The Benefits of Studying in a Coffee Shop

With exams fast approaching, there may be some science behind a caffeinated study session

Cleveland State University Students and other Clevelanders enjoying their time in Café Ah-Roma. Photo by Bobby Scott

As hard as it is to believe, finals are right around the corner. This is the time of the semester where the panic, anxiety, and stress start to settle in with exams looming over every student. It can be daunting to find the right study habits, the right study methods, and even the right environments to crank out the last page of that essay you’ve been putting off all week. 

With the development of online classes, campus libraries and study lounges have been replaced with coffee shops. Go into any coffee shop on campus or any coffee shop near a campus and you will find someone sitting with laptop open and their favorite caffeinated beverage next to them. But why coffee shops?

Emma Smallwood, sophomore English major, has her own theory after working at a coffee shop for nearly a year.

“I think coffee shops provide a break from the traditional library or dorm room. Especially a break from the busy life of college and downtown,” she said.

Smallwood works at Stone Fruit, an eco-friendly coffee shop in downtown Cleveland, just west of Cleveland State University.

“Students from Case Western have studied at Stone Fruit before. It definitely builds a sense of community between students.”

Coffee shops also often have natural lighting which has been proven to promote a more relaxing, productive environment. Natural sunlight boosts vitamin C storage, which has been known to combat depression and anxiety, according to North Carolina State University.

Besides the obvious proximity to endless amounts of caffeine, pastries, and sandwiches, a study by the University of Illinois confirms that individuals’ creativity flows easier in an environment that rests at 70 decibels, which so happens to be similar to the rhythm of a coffee shop. Caffeine can also improve retention, problem solving skills, and memory.

Think about stopping by one of the local coffee shops on campus during your exams! Oanest, Joe Maxx, and Café Ah-Roma are all favorites for students.

Entrance to Café Ah-Roma across the street from Cleveland State University. Photo by Stephen Swidarski

Sydney Egger, a junior at CSU majoring in business management with a theater minor, is an employee at Café Ah- Roma. She was able to provide me some hindsight on why she thinks coffee shops are so popular for studying.

“I think studying at a coffee shop is so popular because it takes you out if your usual study place such as your apartment or dorm where there’s less distractions from roommates, TV, food, etc. I know personally when I’m studying at a coffee shop I get so much more done in a quicker amount of time than I do at home,” she shared.

She goes on to describe the Café Ah-Roma’s environment:

“I would describe the environment at Café Ah-Roma as very classic and chill. We play orchestral scores of music specifically to minimize the distraction that other music can cause because we know it’s a very popular study place.”

“While it can get loud during lunch hours when we have a rush, it’s generally a very respectful and quiet environment to allow students to really focus.”

Whether it’s at the comfort of your homes or out at a small café, a cup of coffee if the perfect start for successful studying!

Author: Faith Patton

Cleveland State University English Literature and Creative Writing