rooms
Cons: not a lot of tables, can get crowded when classes get out
Recommendations: BCB iced chai tea with vanilla, dulce de leche, Village sandwich (hummus, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, sprouts, avocado)
If you’re looking for some real scenery to soften the pain of studying for an impending exam, the beach is your
best bet. Only 12 miles from campus,Windansea Beach is the perfect getaway from your typical study grind in the Love Library. We are so lucky to be able to go to the beach year round in San Diego. Grab your towel, some dinner for a picnic, and motivation to focus on your microbiology homework.
Pros: easy parking, puppies at the beach, relaxing waves
Cons: 20-30 minute drive, might be hard to study when you’re distracted by how insanely beautiful the beach is
Recommendation: leave before 4:00 or after 6:30 if you don’t want to get caught in traffic
The turtle pond is one of my favorite study spots on campus. It is centrally located so you can stop by pretty easily. Sit close to the pond to sneak a peek of the turtles and koi fish, or sit higher up the hill on the grass for a comfy study session. Hang your hammocks, put your sunglasses on, and get studying.
Pros: getting in touch with ~nature~, absorbing the sunlight and venturing outside the ~130 sq.ft. that is your dorm room, and some 11/10 dog watching opportunities
Cons: can get kinda sunny sometimes so bring a pair of sunglasses just in case.
Recommendation: There is a free weekly meditation done by Delta Beta Tau (another club on campus) held at the turtle pond every Wednesday at 8:00PM open to everyone!
If there's anything I learned from becoming a hermit my freshman year of college, it's that it is so important to change up your scenery and get outside, especially when you're studying. Let me know if you try out any of these spots!
Keep killing those midterms!