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Norlin Library might be an obvious choice, but for good reason. There are plenty of study spots, and if you set up near the Laughing Goat, you might even luck across a free drink.
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Norlin Library might be an obvious choice, but for good reason. There are plenty of study spots, and if you set up near the Laughing Goat, you might even luck across a free drink.

Studying in a dorm room never works. Thankfully, CU Boulder’s campus has plenty of options for those who’d like a change of scenery or peace and quiet while slaving away over a massive textbook.

The best spots boast access to life-giving coffee or inspiration to keep going — or better yet, both. Look no further than these spots for environments that will motivate, inspire and caffeinate you so you can keep going during midterms and finals.

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Anastasia Hanson, left, and Helena North, study and have lunch at Kittredge.

Kittredge Central

This spot has it all. Sit on a bench by nearby Kittredge Pond and take meditation breaks when a study-induced panic attack hits. Find a quiet spot in one of the dorm’s study areas when an afternoon rainstorm hits or when you start considering ditching your books to go hike in the sunshine. Take a stroll over to Kittredge Market to refuel on the greatest study tool of all: snacks. You’ll have almost everything you need, except the right answers for the test.

Norlin Commons by Laughing Goat

It’s easy to get a little crazy during the school year with events, parties and Colorado adventures. But all those things can drain your wallet. If you’re suffering from lack of funds as well as lack of caffeine, you’ll want to set up camp near the Laughing Goat at Norlin Commons. The longer you stay, the more likely you are to get a free drink. Whether it be from a messed up drink order, someone dashing out for a forgotten final before picking up their chai or a barista taking pity on you for rendering your biology notes unreadable with your own tears, the magical words of “free coffee!” will ring through the busy library spot when you need it most.

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Skye Niles reads outside Norlin Library on a warm day.

Howard B. Waltz Music Library

If you’re the type of person who needs some noise to keep focus, the Howard B. Waltz Music Library is the study spot for you. It’s packed with 55,000 sound recordings from various musical styles, so your ears will never get bored. There are books and periodicals for when you’re at the end of your rope reading about medieval history and need something to refresh you. It’s also right next to Farrand Field, for the times when you need to run out and scream into the void.

Pekoe Sip House

If coffee and tea are not enough for your sophisticated college student tastes, Pekoe Sip House, found in the ATLAS building, could be right up your alley. Beyond the usual cafe fare, it also offers boba tea and blended drinks. Its bright space and motivational playlists create the perfect setting for slogging through math equations and literary texts alike. If things go awry with your work, simply inhale the balls of tapioca at the bottom of your drink to take your mind off things for a moment.

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Camp out on a couch in the lobby of the new Center for Academic Success & Engagement, or check out the terraces on the top floor.

Center for Academic Success and Engagement

This fairly new building offers a calm environment for studying. There are study spots sprinkled throughout the center and two bonus terraces on the top floor for when you need some vitamin D to revive you. Its central location and proximity to the food in the University Memorial Center are an added bonus.

For the ‘directionally challenged,’ bookmark this map

The University of Colorado Boulder’s updated campus map contains more than “you are here, that is there” now.

In addition to displaying where buildings are on campus, the map shows things such as wheelchair-accessible sidewalks, construction zones, ATMs, food options and transportation zones.

For example, if users can’t find their way to an engineering building, the map provides a photo and description of what the person is looking for along with a button for shareable walking, biking and driving directions.

The layers of the map — which include Main Campus, East Campus, Williams Village and the Center for Innovation and Creativity — can be easily updated to accommodate a growing campus or even specific needs like a self-guided tour or incident maps during campus emergencies.


Madeline St. Amour: