Finals Survival Guide

    Finals week is just around the corner, and if you are a UCSD student, that means you are probably anxious to start cramming for exams. So if you are looking for an enjoyable place to study but can’t endure the incessant clicking at CLICS or don’t feel up to fighting for a table at Starbucks, try these study haven alternatives.

    Café 976, located on Felspar Street in Pacific Beach, is a happy mix of coffee house and restaurant. The cafe, which operates from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., serves breakfast and lunch in addition to the usual assortment of coffee drinks. With the laid-back atmosphere of Pacific Beach culture, the cafe is a great place to review those notes while enjoying the building’s intriguing artwork. Although the cafe is certainly not for no-noise studiers, Ian Penn, manager of Café 976, rightly describes the coffeehouse as “definitely casual.”

    Cappy’s Coffee House is another local Starbucks alternative located on Cass Street in Pacific Beach, just down the street from Café 976. Ideal for studying, the coffee house’s recently expanded seating area caters to students who like plenty of room to spread out their books and papers. Open from 5:30 a.m. to midnight, Cappy’s Coffee House boasts a wide assortment of coffee as well as sandwiches and pastries. In addition, the coffee house’s friendly service is bound to relieve some of those finals anxieties.

    Just a drive down La Jolla Shores Drive to Prospect Place, the Living Room Coffee House and the Goldfish Point Cafe are two ambient coffee houses lining the ocean. From Goldfish Point Cafe, students can enjoy coffee with a vast and tranquil view of the Pacific. The Living Room Coffee House is also surrounded with quaint boutiques, museums and novelty shops — perfect for necessary study breaks. If you are driving, you will need to spend a few minutes finding parking, but the downtown atmosphere and salty smell of ocean is worth the effort.

    For students who need complete silence to study, there are various public libraries located all around San Diego. Off-campus students can visit public libraries in Balboa, Carmel Valley, Clairemont, Mira Mesa and Pacific Beach. Especially convenient for students wary of finding parking near Geisel Library, these libraries are quiet and most operate from noon to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, and 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

    Other places to study in the presence of books are Barnes & Noble in Mira Mesa and Bookstar, located off Genessee and Nobel Drive. There is limited seating, but plenty of magazines and books to read and reference, not to mention a Starbucks inevitably nearby.

    For outdoor lovers, a trip to Balboa Park is a drive well-south of campus, but has enough restaurants, picnic tables and entertainment facilities to warrant a day-long trip.

    Students can find seating in the various recreational areas at picnic tables, or in nearby cafes and restaurants. To offset the stress of studying, the park features a many stunning gardens as well as numerous attractions like museums, theaters and free concerts. A shorter drive south from campus can take you to the beaches of Mission Bay. Lined with picnic tables, barbecue pits and various water sports, the beach can be accessed from Sea World Drive off Interstate 5.

    Other places to blissfully cram for exams are Powerhouse Park and Seagrove Park in Del Mar. For students looking for a place closer to campus, Doyle Park on Regents Road, Standley Park on Governor Drive and the La Jolla Recreational Center on Prospect Place all have tables to study on, as well as basketball courts and other recreational areas.

    Whether you live on or off campus, students itching to escape the confines of their rooms can find these study locations a great alternative and a perfect way to study while enjoying the sights, tastes and scents of San Diego.

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