Seven study locations to explore to get out of your dorm
It’s the last week of term and the DePaul students are preparing for the finals. While the rapidly cooling weather might make a cramped dorm desk the easiest option for spreading out notes and tossing papers, there are plenty of places around town available to students with Wi-Fi. Free Fi and a good study atmosphere.
Alexis Macino attended the Moody Bible Institute graduate program on the Near North Side and worked as a physical trainer in Chicago and as a leader at Cru, one of DePaul’s Christian ministry organizations. She said that when she needed a place to study or work, she went to hotel lobbies. These places are open to the public and have free Wi-Fi, comfortable sofas, cozy fireplaces, tables with sockets and beautiful atmospheres. Also, they are usually quiet and you can order food if you feel like it.
If you need a break from the other stressed students who occupy the more conventional places of study, these hotels offer a relaxed environment for you to work. They are more scattered around the city and may require a short train ride or walk, but if you’re willing to make the trek, it’s easy to stay there and concentrate for a long time.
This hotel — located at 200 N. Green St. — is a short mural-lined promenade off the Pink Line. The lobby has color, fun decor, lots of plants, a fireplace and books as soon as you walk in, and a sit-down restaurant in the back.
At the intersection of North Avenue, Damen and Milwaukee at Wicker Park – 2018 W. North Ave. in particular – the Robey sits in the middle of a bustling arts district. Inside, the lobby has a modern, well-lit design, and you can also go up to the sixth-floor terrace and rooftop lounges, both of which have lovely views.
“It was nice and calm, and I was always able to do a quality job,” Macino said of the Robey.
If you’ve been to the Shake Shack at 12 S. Michigan Ave., you’ve been to the Chicago Athletic Association building. On the second floor, you will find a spacious entrance hall with frosted windows, high ceiling, low light and old wooden architecture. According to Chicago Architecture Center, the CAA opened in 1893 as a private club, but is now open to the public. Put this place on your bucket list if you want to feel like you’re studying at Hogwarts.
But maybe you don’t have time to check them out or you just don’t feel particularly adventurous. Cafes can be a great alternative for something a little more familiar.
Alli Hacker, a DePaul junior, most often goes to study on the third floor of the John T. Richardson Library, but she also likes to mix things up by going out to cafes.
“You can do anything at a Starbucks,” Hacker said.
But if you want to broaden your horizons, there are plenty of options near DePaul campuses.
When Hacker was enrolled in online classes last year, she went to Bourgeois Pig to attend her Zoom classes somewhere outside her bedroom. This cafe, located at 738 W. Fullerton Ave., sports a rustic literary theme that helps get the academic energy flowing and soothing, albeit louder, music. It also has a whole wall of teas to choose from if you’re looking for something other than coffee to sip while you work. There’s even a room with sofas and a fireplace. Just be sure to stop by between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
This new cafe and bakery is located at 1152 S. Wabash Ave. in the South Loop – near the Roosevelt Red Line stop. Since you have to walk through the bakery — which is adorned with all sorts of unique Asian pastries — to get to the cafe, the study space feels correspondingly pleasant and secluded. They have plenty of food and drink options, whether you want a study snack, a meal, or just a little caffeine. They are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.
You can pass the Hero Coffee Bar — which is tucked away down an alley in Jackson — as you stroll between your classes on the Loop campus. The shop also recently opened a new indoor location nearby, at 439 S. Dearborn St., so you can drink your coffee and study away from the Windy City streets. There are also board games in case you need a study break with a friend, and the walls are covered in graffiti. However, they are only open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.
Everyone studies differently, and maybe going out to a hotel or cafe wouldn’t help you concentrate. Some, like transfer student Savana Jaji and junior Ellie Krigman, prefer to keep it simple and study at the library.
“I can’t work where people talk,” Krigman said.
Luckily, there are plenty of study options close to DePaul when it comes to libraries. Besides the DePaul Buildings, there is a branch of the Chicago Public Library in Lincoln Park at 1150 W. Fullerton Ave., but the most famous and largest branch is in the Loop.
This building is very hard to miss – just look for a red facade with huge golden doors and green copper owls perched above that alone take up an entire city block. Needless to say, there is always room to study here. If you’re looking for something special, head to the winter garden on the top floor – a beautiful marble room with trees and a glass ceiling.
However you like to study, living in the city as a DePaul student means there are a wealth of resources for you to take advantage of. There is always something new to try to contribute to your knowledge of the Chicago campus.
As you’ve probably heard many times during your tours and DePaul orientation, the city is your campus – if that can help you get through the finals, maybe it’s more than just a slogan after all. .