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Pros and Cons of Studying at a Coffee Shop

If you are in law school, you need as much study time as you can possibly get. Many times, you are not able to weasel out a private place to concentrate. The next best solution is the place in which you often find comfort, the local coffee shop. However, there are definitely some pros and cons to consider when you talk about studying there.

THE PROS

Consistency
One of the most effective ways to study is to create a schedule and a routine. This sends cues to your mind and body that it is time to focus. By repeatedly studying in the same coffee shop, you actually wire your brain to associate concentration with that place. Correctly implemented, you will get much more work done with this psychological trick.

  1. Noise Level
    Coffee shops are, for the most part, quiet and accommodating for people to study in. Most people prefer quiet places to concentrate, and even if you need music, you can easily bring headphones to accommodate yourself without disturbing anyone else. And while most coffee houses play their own music, it’s usually light and/or soothing, played at a low volume and blends in so you aren’t distracted by it. (Unless, of course, your favorite jam happens to come on…)

  2. A Great Meeting Place
    If you have a law tutor, a coffee shop is a great environment to meet because it can be social and actually stimulate your work and conversation. This makes it an ideal place to meet with law tutors, because libraries are often quiet and restricted and it’s nice to get out of the house from time to time to change up your surrounding environment.

  3. Accommodations
    With caffeine and caloric energy in the form of delicious pastries and desserts, they offer convenient nourishment to help you keep on top of your studies. Most coffee shops are also equipped with WiFi and outlets for laptops and smartphones. Why not use someone else’s electricity?

THE CONS

  1. Not Setting a Precedent
    A coffee shop can definitely become associated with quiet study if the habit is formed early on. However, for many of the easily distracted law students, it can just as easily become a place of distraction to meet friends and procrastinate, as you can’t control who comes in the front door and who might comment on the awesome stickers you have on your laptop.

  2. The Cost
    Coffee shops are there to make money, and you will definitely feel the pressure to make purchases if you become a regular who is only meeting your law school tutoring needs inside of the shop. Some places even have policies in which employees will begin to bug you to make a purchase if they notice you studying there without buying anything. This can quickly become quite expensive, as coffee shops are not known for being cheap and coffee is known for being addictive.

  3. Hours
    If you can study while the coffee shop is open and quiet, then you do not have a problem. However, if you can’t, then you won’t be able to use it very effectively. Check the hours of different ones around your area to see their hours. On college campuses, though, many are open until midnight to accommodate all of the hard working students that frequent them.

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