Judging by how hard it is to find space at my favorite coffee shop — and by the number of Buzzfeed links flooding my Facebook feed — it looks like the last week of classes has finally arrived. Finals are coming up, and it's time to get down to business.
Your working environment can make or break that paper or exam. It's important to find a space that works for you: to figure out whether you need silence or sound, brain food or soul food, a study group or a solo setup. Libraries and coffee shops are always common places to hang out around this time of year, but they aren't for everyone. Here are a handful of places to check out as you find your end-of-semester study niche.
Amazingly enough, grocery stores can be a great place to get work done. Around lunch time, the newly-remodeled Whole Foods on Baseline is always buzzing with Boulderites looking to score some good eats from the salad bar. The energy from the crowd might get your creative juices flowing, and the awesome selection of delicious snacks will keep you fueled as you power through the last papers of the year. On the north side of campus, Alfalfa's has a similarly sweet setup for getting your study on. Their dining room has wifi, and you can get your caffeine fix at their in-store coffee shop.
We all know breakfast for dinner is pretty much the best thing in the world, so why not get your study on at a 24-hour breakfast spot? IHOP on 28th Street has wifi, and their staff is pretty helpful about seating you at a table with an outlet. I'm obsessed with their blueberry pancakes, and — no offense to the normal kind — they have turkey bacon. Denny's on Baseline gets a little bit questionable after midnight, but they have cheap food, wifi and a never-ending flow of coffee to keep you going through that all-nighter. But if you're gonna park it for a long time, make sure you tip well.
Aside from the whole quiet thing, studying in the library can be helpful because you're surrounded by knowledge. Or something like that. Don't get me wrong, libraries are great, but there are some other places to almost-via-osmosis soak up some skills — museums. The BioLounge in the basement of CU's Natural History Museum has awesome-weird displays of taxidermied animals, on top of plenty of places to sit and crank out some projects. Plus, they have free coffee and tea. Score.
Between finals, graduation and scrambling to find a summer job, this time of year can be stressful. Building a solid work environment will get you on track to kicking this week's ass. Study on, Buffs.
Jess Ryan is a community manager and CU grad. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan.