Locking myself up in a cage at Memorial to study for that next midterm is my last resort. Sometimes the brutally long hours in a library are necessary for an upcoming midterm or final, but other than that, coffee shops can make studying a much more pleasant experience. Here are some of my personal favorite alternative study spots slightly off campus that make studying a little more tolerable. These coffee shops will welcome all Badgers with cute study spaces and energizing drinks. 

1. Colectivo

Melissa Simon

The trendy atmosphere and the view overlooking State Street makes those brutal 10-page papers more manageable. If you like being surrounded by other college students, and you won't get distracted by the busyness (tip: headphones can help drown out the noise), Colectivo is the place for you. You may not notice it unless you walk through to the back, but there's a calmer study area upstairs as well.

If you're craving something sweet, energizing, and filling, I highly recommend the Espresso Shake to tide you over. Not a coffee person? The Veggie Pesto Burrito or the smoothies are also a great snack to help you power through your work.

2. Starbucks 

Melissa Simon

With the new Starbucks renovation, there's plenty of tables to study at, both downstairs and upstairs. While the downstairs area is a little hectic with the constant long line of customers, the upstairs study space is much more relaxing and less crowded. Order yourself a usual and connect to the free WiFi to get your work done efficiently. 

3. Espresso Royale

Melissa Simon

Espresso Royale has two locations (Upper and Lower). The Lower State Street location is closer to campus and is super convenient if you're planning on studying in between classes. However, Upper (near the Capitol) is there if you're looking for a quieter and more spacious study place. No matter which location I head to, my order is always a vanilla latte.

4. Portage Pi 

Although it's not necessarily a coffee shop, Portage Pi is a unique place to study. It's a super cute cafe at the Graduate Madison that sells pies, breakfast sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and of course, coffee. The paintings on the red walls and the decorations around the cafe give off kid-friendly and serene vibes, helping to reduce any stress built up from adulting too much. 

Portage Pi is not normally crowded, which makes it easier to focus on your work. If you live on Langdon, it's a convenient place to go, especially when it's snowing outside and you're too lazy to walk any further. 

Libraries don't have to be the only study spot option. The chill coffee shop vibes can create a less stressful atmosphere. The easy access to food and drinks can help you focus more, and it also prevents you from wasting time to leave the library when you get hungry. And be sure to try every one on the list to find your go-to.