A Guide to Cozy, but Efficient, Studying

Never underestimate the power of getting out of both your dorm room and the library to study. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to fully immerse yourself in your work.

With colder weather right around the corner, making the trek from a comfy dorm room to Olin Library can seem pretty daunting. Sometimes it’s not even the weather, but just a need for a change of pace. Luckily, there are a lot of underrated study spots on campus that people totally forget about. Soon, you’ll realize that WashU has so many unique spots where you can curl up and be productive.

Still, it’s important to know yourself and be able to pick what works for you. I thought I was a library studier. I’m specializing in literature and philosophy within my major and am constantly surrounded by books. So, it would seem like a no-brainer. Except that I apparently like going to the library to browse and pick up new titles, but not so much to get stuff done. It turns out, I’m a much bigger fan of studying alone but in a louder environment.

For me, the atmosphere of Bauer Hall, Cafe Bergson, and Holmes’ Lounge are my go-to spots on campus for getting stuff done on a day to day basis. However, if I really need peace and quiet, like while editing an important essay, opt for the East Asian Library or my room.

The way my schedule has shaken out this semester, I have Fridays off. It’s a magical gift from the universe and I find myself trying to figure out how I can make the most of that extra day each weekend. Usually, I use the time to get ahead on work since my truncated weeks are extra packed. Because I have the whole day though, I don’t have to stay on campus.

I always make the trek to Kayak’s Coffee right on Skinker. It is my favorite place in Clayton, and arguably in all of St. Louis. The atmosphere is amazing, the people are so nice, the coffee is great, and the snacks are tasty. (This is turning into a love letter to Kayak’s but I’m not bothered!) Overall, it’s just a perfect study spot if you like a walk in the fresh air before you hit the books and a steady supply of food and caffeine.

Other close options along these lines are Meshuggah Cafe and Blueprint Coffee on the Loop. Both have ample seating for work and feature coffee menus that will definitely keep you awake.

Ultimately, the best study spot is a very subjective concept. You just have to find out what works for you. Sometimes, it seems like a great idea to study with friends and be more collaborative. Other times, you might need to bring every textbook you own and stake out a desk in Olin in solitude. I’m happy to report that WashU’s campus and the surrounding area can easily cater to both.

Happy fall and happy studying!