Places to study for finals abound

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No matter how you look at it, studying is not the most fun thing in the world. There are more enjoyable things you could be doing — reading the Collegian, for example. Still, it doesn’t have to be drudgery.

A major way to make studying more pleasant is to study somewhere other than your own room. Holing up in a small room in the residence halls or an apartment building gets claustrophobic after a while — even, dare I say, downright depressing.

To fix this issue, here’s a list of some of the best places in town to hunker over those books and get it done.

Aggieville Radina’s

This hotspot is only two blocks from the southeast edge of campus and is always buzzing with a college crowd.

Erinn Goddard, junior in family studies and human services, said she takes all of her classes online, so she does most of her homework at Radina’s “just to get out. There’s a lot of cool people that work here.”

The hum of soft music and coffeehouse chatter is the perfect backdrop to free wireless Internet. Add a caffeinated drink, and you could easily spend hours there.

Whenever you need a break, wander to look at the latest wall art and watch the aquarium fish chase each other.

Plus, Wednesday nights are music nights — a good time to hang out with friends while getting just enough homework done to feel satisfied with yourself.

Bluestem Bistro

Bluestem Bistro provides a slightly less pricey and less upscale environment than its competitor while still offering a wide range of drinks and free wireless Internet.

“Blustem’s pretty small and cozy; it’s just a good atmosphere,” Goddard said.

The Bistro often hosts music shows of local bands Friday nights, but you have to check its Facebook page to stay in the know.

The best time to study at the Bistro is Tuesday mornings because that’s when floods of children come in for music and story time with comical barista Steven Keck, senior in psychology.

It is impossible to hate whatever you’re doing when 20 children are singing and dancing in the room next to you.

As you look up to try to remember what is on your study guide, you will watch tons of happy faces with tiny hands, and all of the answers will magically come to you — if they don’t, you won’t mind.

Panera Bread

Feeling classy and chilly? Panera is the perfect place to feel distinguished while slurping hot soup — I recommend the cheddar broccoli.

There are usually less             traditional-aged college students and more people in their upper 20s and 30s there, which can actually be a nice change of scenery.

The walls have lovely seasonal pieces, so if you like the shades of autumn, you’ll feel right at home in the midst of Panera’s toasty color scheme.

Do be aware that the restaurant closes at 9 p.m.

Friends’ houses

Friends’ houses are nice places to study because you can hang out with people without any of them being strangers and without having to wear anything fashionable.

Also, it’s a restful opportunity to spend extended time without feeling like you have to do anything exciting or have really deep conversations.

Put on a pot of tea, your comfy pants, wordless music (I recommend Yann Tiersen or Red Garland) and your favorite knee socks. With a friend next to you on the sofa, the challenges of college homework and studying are not so bad after all.

Final Notes

All of the locations listed have free wireless Internet. The Radina’s I speak of is located at 616 North Manhattan Ave. Bluestem makes its coffee at 1219 Moro St. Panera cooks up that soup at 315 Southwind Place, near Target, and friends’ houses are ideally located near yours.

Don’t be afraid to bundle up in your softest scarf and go someplace new. You just might find your new favorite spot to study.

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