Nightlife: The death of fun in the wake of midterms

Anna Hoover

It’s that time of year for students — midterms! As students see their grades and realize that they need to study in order to pass a class, students (hopefully) pass up party opportunities in place of studying opportunities, but many still struggle to stay focused or motivated long enough to do any good.

Student hiding behind a pile of assigned reading (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

I have found the best way for me to focus while studying is to go to a place where there are other people studying and, hopefully, food. Studying someplace that stifles conversations, at least for me, stifles my ability to stay focused as I try to find something to keep me from getting bored. Although the library on campus is convenient and available, I prefer to go off campus to cafes or restaurants that are student friendly.


Students studying at a cafe table with drinks (Photo courtesy of Static pixels)


Here are some of my favorite study places to go for a few hours to crank out some readings or projects due in the hopes that I don’t have to stay up all night frantically trying to finish them.

Avogadro’s Number

This place has a great atmosphere that is both calming and creative. There are painted murals both inside and outside of the place, making for great inspiration on creative projects. If you are a designer, this is a good place to go. It’s not too far from campus, located a block west of College Avenue on Mason Street. They have good sandwiches and, if you go during the evening, they could have a poetry slam going or possibly have some live music.

The Alley Cat

The Alley Cat is one of those places that gets talked about in rumors as the go-to place to hang out. If you have ever been, you’ll realize why. The ceiling is covered with artwork from local artists, which you could ask to contribute to if you are into that. There are also board games for patrons and outlets everywhere for students to study. They have a wide variety of coffees and teas along with various scrumptious things to eat — all perfect for motivating a long study session. This place is open 24 hours a day, which is great for those that might end up pulling an all-nighter. Bonus, it’s pretty much across the street from the north-east end of campus.

Mugs Coffee Lounge

Mugs is the place for those of you that identify as a coffee guru, complete with drinks that come with fancy coffee leaf artwork in a cup — seriously, it’s the most common image if you google Mugs Coffee Lounge. The coffee here is some of the best in FoCo, better than Starbucks by a mile, at least in my opinion. Even if you’re not too into coffee, this place has a good vibe, plenty of outlets and really patient employees that make this a great study spot for students. This is also one of the most convenient places as it is right across Laurel from campus, just across the train tracks, but just beware the rain can be loud on the roof.

Coffee artwork showing a leaf (Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures)


Panera Bread


I like Panera because it has a lot of tables and places to plug in for projects as well as free WiFi. I always manage to end up there during the afternoon around lunch time, so I usually get a sandwich and hunker down into the books. I like this place because the atmosphere is relaxing and there are usually a lot of other students with the same idea – they come for food, coffee and WiFi. The only downside for this place, at least the location near Horsetooth and College Avenue, is that the parking situation is terrible. Don’t expect to find one near the entrance if you’re in the lunch hour — it is better to just park across the street in the Albertson’s and walk the extra five minutes. Definitely not the most convenient, but I do get a lot done when I go there.

If none so these sound appealing, I’ve had good luck using Yelp to find great places to study, so you might want to try looking for “best study spots in Fort Collins”. Good luck with midterms and maybe I’ll see some fellow students reading away through the night. May the grades be ever in your favor!

Nightlife Writer Anna Hoover can be reached at or on Twitter @Hoovanna17. Leave a comment!!