Staff Picks: Unconventional study spots


Sarah Cutshall | Visual Editor

Colony Cafe, located downtown, allows you to study in the same room as adoptable cats.

By The Pitt News Staff

On the culture desk here at The Pitt News, we know how hard finals week is. Once a semester, everyone at Pitt suddenly rediscovers the library and Hillman is filled with people cramming for finals, cramming for mobile charging blocks and — most importantly — cramming for space. Here are our recommendations for the best spots to study that no one else will think of.

In your bed // Siddhi Shockey, Senior Staff Writer

Study breaks are an essential part of preparing for finals. Whether it’s grabbing a bite to eat, taking a walk around Schenley Plaza, or having a good cry on the fourth floor of Hillman, we all need to take a break to recuperate before going back to the grind. So why not give yourself an endless study break? 

Studying in bed offers numerous amenities for the struggling college student. Not only are you only three seconds away from finding the perfect position for a four-hour nap, you also have ample pillows to scream into when you get that physics problem wrong for the 15th time. Plus, you can feel free to cry in the privacy of your own room, guiltlessly order endless food on Grubhub and cram before that Monday 8 a.m. final. You’re sure to ace your exams and get those full eight hours of sleep!

A dining hall // Sinead McDevitt, Staff Writer

You ever think to yourself that you have to finish this paragraph or review this concept one more time before you get something to eat, then look up at the clock and decide it’s too late to go to the dining hall? Why not cut out the middle-man and just study there? It’s always better to study on a full stomach anyway, so just park yourself in either the Perch or Market Central, grab something to eat and get to work. You’ll have to bring your headphones to drown out the chatter of other people, and you have to get there early to avoid the crowds, but you can stay there for as long as you want. As a bonus, you can get both lunch and dinner on a single meal swipe. It can be good when you’re stuck to take a deep breath, stand up and walk around a bit to grab something to nibble on as you work your way through.

Colony Cafe // Elizabeth Donnelly, Senior Staff Writer

Does studying make you sad? We all need a little bit of emotional support at times, and finals season is a prominent one. Yes, there are a couple therapy dogs scattered around campus, but nothing beats an entire room full of cuddly cats. For just $20, you can book a three-hour session at Colony Cafe called “Co-Working with Cats.” This option is available on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Three hours is a perfect chunk of study time — not too short but not long enough to the point where you feel like you’re losing it. If you’re someone who likes to take study breaks, this is the purrfect place to do your work. If you’re overwhelmed with material or need to momentarily stop working for your own sanity, there are several cats that would love to comfort you.

Not only does Colony have a cat loft, but they offer free Wi-Fi and also serve food and drinks, which is great if you snack while studying. Their menu consists of items like wraps and melts and they have a variety of coffees, teas and sodas that can give you a boost of energy. All their food is prepared in the cafe (which is free to work in, FYI) but you are allowed to take it to the loft — just be sure you watch it closely because the cats can be sneaky. Colony Cafe is a top choice study spot because it has all the essentials — food, free Wi-Fi, caffeine and cats.

The gym // Shahum Ajmal, Senior Staff Writer

It may be finals week, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your workout routine completely. Exercise is not only a positive outlet for the stress you may be going through, but can boost cognitive function and memory retention. Take the phrase “I’m grinding” and combine that with both the activity of studying and working out.

As the health gurus of Pitt retreat to cliche study spots on campus, such as Hillman Library, the facilities at the gym will be clearer. Need a break between reviewing lecture sides on the elliptical or treadmill? Transfer to the bench press — perfect for a quick nap or a few reps to get you going again. Review one key concept during every rep you take on the machine fly or pulldown. Take a plunge in Tree’s pool and recite lecture slides between laps. Practice yoga to make sure the information you think you know sticks with you. 

The gym also allows you to get ahead of your quickly approaching New Year’s resolution, where you tell yourself “I’m going to work out more this year.” Prove it to yourself, by acing your finals and getting swole before the New Year. So throw out the “I can’t work out, I have to study” excuse — make your way up Cardiac Hill and get grinding.

KBOX // Thomas Wick, Senior Staff Writer

The hardest part about studying for finals week is that there are students everywhere, which means it’s a lot harder to find a quiet place to study in. Or at least that’s what most students think. You see I’m under the theory that loudness equals smartness, after all — don’t people speak louder when they want to seem smart? 

If that’s the case why not rent out your own Karaoke room at KBOX Karaoke House on Winthrop Street and South Craig Street? This might be a little pricey but once you and your friends split the price, it shouldn’t be too bad. Sure, you could always just stay on the ground floor of Hillman and listen to the sound of students clamoring for coffee and flipping through mountains of textbooks, but it’s so much better for you and your friends to rent out your own private room and make it as loud as you could possibly want! Plus who needs coffee when you can simply buy a nice alcoholic beverage instead! I GUARANTEE THAT YOU’LL MEMORIZE ALL THE INFORMATION A LOT FASTER AND TOTALLY GET AN A ON THAT PAPER!