Where to Study When You’re Sick of the Library

The time to spend hours studying for finals is quickly approaching. Most students hunker down at their desk or at the library for hours every day. But in your room it’s so easy to get distracted by all the other more enjoyable things you could be doing, or your roommates coming in and out. And it can get really monotonous to spend hours in the same boring library surrounded by a hundred other stressed out college students and the smell of procrastinated essays. Sometimes, especially when it’s getting warmer out, it can be really refreshing to get a little change in scenery while you do your work. So here’s a list of some places in the Boston area that will add something new and different to your studying routine.

The Boston Common/Public Garden or the Charles River Esplanade


If you’re an Emerson student the Common and Gardens are hardly more of a treck than the library. And when it finally gets warm they, especially the gardens, are a beautiful place to sit on the grass and read, or even bring your computer because they have “Wicked Free” WiFi. The Esplanade is more of an adventure, but the view of the Charles is absolutely worth it, and the calming sound of the river is the perfect background noise for studying.

The Boston Public Library (BPL)


(Photo by Deirdre Murray)

Yes, it’s still a library. But it’s a big, beautiful library. And in addition to the rooms full of tables it has a little courtyard. So if you’re in it for the long hall, you can spend a few hours inside and a few hours outside to change things up and make you feel less like you’re dying inside. The BPL is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is right across from the Copley T Station on the Green Line.

George Washington’s Tree



So maybe it wasn’t actually George Washington’s tree, but he did supposedly start the continental army under it. Now if that doesn’t inspire you to study some American History, I don’t know what will. This tree is in Harvard Square/Cambridge Common, and you’ll be able to find it by looking for the large, stone plaque next to it. It’s the perfect place to sit and contemplate how much history we are surrounded by everyday while you hit the books. And when you get an “A,” you can thank our founding fathers for your college success (and your freedom.)

Secret Garden on Top of a Parking Garage


Having a fun adventure like traveling to a secret garden will take your mind right off how exhausted you are. This garden is on top of 4 Cambridge Center Parking garage in Kendall Square. It is very close to the Kendall T stop, and it says Kendall Garden Rooftop Garden on the outside. It is a beautiful, little garden with lots of benches and picnic tables. It ‘s the perfect secluded place to have a study date with a friend and look out over Cambridge.

Coffee Shops, Ice Cream Shops, or Restaurants


(Photo courtesy of www.dgrubs.com)

Coffee shops are essentially another version of a library. They are a great place to go when the sterile quietness of the library starts to freak you out and there are a few great ones nearby like such as the Thinking Cup and Boston Common Coffee Co. which have great coffee, but unfortunately no wifi. However, Jaho Coffee and Tea and Caffe Nero both have free wifi! The Thinking Cup and Caffe Nero are both pretty small and can get crowded so you might have trouble getting a nice spot, but Jaho and BoCoCo are both very spacious and not nearly as crowded. And if you want to try a little something different, JP Licks has free wifi and incredible ice cream. Just be careful about the temptation to stress eat. Trident Booksellers and Cafe is a great bookstore with a large restaurant attached if you need actual sustenance while you study and they also have free wifi.

All of these lovely locations are great places to grab a coffee or pack a picnic lunch. You may even have such a nice day that you almost forget you’re studying!

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