Finals have arrived and with it study days. The nice thing about finals, compared to midterms is that we are much freer without the obligations of classes, this event and that performance. Everything outside of the two hours of the actual exam is free. What this does is give students a great opportunity to
procrastinate break the bubble and go off campus to study.
Don’t get me wrong, from Lau to Sellinger Lounge, from the basement classroom caves of the ICC (no signal means no distractions!) to the nice break out rooms of the MSB, the Hilltop has no shortage of study spaces. But whether it is crappy internet, not enough seats, or no easy access to coffee and food, every study spot has its downfall.
And sometimes a Hoya just needs a complete change of scenery, and to see some people who are not other Hoyas or tourists or groups of prospective students and their families. Of course you could go to just about any Starbucks in D.C., park your book bag and study, but studying off campus can also be a great opportunity to explore D.C.’s different neighborhoods. So for all those Hoyas who need to get off campus but have too much work to get off campus for fun, here’s a list of some great off campus study spots.
Ching Ching Cha on Wisconsin
Disregard the slightly racist name for a second, this place has a peaceful ambience and quality refillable tea. Unlike normal cafes, this teahouse is bright and actually has tables that can fit more than just your laptop. The only warning about this place is that, they do get a significant amount of people come the weekend, so if you’re planning on spending hours here, try to do so on a weekday.
Panera in Dupont
Panera is great not only because it has food and drink and pastries (yes, pastries are in their own category), but also because its basement is quiet and cozy with a wide array of table sizes for the I-need-my-stuff-everywhere student sprawler and the I-just-need-a-book studier. It also has Wi-Fi that moves faster than the speed of a snail (yes, I’m looking at you Starbucks on M st).
Barnes and Noble in Clarendon
Yes, this is technically just another Starbucks, but it’s a Starbucks in a bookstore! The difference here is that there is less of the noise and traffic a usual Starbucks offers with the added bonus of them serving more real food and Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes.
mmmm that’s what I call motivation
Chinatown Coffee Co. in Chinatown
This café is trendy and definitely the place to go if you’re the type of person who needs good coffee to study. They are just what you would expect of an independent coffee house: decent amount of seating, available outlets and chill-not-too-distracting music.
Sankofa Bookstore and Café in Columbia Heights
This place looks wicked cool, but I’ll be honest I haven’t been here (yet). The yelp reviews rave not only about the great coffee and food but also about how there are lots of tables and good WiFi that doesn’t drop…like ever. The bonus at Sankofa is that they’re also a full bar which means that if you’ve been working on your final paper all day until you can’t tell the difference between a period and a comma in word, you can treat yourself right away.
As always, the key to successfully studying off campus is getting there early so you can find a spot and settle for the day. Unlike Lau, a good study spot won’t have internet that frequently drops and provides food and drink to replenish your energies after some serious studying.
Other places to consider: Soho Tea & Coffee, Tryst, Northside Social Coffee & Wine