Imagine, it’s Monday afternoon, after a tiring day of classes, there are still hours of homework assignments needed to be checked off — but all seats in the undercaf are taken. Worst. Feeling. Ever. Well, fear not, because I interviewed some students to get insight to some of the best spots in the city and at school to get work done. Plus, a few study tips wouldn’t hurt, right?
As a second-year communication studies student, a personal favorite of mine is Karma Cafe. Open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Karma has lots of coffee and snack options to enjoy while working on an essay at their outdoor seating, which has been especially pleasant during this “San Francisco Summer.” They have a very friendly staff, they offer free printing services when you buy a drink, and they’re only a ten minute walk from campus on Hayes Street. Something that helps me stay organized throughout the semester is having a planner and using Google Calendar. I love being able to reach for something physical to write down my schedule and plan out my day, but I also love the convenience of checking my phone for my schedule when I don’t carry my agenda. Google Calendar also sends me alerts which is great on hectic days when I can lose sight of all of my responsibilities.
Third-year design major, Delaney Lumpkin, said her favorite spot to study on campus is Privett Plaza, located just outside of Lo Schiavo. “I like going there, especially on sunny days. It is usually a very relaxing and chill spot where I could finish my design drafts, and it is perfect for in between class study sessions,” she said. Privett Plaza has outdoor seating and benches, a native plant garden, a field that students can lay out on, and a small waterfall to elevate the ambiance. Her favorite off campus study spot is another popular San Francisco cafe, The Mill, located on Divisadero Street near the Painted Ladies. According to Lumpkin, the environment is very inviting and warm, and it’s a great spot to visit to get some reading in or to people watch. The Mill also has a couple of longer tables that seat multiple people if you are working with a group, and they’re open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. so you can hang out before and after class. As far as study tips, Lumpkin recommends having good headphones and music so that you can be in the right headspace to be productive and focused.
Amrit Kaur, a fourth-year marketing major, said her favorite on campus study spot is in Malloy Hall. “It has nice rooms and it is really private, if you get distracted very easily like I do,” she said. Kaur also said that Malloy has a quiet courtyard where she likes to read when the weather is nice and she needs some fresh air. Malloy Hall is on the main campus, connected to the Toler Residential Hall. For off campus study spots, she enjoys time at Peet’s Coffee on Fillmore, where they have free wifi, lots of seating, and outlets to plug in your laptop if you know you’ll be studying long hours. That location is open from 6 a.m to 6 p.m. Kaur likes the Fillmore location because there are several shops and bookstores she likes to go to after finishing her school work. For study tips, Kaur suggested handwriting notes. Even though typing on our laptops might be more convenient, she says she memorizes her lectures more easily when she physically writes them out.
As fall semester becomes more chaotic with endless deadlines and upcoming exams, why study in spaces that don’t help us focus or put us in a good mood? If you’re in search of a new go-to study location, try one of these ambient spots around campus or in the city and see what you think. Happy studying!