Best Places to Study for Finals

Fellow students!  The time is upon us!  We now enter what is somewhat forebodingly known as “dead week” (I believe this moniker comes from a time when there wasn’t much going on or due the week before finals…a time this student currently yearns for) and, like it or not, it’s time to show your classes what you’re made of. For some reason, time seems to move faster at the end of the semester, making the task of preparing for those dreaded finals even more stressful.  I think we can all agree that what we need right now is a place to go to feel BOSS and get our studying done.  I know of such a place.  In fact, places.  Here is a list of a few of the best spots to go for inspiration, quiet, caffeine, connection … or whatever combination you need to take your studying from ordinary to extraordinary.


City Brew

While any coffee shop is a standard spot for studying, City Brew locations seem to have a knack for providing comfortable study areas and plenty of electrical outlets without being overwhelmingly, and distractingly, busy.  There are several locations to choose from, but one anonymous source says the Brooks Street location is the best.


Zootown Brew

This newly redesigned coffee shop, located on Broadway across from the FedEx store, has fantastic atmosphere and tons of room for studying.  While the upstairs area provides a more traditional coffee shop vibe, downstairs offers a more serious environment that is perfect for studying in groups OR zoning out and studying alone.  Plus the staff is friendly and helpful.


Payne Family Native American Center

Staying on campus during cold weather is definitely convenient, so head over to the PFNAC and grab a spot on the second floor.  The huge windows will give you plenty to look at for inspiration, and the architecture has a way of helping you think outside the box.  There is also a great student lounge with vending machines and couches that are great for a more relaxed study session.


Mansfield Library

This might seem like a no brainer, but as a student who spends almost NO time in the library during the semester, I find the more traditional, old school feel of the library helps to shake up my study habits.  With five floors to choose from, there is no shortage of places to dig in and get a lot of work done.


UC Tech Lounge & Third Floor

The first floor of the UC may be a bit too distracting for many people, so I highly recommend heading up to the Tech Lounge on the second floor or anywhere on the third floor.  There are plenty of couches and empty conference rooms that provide solitude throughout the day.  Make sure to check the posted schedules to see what rooms are reserved before claiming one.


Empty Classrooms

At any given moment, no matter what building you may be in, there are probably a number of empty classrooms available to study in.  While this might be a strange suggestion to some, I recommend studying for tests in classrooms because it simulates the test-taking experience and may even help reduce test anxiety.  Lucky socks don’t hurt either.


Davidson Honors College

No matter what your program of study, and whether or not you are a member of the DHC, its study area is … how do I say this best … the BOMB.  Be aware, however, that it’s just as easy to take a cozy nap in the study area as it is to read 150 pages of a textbook.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!


…and for those all-nighters…

Sometimes you just can’t avoid a long – scratch that – VERY long night of studying.  It’s not a great way to get ready for a test, but if it absolutely can’t be avoided, it’s best to do it right and head to a 24-hour diner that will keep the coffee and food coming as long as it takes.  Denny’s and Perkins are two popular choices.

This list is by no means meant to be exhaustive.  Did I miss any of YOUR favorites?  Leave a comment below!