The life of a student is a constant spiral of stress, overeating, and crying in unison while overthinking simple tasks. At Oxford, some students like to sit in the silence of the Bodleian libraries (where some Harry Potter scenes were filmed!) to get their work done.

But, if you're anything like me, and the silence just produces more overthinking and stress, then the list below is for you. I've compiled my top picks of coffee shops in central Oxford that have delicious snacks and a cheerful work environment, and that are no more than a 10 minute walk away from most colleges.

1. Jericho Coffee Traders

Marie Chantal Marauta

Despite the tiny space, Jericho is one of the most comfortable spots in the city to sit down, have a warm cup of coffee, and crank out that 2500-word essay you have due in just under 24 hours. The cozy bustle of the minuscule café will make you feel right at home, and the animated rustle of people chatting (and stressing, no doubt) will reassure you that you are not alone.

Oh, and their warm, buttered crumpets: 10/10 would recommend. 

2. Handlebar Cafe

Marie Chantal Marauta

One of Oxford's quintessential holes in the wall, Handlebar is a hidden café situated above a bike shop in a more obscure alley.

Their jasmine tea and their substantially-piled avocado toast (among many other things) provide yummy study fuel, and the café's cheerful environment, twinkling fairy lights, and abundance of sunlight from all sides make it a great place to take a breather, eat some yummy food, and get the power needed to push forward with your work. 

3. Turl Street Kitchen

Just a three-minute walk from the Radcliffe Camera, Turl Street Kitchen is ideal for those who need a break from the library's intensity (or, for some, its environment of extreme flirtation).

This café usually isn't insanely busy, so you can sit down at one of their numerous large tables, spread out your books, notes and laptop, and munch on one of their delicious homemade pastries as you suffer through your existential crises. 

4. George Street Social 

Marie Chantal Marauta

Another iconic Oxford staple, George Street Social's colorful exterior and punny notice boards are sure to calm your nerves right away.

Once inside, you can enjoy calming tea or pungent coffee, as well as breakfast dishes at all times of the day. Bask in the happiness of friend groups laughing around you, or drown out people's voices until they become background noise - the lively soundtrack to your study jam.

5. Waterstones 

Marie Chantal Marauta

Situated on the third floor of the iconic W bookstore, Waterstones Café provides deliciously-brewed caffeine (with dairy-free options!) and plenty of natural sunlight.

Sit down at one of their window tables and use your study breaks to people-watch those wandering up and down George Street; otherwise, close your laptop for a few minutes and lose yourself amongst the shelves of books at your disposal. 

6. Cafe Loco

Marie Chantal Marauta

Home to the best scones I've ever eaten (not an exaggeration), Café Loco gets its name from the Alice and Wonderland character the Mad Hatter.

This is the only café on this list that doesn't have wifi, so it's the ideal place to go if you need to detach from any form of internet and just crack on with your reading and problem sets. The café's silent environment makes it easy to study, and their friendly staff are sure to calm your stressed nerves. 

Writing this article has made me extremely hungry (tbh, when am I not hungry?). I need food but I also need to finish my essay for tomorrow, and so I'll be off to discover new cafés to further study and eat my stress away. 

For more Oxford-related articles, check out the following:

- What to Do and Eat When You're in Oxford

- Oxford Column: Dining Like Harry Potter

- I Ate My Way Through Oxford and London, and Here are the Highlights