Where to Study: the Off-Campus Guide
As a college town, State College has all of the amenities needed for a change of pace during final exam studying. While campus provides outlets for library research, computer labs, and quiet study spots, if you are anything like me, an intimate coffee shop is the best place to pour over notes and write papers.
The following five establishments are a few of the best downtown study spots:
- Irvings Cafe: Irvings rests at #1 due to a combination of high quality food, coffee, and atmosphere in addition to free wi-fi. What places Irvings above Saints and others is the spacious two floors that are perfect for group meetings and review sessions. An enourmous menu allows a student to stay in one place without having to pack up and get dinner elsewhere.
- Saints Cafe: With superb coffee and excellent ambiance, Saints Cafe is a close second. A bustling atmosphere is great for individual or two-person studying but group work is nearly impossible, given the small tables.
- Dunkin’ Donuts. Donuts, and arguably the best non-local business coffee, are a huge selling point. Tasty and inexpensive breakfast sandwiches are available 24-hours per day. Dunkin’ is always open and a great place to go late at night.
- Panera Bread. Panera is a go-to for solid food and spacious study areas. It’s fine for meetings, but is usually the loudest and busiest of the five establishments.
- Starbucks. The hipster version of Dunkin’ Donuts is on this list because the shop has become so associated with intellectual coffee drinking that it is the first place that pops into everyone’s mind. Starbucks falls to fifth place due to the loud, overcrowded stores, average coffee, and steep prices.
- Some places you might not have considered… To my surprise, I have been told by my older co-workers that students frequent bars to study. For example, Eli Glazier recommends Zeno’s during off-peak hours as it provides a nice place for paper writing. Additionally, Jamaica Junction and Chronic Town are excellent, though perhaps unorthodox, locations for studying.