This is the first in a series of blog posts written by NMasuma Mukit a SoSS student. During a series of blog posts, Masuma will give you an insight into her life as a Business Strategy Leadership & Change student here at Heriot-Watt and why she loves it! we hope that you enjoy the read, get a coffee and settle in…
No study spaces?!
Around this time of year, with exams approaching and as many deadlines as possible crammed into the final few weeks of the semester, study spaces are rare and hard to come by. On Campus, Elements is often too noisy (and the tables are too unclean for my liking), the computer labs are in terribly obscure places or they’re full of engineering students, and let’s not even talk about study space availability in the library. Now with work going on in the library and the endless tunnels and mazes we have to endure (I can’t be the only one with a terrible sense of direction, right?) to find an unoccupied PC lab in the uni, we need alternatives. Plus, where we study makes a big difference. There have been countless studies showing a positive correlation between office design and employee productivity. So it’s definitely important to switch things up a bit because a) you will most likely get bored and b) the library staff are probably sick of seeing your face by now. Below I’ve listed some of my fave spots around the city where I like to study (and yes I drink a lot of coffee):
Now the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is a good old Starbucks or Costa. These are great for individual studying – just plug in your earphones and go. The Starbucks on George Street, in particular, has a lovely view of the passers by outside. I personally prefer slightly more “moody” settings. For one with a real atmosphere, try Cult Espresso. An almost rustic coffee shop tucked away in Buccleuch Street, this place is a great place to study in a relaxing setting. Another excellent place to try if you’re in that neck of the woods is Natural Food Kafe. When I visited it was rather quiet, almost Pinterest-type setting with the lighting and the wooden tables, and (to me) really conducive to getting into study mode. They also have an interesting range of smoothies and other freshly made items on the menu, so a nice place to try with friends! Extra seating in the basement means you should have plenty of space for studying, whenever you go.
In the same vein, Brew Lab and Black Medicine are top spots for coffee and well recommended by students too. Another bonus is the proximity to other interesting, random charity shops and bargain stores which can provide a good break in between study periods. Peters Yard, just off Quartermile, is a beautiful little coffee shop with good cakes and some lunch options, too. I like coming here to study as I enjoy being amongst the hustle and bustle of people. It also offers nice views in a picturesque, green location, with indoor and outdoor seating – ideal for sunny days. This is also right next door to the Meadows, where I like to take breaks between study periods to stretch my legs.
Then Spoon on Nicolson Street is a good place for group work. Up a set of narrow, cobbled steps, this small café/bistro has good menu choices whether you go at breakfast, brunch or lunch, lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options, and very bright and interesting décor. You can choose to sit on the couches or around tables, and again enjoy the view of the busy street below. Study appropriate and very Instagram-worthy!
So there you go – a very short list of some of my favourite study places. Where do you like to study?
Thanks, Masuma! very insightful, if you have any feedback or thoughts on this post; please share them in the comments; this Blog is for you all the SoSS students out there so if you have a topic you want covering, send it into us in the marketing team and we will add it to the melting pot!