With finals right around the corner, it can be virtually impossible to find an open table at the most popular spots around campus; everyone wants to snag a seat in the quiet rooms at College or the stacks in Memorial. However, finals week creates an opportunity to seek out the hidden gems on and around campus that provide the optimal study setting. As an added bonus, you get a change of scenery from the plain wooden tables and almost total silence that defines the environment in libraries.
The newly renovated Starbucks features multiple locations to serve one’s work neds. First, there’s the ground level. While it may get noisy and distracting at certain times throughout the day, headphones can help with cancelling out the surrounding noise. Alternatively, go here when doing an assignment that does not require too much concentration at once. However, the real gem is the upstairs study area. The indoor section features comfortable lounge chairs and high-top tables. On a warmer day, the outside deck is perfect for both enjoying the rare warmth in Madison and potentially doing some people watching, as the deck overlooks State Street. Above all else, being within a close proximity to coffee is vital during finals week.
Another State Street hotspot, Colectivo is particularly appealing when an aforementioned glimpse of warmth reaches Wisconsin. The outdoor tables are perfect for getting some Vitamin D in while being productive, however they tend to get crowded very quickly. Another option would be to sit inside to take in the warm and cozy aroma that takes over the inside of the shop. This will help you to relax during the most stressful time of year. Not only does this location meet the caffeine requirement, but it also has a variety of delicious food to keep one satiated for the entire day.
Memorial Union and the Terrace
On a sunny, 70 degree day, the Memorial Union Terrace is the place to be. If you are fortunate enough to find an unoccupied a table on the terrace, you will have the opportunity to study with a view of Lake Mendota and possibly get some ice cream as a study treat. In the case that every table is occupied, the inside of the union is perfect for studying with friends at one of the round booths, taking a quick break in the lounge chairs, or plugging in some headphones and tuning everyone out. For a more quiet space, the upstairs level may be more suitable for studying needs.