Studying: the most dreaded aspect of college. It’s easy to avoid until it’s not, and then it’s even more stressful when it’s the night before your exam and you finally decide to go to the library, only to get an overwhelming feeling of wanting to die upon entering.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but libraries have never really been my scene. During times when I’m most stressed, such as midterms, finals or just falling behind on life (which is the majority of the time if we’re being realistic), the vibes of libraries, their overcrowded-ness and their overall atmosphere only add to the problem.

During high school, I developed a habit of going to the Starbucks right across the street from my school to do homework after school got out before I had to go to work. Although it was mostly to kill time, I never appreciated how much work I got done there and the surprising sense of relaxation it brought me.

Fast-forward to college and discovering my hatred of libraries, I recalled this productivity and began studying at coffee shops all over Gainesville. Since then, I’ve never gotten more done and felt less stressed, all while somehow enjoying my study sessions.

So, I’ve set out to convert you to a coffee-shop-studier by sharing my experience of studying at three of my favorites.

Day 1: Karma Cream

beer, wine, coffee
Savannah Phillips

You will find me studying at Karma Cream at least twice a week. Its old location was my OG place from my start at UF, and I have followed the coffee shop to its new location, which I like even better.

I use food and coffee to motivate my studying so that's a given plus of studying at any coffee shop, but Karma Cream's options are especially motivating. Its coffee is amazing, it has ice cream (enough said), and it has healthy vegan snacks. I'm not vegan, but eating something good for your body while studying definitely gives you some brain power.  

Libraries are dark, dreary and depressing, but Karma Cream's natural lighting provides uplifting vibes that make studying less miserable. If all those reasons weren't enough to convince you, it has punch cards, aka motivation to buy more coffee and ice cream to get free coffee and ice cream. This basically translates to the ultimate study motivation.

Day 2: Patticakes

beer, coffee
Savannah Phillips

Patticakes is a coffee/cupcake shop that I've kept as my little secret for a while, but maybe it's time to share it with the world. The two locations, one downtown and one about 6 miles outside of campus in Haile Village Center, both offer a sense of seclusiveness. The one farther from campus obviously won't have as many students there since it's a bit of drive, but the one downtown is usually pretty empty and quiet as well.

In addition to always being able to find a spot, I love the outdoor seating at Patticakes. Being outside is another great study motivator. Just like the natural lighting at Karma Cream, feeling the sun on your skin while studying makes it somewhat enjoyable.

Oh yeah, and Patticakes has gourmet cupcakes in addition to some quality coffee. Now, that's a dynamic duo of study snacks.

Day 3: Maude's Café

beer, tea, coffee
Savannah Phillips

Maude's is my newest coffee shop discovery. The choice of inside or outside seating both offer different perks. The outside area gives some good vibes off with string lights. However, I like the coziness of the inside. Multiple large booths (perfect for sharing with friends) are inside with always-necessary outlets on each.

Maude's also has a menu featuring more than just coffee and snacks. With sandwiches, salads and even quesadillas, you can camp out at this café all day. You can't use the excuse of ending your studying to get a meal this time.

If you need a study break, however, there are an abundance of board games to play with your study date(s). I can't think of anything more lighthearted to do during a time of stress like those dreaded finals.