These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things…

One of the best things about living in Bloomington is that there are an abundance of places to study, which, as a graduate student translates to just about the best thing ever. This summer I studied for my qualifying exam—a comprehensive exam about topics in the field of social psychology. Passing means advancing to Ph.D. candidacy, the home stretch, the final countdown! So, I spent a lot of time reading, reviewing, and reading some more. Now, if you’re anything like me, working in the same place for too long gets pretty monotonous, and working at home might as well be impossible (hello, distractions!). Thankfully, Bloomington had me covered. Below is a list of a few of my favorite places to study around town, and a few quick tips about each place. Happy studying!

— Starbucks on Indiana Ave ( This Starbucks is one of the most popular study places, probably because it’s right across from the law school, so if you’re planning on working there, make sure you’re in the mood to be around other people. Even though it’s often busy, there are several tables, booths, and lounge chairs in this store. There has never been a time where I’ve gone and haven’t been able to find a place to sit.

— Scholar’s Bakehouse on College ( “Scholar’s” as it’s affectionately called is a quieter place to work. A local restaurant, this is the more informal version of the Scholar’s Inn restaurant. It’s a great place for people who don’t want to be in complete silence but don’t want a ton of ambient noise. Another bonus is that their menu includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert options. So if you have a long day ahead of you, make sure to try some of their delicious food—especially their freshly-baked bread!

— Bloomington Bagel Company on Dunn ( So, by now you’re probably starting to notice that I like to have food options nearby while I’m studying…BBC is another great local place with wide variety of bagel flavors, drinks, and other tasty options. Make sure to try a bialy—pizza bagel bites, adult style. There is a great table that overlooks Dunn street, so if you like to people-watch while you work, make sure to snag a seat there!

— Monroe County Public Library ( For those of you who prefer a quieter setting, the MCPL is a great option. There are individual study rooms if you want complete silence/privacy, which is a huge plus. Also, as an aside, this library is a great place in general, especially their children’s area. Sign up for a library card, and borrow books to your heart’s content—even e-books for the tablet-readers among us.

Here are a couple of places that I’ve heard are great to study, but haven’t personally tried:

– Pour House coffee shop (

– Rachael’s cafe (