Study Smart in Boulder, CO: Your Guide to the Best Study Spots Near You

Unlock Academic Success with Tips for Productive Studying in Boulder, Featuring On-Campus Gems and Coffee Hotspots

The key to productive studying is to first know yourself. Do you need silence, background noise, or noise and movement around you? This will determine what type of environment you choose for studying. Remember, what might be a productive place for you to do your homework might not be a good place for you to study for exams. Dorm rooms or apartments can be great for short assignments and homework but are often not the most productive places for students to study for exams.

Remember, NEVER EVER study in your bed. Two bad outcomes can come from studying in your bed. One, you will feel sluggish and will likely fall asleep. Two, you can develop insomnia if you learn to associate your bed with stress and studying.

Here’s how to book a study room at CU for finals. Jump on this now, as things tend to get reserved quickly around finals.

Other On-Campus Studying Options

Eaton Humanities – open 24 hours from December 15-19.

University Memorial Center / UMC – open until 11:00 pm Mon-Wed and 12:00 am Thur-Sat.
If you like background noise and foot traffic, use the food court areas. If you like silence, try an empty conference room (like the Glenn Miller Ballroom) or one of the top floor meeting rooms.

Norlin Library – open until 12:00 am Sun-Thurs.
Remember, the higher the floor number, the quieter it gets.

Center for Community (C4C) – open until 8:00 pm. The 2nd floor rooms are really quiet.

Recreation Center – open until 9:00 pm during finals.
Use your post-work out endorphins to study! They have some tables and study areas.

CASE Building – only open until 5:00 pm, but nice windows for natural sunlight and it’s quiet.

Off-Campus Studying Options

It’s very strange that a college town like Boulder has so few late night coffee shop options. I frequently hear my clients complain about his, so I did some of my own research. Indeed, this is the case! Although not open late enough for night owl students, here are some good coffee shops close to campus with free WIFI and good tables for studying.

Laughing Goat on West Pearl – open until 8:00 pm
Starbucks (7 locations) – open until 6:00 or 8:00 pm, depending on location
Ozo coffee (3 locations)– open until 6:00 pm
Brewing Market on Baseline near CU – open until 6:00 pm
Box Car coffee on East Pearl – open until 4:00 pm

Here are some options that stay open later but are more like restaurants:

Root Kava on 28th Street – open until 2:00 or 3:00 am – tea house and sober bar
IHOP on 28th Street – open 24 hours
McDonalds (2 locations) – open 24 hours

Make a plan to go with a friend! This can really motivate you to get to a study spot. It can also spur on your productivity while you are there. Whether you study together (quiz each other or explain things to one another), or just work in silence side by side, having a study buddy will increase your accountability. Some people find being near a friend too tempting, so they agree to just meet up and talk for 10 minutes on their hourly breaks.

Know if you need variety. One of my CU clients needs to pack up his things and change study environments every few hours. Finally, remember to take breaks every 30 minutes to 1 hour. Keep your breaks to 15 minutes or less and remember to move around. Stay off screens! If you must check your phone, set an alarm for 10 minutes, and respect that hard stop.