Managing the workload that comes with college can be easier said than done sometimes, especially when it comes to setting aside the time and space to devote yourself to a sizable study session. Sometimes all it takes to get that extra boost of motivation is the right environment– and here are some suggestions for the best places in Lexington to crack open your textbooks and highlighters.

Libraries

This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that Lexington is blessed with its fair share of libraries. For instance, some may be surprised to know that the University of Kentucky’s sprawling William T. Young Library is open to the public (although keep in mind that late-night visits require student status at UK or BCTC.) Equally breathtaking is the Central Library, situated in the middle of the downtown area making it widely accessible. Lexington’s other public libraries– five of them, to be exact– are also great candidates.

Coffee Shops

It’s not unusual to walk into Lexington coffee shops like Third Street Stuff and Cup of Common Wealth and find multiple students hard at work. Their locations near the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University make them popular spots for donning your headphones and typing out that (possibly last-minute) essay. There’s plenty of Starbucks to go around, including directly on UK campus; you’ll find other local favorites like Nate’s Coffee Shop, Kenwick Table, and North Lime Coffee and Donuts around the area as well. Given their popularity as study locations, coffee shops often make great choices both aesthetically and pragmatically. Their peaceful ambiance, plentiful charging outlets, abundant caffeine, and the frequent comradery of other students are all beneficial factors. The likelihood of running into peers can lead to socialization taking priority over homework– but on the other hand, group studying has its many perks.

Restaurants and Cafés

Much like Starbucks, Panera Bread restaurants attract their fair share of laptops and notepads. While they’re great for when you’re facing a craving for a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel alongside your impending deadline, there are more options available for daytime studying like First Watch Cafe or Wild Eggs. On the local end of things, you might be interested in the beautiful Gingko Tree Café at the Henry Clay Estate if you like a nice view. Herbivores will find themselves at home at The Social Vegan in Greyline Station or Vinaigrette Salad Kitchen. Of course, it’s important to be mindful of when restaurants may be busy, both for your studying session’s sake and other customers. On laid-back evenings, though, you may have the perfect opportunity for settling into a booth and knocking out some schoolwork.

Outdoors

During the kinder months, there’s nothing quite like getting a breath of fresh air while you study. For some, one major silver lining to finals week is that it falls squarely into mid-spring. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest that studying outdoors makes for a more effective session. Whether the benefits are to the senses or to your grade, it’s worth digging up a blanket or setting up camp at a picnic table.