Best Study Spots On and Off Campus

By Sami Fischer

Coming into college, I was amazed by how much free time and flexibility I had. However, as an engineering student, I soon discovered that “free time” often meant “study time.” Before I discovered my favorite study spots, I couldn’t figure out where I worked best or how to motivate myself, and that made my workload seemed daunting. Now, I actually look forward to my study sessions. 

In this post, I will review some of my favorite spots to study in Fort Collins, on-campus and off, and discuss how they’ve helped me stay motivated and find balance in my life as a full-time engineering student.  I will begin by reviewing my favorite spots most central to campus and slowly radiate outwards to places that require a short bike ride or bit of a drive.

On-Campus Locations

Morgan Library

Morgan Library

 

Morgan Library is a go-to study spot for students across campus. Open from 7am to midnight on weekdays, it’s the perfect place to meet with a study group or work individually in silence. The upper floors are equipped with large tables that seat several people, as well as whiteboards and dry erase markers. Before an important exam I often meet with friends in the library to work through sample problems on the whiteboards or quiz each other on concepts. You can also reserve study rooms, but act fast, because private study rooms fill up quickly during finals week! They also offer technology checkout if you forgot a charger or need to borrow a laptop. If you need a pick-me-up during your study session (I know I always do), head over to Morgan’s Grind, a coffee shop located near the library’s entrance that features specialty drinks and food items.

Scott Bioengineering

 A large portion of the work you’ll be doing as an engineer requires a computer, so it’s always nice to find a study spot equipped with a printer, power outlets, and even desktops available for use. The Scott Bioengineering Building has all those things and more. On each of the three floors you’ll find study rooms with tables and white boards that are great collaborative spaces. Additionally, floors two and three have computer labs with desktops that you can log into with your CSU engineering ID and password. I often come here between classes, when I need to print something, or even late at night when my eyes are tired of looking at my small laptop screen and I need a change in environment.

The Oval

With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Colorado is a great place to live if you love to be outside! Luckily, CSU’s campus boasts some beautiful outdoor sunny spaces. My personal favorite is the Oval, located on the east side of campus. Fun Fact: you can access the university’s Wi-Fi from anywhere on the Oval! Bring a picnic blanket, your textbook, and some highlighters so you can soak up the sun while getting your work done!

Honorable Mentions (On-Campus)

Even if you never leave campus, you’ll never be at a loss for places to study. In addition to the spots previously mentioned, a would recommend venturing to places on campus you wouldn’t normally go. For example, I love to grab a coffee from Sweet Temptations and head to the top floor of the Behavioral Science Building (BSB), or I’ll venture inside the Warner College of Natural Resources building, which boasts a live indoor tree and “living wall!” The Lory Student Center is also a popular place for studying due to its central location on campus and offerings of technology checkout, reservable study rooms, coffee shops, and a food court!

Off-Campus Locations

Mugs

Mugs Coffee Lounge has two easily accessible locations: Mugs on the Oval is just across the street from campus, and Mugs in Old Town is a short bike ride away. Bring your own mug for a discount, and don’t forget to try their breakfast burritos, made fresh in-house.

 

Alleycat Coffee House

Out of all the coffee shops mentioned thus far, Alleycat is by far the most eclectic. As the name suggests, this café is located in an alleyway accessible from Laurel Street just across campus. If you’re not a big fan of coffee, Alleycat boasts an extensive tea selection. If you find yourself stressed about midterms or finals and plan on staying up late, Alleycat is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Everyday Joe's Coffee House

One of my personal favorite coffee shops in town is Everyday Joe’s. Its website describes it as not only a coffee shop, but “a sanctuary, a living room, an art gallery, a workspace, and event venue, a community space, a gathering space…” and more. It has a beautiful open-concept arrangement with brick walls, string lights, and even a stage for live music. This unique spot is run entirely by volunteers who greet you with a friendly welcome the moment you walk through the double doors. It’s closed to the public on Sundays, but oftentimes is still buzzing with Church gatherings, wedding celebrations, or live music.

Sami with a cup of coffee
On this cozy fall day, I decided to bring my coffee outside and take a brain break from the homework and enjoy the beautiful fall colors! The camping travel mug I'm holding I actually won from Mugs in a giveaway! If you bring in this mug, you get any drip coffee for only $1 - my favorite is their Jazzy Java!
Bindle baristas are professional latte artists!

Bindle Coffee

If you’re picky about your coffee and only settle for the very best, I would recommend checking out Bindle. It’s about a 10-15 minute drive from campus, located on Prospect and Timberline, but it’s worth the trip. The atmosphere inside the shop is very cozy due to small size of the shop and the barn-like construction. Plus the latte art is on-point (see photo). In the same shopping center, you’ll find other local favorites including the Farmhouse restaurant and Josh & John’s Ice Cream, and even a seasonal flower truck!

Honorable Mentions (Off-Campus)

If you know Fort Collins well, you will never be at a loss of places to study. There are a multitude of options beyond what I could possibly review in this blog, but it wouldn’t feel complete without a few other honorable mentions for off-campus spots. Momo Lolo is a student favorite, located across the street from campus. Grab a “Campus Cash” coupon book from the Lory Student Center or download the Hooked App for deals! Bean Cycle, located in Old Town, is bicycle-themed coffee shop that shows how biking is a way of life in Fort Collins; plus, it is a vendor for a collection of local small businesses! When I want to get away from the hustle and bustle, I make the trip to a little gem called Howling Cow Café. This little shop, located in Bellvue, a small town about 15-20 minutes northwest of campus, is on the Property of Morning Fresh Dairy, which produces Noosa Yogurt!

Morning Fresh Dairy's property is BEAUTIFUL!
Hard at work at Momo Lolo's
If you like frothy lattes, your milk won't get any fresher than this! Howling Cow cafe is right at the source. They also have wonderful chocolate milk and even root beer milk!

Final Words

Of all my study tips, I believe the most important one is finding the environment in which you study best. For me, these stops have become like a second home, and I always look forward to arriving at my favorite coffee shop, chatting with the friendly baristas, ordering my “usual” (for those of you wondering, it’s an oat milk latte with honey and cinnamon ), and getting down to the “grind” (pun intended) with my schoolwork. I hope this list of suggestions helps you find “your place” too. Happy studying! 

Sami with Cam the Ram

Author: Sami Fischer

Sami is in her 4th and final year at CSU studying civil engineering and is originally from Centennial, CO. In her free time she loves hiking, rock climbing, and spending time with friends, but you’ll most likely find her at one of her favorite coffee shops in Fort Collins working on her engineering assignments.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the engineering ambassador team at explore@engr.colostate.edu