As syllabus week winds down and the semester kicks into full swing, you may find that your assignments are beginning to pile up, and that you need a full day’s worth of unhampered productivity to feel like you’re not drowning. As you hunker down with your textbooks, laptop and caffeine drip, you may consider taking your studying off-campus for some much-needed change of scenery. 

Every good study session has a few common qualities — good lighting, access to light refreshments and some ambient noise that you can drown out with your study music. While everyone’s ideal study spot slightly differs, below are a few off-campus destinations that will hopefully both facilitate high quality work and exploration of the city of Atlanta.

Hodgepodge Coffeehouse

Janvi Pamnani, Senior Staff Writer

Located in East Atlanta, Hodgepodge Coffeehouse can be a pricey Uber from campus, but you can find a friend to split an UberPool and bring a full day’s work to maximize your time.

Hodgepodge Coffeehouse balances being both spacious and cozy. A cavernous warehouse adorned with string lights, the coffeehouse has one room with expansive tables — ideal for sprawling out with diagrams or flash cards — and another room with couches and cushions for curling up with cozy readings. Unlike other coffee shops in the city, Hodgepodge Coffeehouse has enough space for you and a friend to sit without your elbows dipping into someone else’s latte. Additionally, the menu features a standard coffee and espresso menu along with some other unique drinks, such as the “Slap Yo Pappy,” consisting of half cold brew concentrate and half Ghirardelli chocolate — the perfect treat to break up the monotony of dry textbook scanning. 

Georgia Tech Library

Maybe the first floor of Woodruff Library is full of chatty and potentially distracting students, and you’re still scarred from the last all-nighter you pulled in the stacks. However, you might still desire to surround yourself with hardworking students to feel productive. Jump on the free Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) shuttle, leaving from Woodruff Circle, and head to their library. Located centrally in Midtown, its wall-length windows allow you to take in the scenic Atlanta skyline, which can only be seen from the tenth floor of the Woodruff Library. 

Be mindful that the library’s visitor hours (8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends) are slightly more limited than they are for Georgia Tech students. However, if the late night cram is what you crave, expand your intercollegiate network and make a friend who might be able to sneak you in.

Piedmont Park

Caffeine isn’t all that can power you through a challenging organic chemistry problem set. Consider heading out to Atlanta’s landmark Piedmont Park for some good old grass and vitamin D. Before the autumn chill sets in, grab a picnic blanket and some snacks, and head to the home of Music Midtown and Atlanta Pride for some sunshine. Bring work you can do without a laptop to avoid pesky glare from the sunlight, or, better yet, bring your business communications group and plan your presentation together. After all, outdoor retreats are proven to promote collaboration within teams.

Taproom Coffee & Beer

Located in Edgewood, Taproom is one of several establishments that offers both beer and nitro coffee on tap — the former perfect for drafting some creative honors thesis writing, and the latter for meticulous editing of numerous essay pages. The industrial atmosphere of the Taproom is conducive to aggressive laptop typing, and the walls display works by local artists — apt for staring at and pondering during the inevitable moments of procrastination. The menu also features interesting items, such as the Nitro Hopsintea, a nonalcoholic hibiscus tea “cocktail” infused with hops. 

The downsides to Taproom include sparse seating, which can lead to cramped quarters, and louder-than-ideal conversations. The lights also dim come evening, making it slightly difficult to work on paper. Get there early with a pair of noise canceling headphones to beat the crowd, and save some of your more quiet assignments, such as readings, for the morning.

Conclusion

Emory’s campus, while idyllic and certainly academic, can feel monotonous after a week of classes. The best way to atone for an unproductive Friday night is to promise yourself to get through some assignments over the rest of the weekend, but staying on campus can make it easy to escape back to your residence hall for naps and Netflix binges. Hopefully this list provides some interesting settings for grinding season, as well as opportunities to simultaneously explore Atlanta.