Get out of your room, stay away from Starbucks and go study


Here is a heads up to any and all students—there is a world outside of your room and Starbucks during exam week. Finding an effective study location is essential if you want to have a productive review session. For some, a bedroom may be sufficient, but for the majority of us who love to procrastinate and who have the attention span of a fruit fly, a study session becomes more of a Facebook-stalking session. The next step for several others is to resort to a nearby Starbucks in hopes of getting something done, but after you grab that overpriced frappuccino of yours, you will be just as distracted in the noisy, busy atmosphere of Starbucks as you were in your room.

With all of the AP exams, E.O.C.T.s and finals just around the corner, the overwhelming sensation of panic that accompanies these major tests may frustrate you to the point where you just throw your books out the window and use them to start a fire. Or you could at least try to study, get all your books together and read half a page in your notes before you get distracted by Instagram or a game of 2048. There is a third option, so simple yet so effective: study somewhere else. Mind blown? I thought so.

Check out these 10 locations in the Alpharetta-Johns Creek area that can give a new life to your study sessions.

  1. The lake in the neighborhood behind our senior parking lot: This small, secluded lake has a picnic table and some benches that provide a relaxing and functional place for studying. You can soak in some sun and enjoy a peaceful view while reading those notes.
  2. Webb Bridge or Ocee Park: These parks have benches, picnic areas and grassy areas that are an ideal setting for studying outside. If it’s not a Saturday morning, the baseball fields are most likely empty and you can lay down a blanket and study on the field.
  3. The Forum: If you focus better in areas with more activity, check out the various areas that are available to anyone at The Forum. For those of you who still want some of that Starbucks, you can feel some shame for a moment before going to the one in Barnes and Noble, but don’t linger there after you get your coffee and go back outside to avoid all of the distractions that come with studying in Starbucks or Barnes and Noble (you will suddenly realize you want to read all the books if you stay). You can also easily stop by any restaurant or café to grab a quick bite to eat or to a store for some retail therapy once you’re done studying.
  4. A neighborhood club house: Most pools haven’t opened yet, so the clubhouses are relatively empty. Study in the gazebo or the playground to stay far away from good Wi-Fi connection for your laptop but close enough that you can walk home if you need something.
  5. Collet French Pastry and Café: This cute café is hidden on the corner of Haynes Bridge Road and Old Milton Parkway, and they have some of the most authentic and delicious French desserts ever.  Their cappuccinos are to die for, and their various light lunches and tasty pastries are all sold at a reasonable price. It’s quiet and secluded enough that the only thing that could be distracting you is the macaroons calling your name.
  6. Panera Bread: Distractions are fewer at Panera Bread than at Starbucks. The restaurant is spacious and has different sections of seating that if you choose an isolated spot, you can enjoy a delicious panini and still maintain focus.
  7. Library:  I know it sounds cliché, but hey, if you don’t have any self-control, you can’t do much harm in a library. Leave your laptop at home to avoid the ever-tempting interwebs. Furthermore, the librarians do not even let you talk or pick up a phone call, so the strict rules will keep you disciplined in your studies.
  8. Caribou Coffee: If you still want to be that cool kid who studies at a coffee shop, Caribou Coffee has the optimal conditions; their coffee is just as great as Starbucks coffee, a tad bit cheaper, and the shop is not as crowded.
  9. Your roof: Warning: do not try this if your roof  is not flat. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s death because he or she fell off a roof. The roof can be ideal if you want to stay home, but cannot be productive in your bedroom. If you don’t have a flat roof, you can try your deck or patio.
  10. Any bookstore that is not Barnes and Noble: I’m not trying to hate on Barnes and Noble, it just is not a suitable location for studying. There are countless of other bookstores that tend to fly under the radar, such as Read It Again. Read It Again is a local bookstore, and they offer free coffee. Although they do not have as many seats as Barnes and Noble, if you score a seat, you are good to go. “The atmosphere at these smaller bookstores maintains the balance between calm and crowded. While there are still other people there not studying, it still feels calm and quiet enough that you can focus. At Barnes and Noble, there is always the obnoxious sound of the blender going off every few minutes,” explains Amar Adam (SR).

After all of these extraneous exams, you can take all your papers and books and burn them for a bonfire. If you want to get fancy, roast some marshmallows over it and enjoy the delicious taste of warm, melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows and the end of a long year.


(cover photo courtesy


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