Four excellent places to study outside of school

Jason Mueller, Staff Reporter

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Let’s face it, our homes can be distracting. Between our siblings, pets, and electronics, finding the time and space to complete all of our assignments can be hard. Sometimes it seems impossible. However, if you can’t seem to focus or crank out work at home, there are a few really great options in our community for you to choose from. The following are four popular places to study in our beautiful little city.

1.) Panera

Panera Bread’s logo

Panera Bread’s logo (via Panera Bread).

Most of the students we interviewed placed Panera as their top pick when asked where they would study after school. This is largely because Panera is such a well rounded place. Have a group project due? Why not get a booth and bunker? In every booth, there is a large window providing superb natural light.  But if people-watching distracts you, it is easy to just pull down the shades and hit that textbook. 

Prefer to study alone? Not a problem. There are so many tables and comfy chairs for you to choose from. With both food and coffee, Panera is a great place to study for long periods of time, with a gas fireplace that helps set the mood for any type of studying.

2.) Starbucks

Image of a rustic Starbucks exterior sign

The Starbucks exterior sign (via Wikimedia).

This is one of the most cliche places to study, but for good reasons. Students prefer the Broadale location in particular, due to its proximity and design. This Starbucks offers much more seating and work spaces when compared to others in the area. In addition, there are a variety of tables, from smaller ones for reading, to larger ones for projects or other heavier work. In addition, there are comfy chairs and large windows in the front that provide natural lighting. This spot is excellent for the tired or reluctant studiers because coffee often serves as a great motivator. 

3.) Cherry Hill Park

A sign at the entrance of Cherry Hill Park.

The sign at the entrance of Cherry Hill Park (via

This study location is really great for those who enjoy the outdoors. There are picnic tables and benches scattered around the area that are perfect studying spots. Along with the readily available hard surfaces, the whole atmosphere of the park is very tranquil. When you enter the park you have almost immediate privacy due to the trees surrounding the perimeter, limiting any outside noises. In a conversation with current Junior Zach Elariny about the park, he said, “I just love getting away, while Cherry Hill Park isn’t massive, it really does feel like a niche where I can focus.”

Along with the serenity of the large trees, you are swarmed with the chirping of birds, which adds to the calming ambience.

4.) Mary Riley Styles Public Library

The front end of the Mary Riley Styles Library.

The front entrance of Mary Riley Styles Library (via City of Falls Church Government on YouTube).

The library is a great place to study for those like myself who get easily distracted. The environment is one that stresses focus and quietness. In addition, there are a ridiculous amount of resources, from the books to computers, and even the librarians help you succeed. On the top level, you can find young adult novels, fiction, nonfiction, and kids books (if that’s your interest.) It’s quiet up there, but not as quiet as the basement level. When you walk down the steps to the basement, it’s perfectly silent. This can be very helpful for students who are really trying to focus or are cramming for an exam. There are also many desktops in the basement if you can’t find the right information within the shelves.