You’re staring at your to-do list and are overwhelmed by the number of tasks you have to complete by the end of the week: a paper for your English class, a presentation for history, a large assignment in math, and a big exam to study for in science. 


You’re ready to buckle down and get to work, but you want to ensure you’re making the most of your study time, and you’re not sure what the best environment is to maximize your time and productivity. 


Should you go to the library? 


Maybe the coffee shop? 


You have a lot of options, or at least you did.


With the pandemic pausing in-person teaching and coffee shops closed, students worldwide are trying to figure out what to do about studying.


Some might say that studying from home is the answer, but what if the student’s home is too distracting or even too comfortable?


Coffee shops and libraries have been a staple for the average college student for years, and now that the two are stripped away from them, students are looking for the next best option.


That begs the question, with coffee shops closed, where will students go to study?


Why Did Students Go to Coffee Shops to Study in the First Place?


The most significant benefit of studying in a coffee shop should be obvious: proximity to caffeine.

While not everyone is a coffee junkie, coffee shops offer various caffeinated beverages to help you stay awake and focused. One scientific study found that 200 milligrams of caffeine (about the amount in a large coffee at any coffee shop) improves problem-solving skills and memory. It also helps the brain identify specific phrases or words faster. 


If you’re not a coffee nut, there are also teas and other non-coffee drinks, as well as healthy snacks, to keep you focused on your work rather than your rumbling tummy and sleepy eyes.


Related: The History of Illy Coffee: Part One

The environment in a coffee shop is also a big benefit—usually.

Ambient sound can be great to help you concentrate, and some studies have even shown that environments like this can help boost your creativity! Many people go to coffee shops to work and study, and the atmosphere is most likely to encourage you to stay focused on your tasks since everyone else is doing precisely that. 

There is also some camaraderie amongst those who study at coffee shops regularly. You can encourage other people to keep pressing forward, and they may enable you to stay focused and complete your assignments.


Studying at a coffee shop has fewer distractions.


Even though people are coming in and out the door and talking around you while you’re at a coffee shop, your home, and familiar surroundings can be more distracting. You don’t need to throw a load of laundry in or let the dog out, and you don’t need to clean up the kitchen table or climb in your bed to take a nap. When you’re at a coffee shop, it’s just you, your computer, your books, and a cup of caffeine.


If you’ve been studying for an upcoming exam or if you’ve been working on a particular paper or assignment for days, it can be refreshing and beneficial to change your atmosphere. If you’ve been at home in your room or working in the library, sometimes getting out into the world can do wonders for your mind and your productivity. If you haven’t socialized in a few days, a coffee shop may be a welcome treat for you to have some human interaction as well.


Coffee shops are also an excellent place for a study group to meet. 


You’re not going to get shushed as you would in a library, but you can all get your liquid focus and charge forward in conquering the topic at hand. There is also the power of the group collective. A study group can improve memorization, and the united brainpower allows students to see the answer from a different perspective.


Why Are Coffee Shops Changing?

Related: 5 Major Changes You’ll See at Starbucks Moving Forward


Related: Say Goodbye to Your Local Coffee Shop in America’s Cafe 


Related: The Buzz: Updates on coming businesses, plus a few COVID-related changes


With Coffee Shops Closed, is The Library a Better Option?


While the library is a quieter option in terms of studying, most students face the problem that the library can also be closed depending on the city’s guidelines. Our CEO and founder, Don Mastrangelo, states, “The biggest challenge with libraries is availability. While the world is slowly opening up, I highly doubt that a government building such as a library would allow any kind of indoor gatherings.” 


Depending on the location and what level of opening the location is in, libraries are not open for students to go to, and if they are, the hours are most likely limited.


The public library is out of the equation when finals season is among students.


Dead week and finals are the time when most students stay up long hours to cram in as much information as they can before the big test. While a library might be the conventional option for students, the current pandemic says otherwise. The limited hours can disrupt the student’s rhythm when they have to pack all of their belongings and continue studying at a different location.


Related: If Co-Working Spaces are Devastated During COVID What’s Next? 


Parlay Café to the Rescue


Parlay Café has the best of both worlds. A coffee shop on one hand and a safe space to study in the other. Our Members Lounge fills the gap between the coffee shop and the co-working space.


Don states, “Our concept has always been geared toward providing a “haven” for those who need to get away from the home office environment, pamper themselves a bit, and possibly meet a classmate, co-worker, or client for a group project or just plain old human interaction.” 


In the wake of COVID-19, our concept is even more critical. We have made the necessary changes to the Members Lounge to provide even more spacing, sanitation, and separation.


Students are feeling the effects of the pandemic first hand. The universities are closed, coffee shops have closed their seating areas, and students miss out on one of the most significant factors in their college careers – human interaction.


At Parlay Café, we are making sure that students have a space where they can escape their home desks, enjoy a cup of coffee, and embrace social distancing while keeping the human connection alive.


If you are a student or know someone who is a student, we encourage you to check us out! Parlay Café is now offering half-priced day passes for students. 


A day pass to our Members Lounge usually is $20, but students showing a valid and current student ID can get a pass for half price $10.


If the idea of escaping your at-home desk excites you, contact us today!


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