Top 10 alternative study venues

Jillian Bliss

Final exams are on their way, and sometimes the Perry-Castañeda Library can seem overcrowded. Daily Texan Staffers have compiled a list of alternative study spots both on and off campus.

1. Flightpath Coffee House: At the corner of 51st and Duval streets, Flightpath offers a creative atmosphere to the North Campus area. The venue opens at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. on weekends and closes at 11 p.m. seven days week. Sip on coffee or study break beers while working at one of the shop’s retro tables in an environment with just enough hustle and bustle but still “guaranteed to be a quiet place to come and study,” according to Flightpath’s website.

2. Life Science Library: Located on the second floor of the Main Building, one may feel as if they have walked into Hogwarts upon first entering. With grand, woodcut ceilings in the library’s first room, study rooms encased in the same carved wood and kingdom crests set upon the marble-edged walls, it is easy to get lost in the center’s architecture. One reading room features the history of Texas inscribed on the ceiling beams, while the other showcases inspirational quotes from famous books and authors. Computers, couches and larger tables provide study options from 8 a.m. until midnight Monday through Thursday or until 6 p.m. on Friday. The library opens at 1 p.m. on weekends, closing at 5 p.m. Saturdays and open Sunday until midnight.

3. Starbucks on 24th Street: Located in West Campus, the traditional Starbucks store is housed in a non-traditional building next door to a house featured in Richard Linklater’s 1991 film “Slacker.” One may feel as if they are sipping their favorite holiday flavor while in New Orleans, as the architecture simulates that found in the Big Easy. The store opens at 6 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends and closes at midnight seven days a week.

4. Architecture Library: Follow the winding marble staircase to the second floor of Battle Hall and step into a reading room designed to encourage insight. The Architecture Library, built of big limestone blocks, inspires exam-cramming students through a design reminiscent of the Alamo. The entryway, encased in wooden carvings, is also decked for the holidays this time of year. Library hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m to 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday from noon until 6 p.m. and 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Sunday.

5. Bennu Coffee: Open 24 hours Monday through Friday, this East Austin coffee shop was designed to give a comfortable feel necessary to support an all-nighter. Munch on baked goods or dine on real meals from local vendors, such as salad, pizza and tacos while cramming for a next-day exam. Upon arrival, be sure to find a table quickly, as the venue becomes busy during finals.

6. Peter T. Flawn Academic Center: Students sick of waiting in line at commercial coffee shops do not have to go anywhere to order their caffeine boost from Briggo. With ordering made possible by mobile phone or online, lines are short at the Briggo kiosk in the Flawn Academic Center. The equivalent of a coffee vending machine, Briggo works without baristas and prepares five different selections. One can pick up their drink, stick around and study at the FAC, open 6 a.m. until midnight Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

7. Classics Lounge: Located on the ground floor of Waggener Hall, the Classics Lounge features distinct wooden tables mimicking an executive meeting area surrounded by cases of classical artifacts depicting Greek and Roman culture. Coffee and snacks are available in the lounge, although students consuming them are encouraged to give a personal monetary donation. Hours of operation for the Classics Lounge coincide with Waggener Hall hours.

8. Study Rooms: Study rooms can conveniently be found everywhere — in both on- and off-campus dormitories, certain academic buildings, sorority and fraternity houses and student housing complexes. Though they vary in size, availability and amenities, those using them are encouraged to respect the space, time and desired noise level to a greater degree than when hanging out at a friend’s apartment.

9. At the park: With traditionally hot Texas weather, it’s usually not too cold to study outside, even in December. The Adams Hemphill Park located on 30th Street offers shade trees to rest against, walking trails for those who need a break from the books and bountiful green space to set up an entire outdoor study lounge.

10. Go Home: Students who live within state and have the time may find it easier to get things done in the company of family, away from the noise and distractions of campus life. Some may find their parents respect their study habits much more than their friends or that their old room provides more solitude than a dorm room.

Printed on Thursday, December 1, 2011 as: Coffee houses, campus libraries fall among best places to study for finals