Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog



Off The OPP-Cleared Path: The Best Off-Campus Study Spots

While some students are on the brink of madness trying to prepare for finals week, others face a spacial problem. If you can’t find a good spot on campus to study, where else can you go?

Have no fear, you aspiring, erudite scholars — we have what you need. Here are some of the best off-campus study spots for when you’re looking for a quiet place — both well-known staples and hidden gems. 


While it might become a madhouse as finals week draws ever closer, Irving’s is just too good of a spot to pass up. Lots of seating upstairs and in the basement, plus the easy access to food and drinks make this cafe a classic study zone. Just try not to fall asleep in the comfortable couches and chairs downstairs.

Abba Java

With free coffee, food, and WiFi, it’s hard to beat Abba Java, a student-reserved space located inside St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. There are plenty of other places in the St. Paul’s basement to stretch your legs, as well. If you’re looking for a friendly, quiet place to get some cramming done, look no further. 

Five Guys

I know this might seem like a weird choice, but hear me out. With ample seating space, Five Guys has plenty of room to spread out and relax. Ambiance from the kitchen and the scent of fries wafting across your laptop might be relaxing, and odds are, you’ll be the only one in there with a book open. 

Chronic Town

If you’re looking for a mellow study environment, Chronic Town is the place to go. Flipping through records or playing a game of pinball make for a perfect study break, late hours make it possible to burn the midnight oil without the temptation of falling asleep, and there’s plenty of coffee and snacks available for empty stomachs or heavy eyelids. It’s also smoking friendly, meaning you can enjoy a hearty shot of nicotine while deep into your econ notes if that’s your style. 

Schlow Centre Region Library

While it might get busy along with some other places on this list, Schlow makes up for any possible crowding with its size and variety. There are plenty of places to sit, and its inherent quietness make it a peaceful place to hit the books. Plus, you won’t feel pressured to buy anything while you’re here.  


A groovy little joint just down the way from Canyon, Webster’s gives students in need of a place to descend into finals week-induced madness somewhere to cozy up. With good music playing on the sound system and plenty of food and beverage options, Webster’s gives you that coffee shop feel without being in your face about it. 

Saint’s Cafe

Another casual coffee shop, what Saint’s might lack in elbow room, it certainly makes up in atmosphere. Good food and good coffee alongside quality decor provide a calming backdrop to the inner torment you experience while studying psych notes. It’s only open until 6 p.m. on weekdays, but for those in need of somewhere to study during the day, Saint’s is perfect.

What’s your go-to downtown study spot? Let us know in the comments!

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Matt Paolizzi

Since graduating from Penn State in 2021, Matt is (hopefully) manning a successful job and (hopefully) living a happy life by now. In a past life, he was a writer for Onward State and remains a proud alumnus of the best student publication in the country. Check out Podward State too, Onward State's official podcast, that he co-founded alongside Matt Ogden and Mitch Stewart in 2019. It's his baby, give it a wave and make sure it's doing okay. Thanks to da king Sam Brungo and everyone who follows, it most definitely is.

‘We Just Kept Chipping Away At Them’: Penn State Football Finding Offensive Groove

The Nittany Lions have thrived off short-gain plays and taking advantage of what opponents give them.

Penn State Canon Events

From almost getting hit by a CATA bus to leaving your winter coat at home, we compiled a list of Penn State canon events.

Designing Snapchat Geofilters For Locations Around Campus

Why should a campus this big only have a few geofilters?

Follow on Another Platform
Other posts by Matt

Happiness Is Easy: Matt Paolizzi’s Senior Column

“Mark Hollis once sang, ‘Happiness is easy.’ It’s never easy, but man, it certainly seems more achievable for me nowadays. All you need are people you love.”

Student-Run Clothing Brand JERPA Jeans Ready For Its Close-Up

Podward State: Season 3, Episode 7