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Davis, California

Sunday, March 3, 2024

‘Tis the season for finals

We are arriving upon the week that everyone dreads: finals week, also known as seven days of perpetual studying. Luckily, Davis provides various places to go, whether you like background noise or silence.

Most people know the usual spots, such as Peter J. Shields Library, ASUCD Coffee House, King Lounge and Griffin Lounge. There are also the less populated spots like Wellman and Olson and even the Activities and Recreational Center, which offers extra study space in the meeting rooms during finals.

But it’s time to look past campus for something a little bit less cliché than studying in a lecture hall or lounge. Some UC Davis students have gotten a bit more creative with their study spots and have found places that are more conveniently located and more unique.

Coffeehouses are a very popular place for students to plop down for a few hours, sip a coffee and cram for their next exam.

Starbucks and Peet’s are two of the more obvious places to go, mainly because they are so common that either chain can be easily found wherever you live in Davis. They provide a consistent atmosphere no matter which you go to, and they both offer free Wi-Fi to customers.

“I work well in an environment where there is stuff going on around me but I can still focus. I like background noise,” said first-year psychology major Adrienne Mullonax. “It kind of helped being away from the dorms in a different environment.”

Mullonax studied at Peet’s for the first time and said that she would recommend it to people because it offered the ultimate study space, with ample table space, food and an overall welcoming feel.

Mishka’s Cafe, located at 610 Second St., is another extremely popular spot in Davis, complete with free Wi-Fi. Mishka’s is an example of a coffeehouse that provides a study space with plenty of noise, a factor that some people see as ideal for studying, such as senior chemistry major Bilal Latif.

“I like studying in loud environments and I like the environment in [Mishka’s] the best,” Latif said.

Latif also said the location is convenient but that he has to drive by and check if there are too many people to use the area to study because Mishka’s is often crowded.

Senior communication major Julia Zucker and senior psychology major Amy Tinsley have tried studying in various coffeehouses in Davis, each having their own favorite, but both agreed that Mishka’s was not one of them because it’s so cramped.

Zucker preferred the smaller, quainter environment of Cloud Forest Cafe, located at 222 D St.; note, though, that the Wi-Fi at this location has a loosely-enforced two-hour user limit. After being used to studying at home, she said that being in the cafe removed many of her usual distractions.

“[Cloud Forest Cafe] is a really good place especially because the food is healthy and it’s very cozy,” Zucker said. “At home I get distracted by chores or socializing with my roommates and the friends they bring over.”

Tinsley said she preferred her experience at Delta of Venus, located at 122 B St., mainly due to the music volume, as she prefers not to listen to music while studying. Tinsley used to study in Shields Library but found it to be too dull for her study habits, so she sacrificed the silence for the atmosphere of a coffeehouse.

“I get really bored,” Tinsley said. “I like being able to get up and get coffee and look outside the window. At Shields, there’s not a lot to look at.”

On a similar note, sophomore undeclared major Ryan Alcazar said he usually goes to Shields to study as well; however, the Davis Pubic Library is located closer to his home, at 315 East 14th St. While the ambiance is not quite as welcoming, the library offers students various levels of noise, from moderate to silence (depending on the area in which one chooses to study in).

“I kind of like [the public library] better actually because it feels a little homier and a little more comfortable,” Alcazar said. “I have been here like three times but I like to switch it up every now and then.”

Coffeehouses, wherever they may be, constitute a large percentage of the best off-campus study spots for those that prefer environments with some hustle and bustle, however they are often very populated because of this unique environment they provide.

“I think cafes would be my top choice because they’re more comfortable and have that nice ambiance. But it’s just hard to find a spot and to find outlets,” Alcazar said.

While these are only a few places to go to get you out of the house, there are many others. Free Wi-Fi is offered in a great deal of venues in Davis, from cafes to restaurants and even places like the Amtrak station and the UC Davis Arboretum.

 DEVON BOHART can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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