Should You Be a Coffee Shop Studier?
Pros and Cons of Studying in a Coffee Shop
You’ve seen them, you’ve talked to them–but are you one of them? I’m talking about those people at the local coffee shop, who have their laptop computers and perhaps a textbook or two, along with their notebook and pen. I’m talking about the coffee shop studier. This is the person who, rather than going to the library or staying at home or in the dorm, they head to Starbucks or some other coffee shop to fill their brain with the material from their classes.
Studying at coffee houses is all the rage these days. But is it smart?
Tips for Coffee Shop Studying
- Choose the right coffee shop Look for a coffee shop that is quiet, well-lit, and has comfortable seating. Avoid coffee shops that are too noisy or busy, as they can be distracting.
- Plan ahead and get organized Make sure you have all the materials you need before you leave.
- Manage distractions Bring headphones and listen to music or white noise to help block out external distractions. You can also use apps that block distracting websites or limit the amount of time you spend on them.
- Be respectful Remember that you are in a public place and be respectful of those around you. Keep your voice down, clean up after yourself, and be mindful of others’ space and privacy.
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Why Study in a Coffee Shop?
Let’s look at the main reasons why people take their studies to the coffee house, and then offer our own pros and cons for your study skills. Here are a few good reasons to study in a coffee shop:
- It’s a quiet, calm environment, similar to what you’d find at a library.But at a library, you’ll sometimes run into friends and spend time visiting with them. That happens less often at a coffee shop.
- For some people, a drink and a snack help them with the study process, and they’re readily available at a coffee shop. Again, this isn’t usually the case at the library (although some libraries are now experimenting with offering beverages).
- Speaking of beverages, studying and caffeine go together like peanut butter and jelly. And you can’t find a better source of caffeine than your local coffee house.
- If you WANT to study with friends, it’s easier to do so at a coffee house than at the library, because there are usually couches for groups, and there’s no librarian “shushing” you when you start talking.
- And finally, more and more coffee houses have outside sitting–perfect for when the weather is nice and you’d prefer to be studying outside.
Coffee Shop Studying is Good for Some People – Others – Not so Much
1. Most people need a quiet place to study, and so a library or coffee shop – either one will work for this purpose.
2. However, libraries usually limit the amount of time you can be on the Internet. Generally, coffee houses do not, so if you need more online time, the coffee shop is the better choice.
3. On the other hand, if you need an all-day study session, the folks at the library are less likely to mind you staying around without paying than the people at Starbucks. So if you can’t afford to keep buying items but need to study all day, a library is a better choice than a coffee shop.
4. Finally, if you need absolute silence, go to the library. If you need more freedom to talk to people, such as your “study buddies,” a coffee house works better.
Get the Most out of Coffee-House Study Sessions:
- Go at times when it’s not likely to be as busy. It’s no fun getting there at the breakfast or lunch rush only to find that there’s no table available.
- If you’re with a group, head for the couch, if they have one. You can squeeze more of your friends there than at one of those tiny tables. Plus it’s more comfortable for those long study sessions.
- Don’t spend any more time on the Internet than necessary. It’s too easy to be distracted by email, instant messages, and random surfing. First, do as much study without the Internet as possible, saving the online work for last.
- Finally, remember to buy something at least every couple of hours. This way, the staff who work there won’t get irritated that you’re taking up space, and you won’t be made to feel awkward.
According to studies, certain creative tasks, like brainstorming, troubleshooting, design, have a better improvement at a cafe. But those tasks with intense focus and linear kind of precision are better suited for quiet silent study spaces. I think the ambient noise and buzz does have a psychological effect to enhance certain study tasks.
Sometimes I really like coffee shops – thanks!