Best places to study in Berkeley


Choosing a place to study is a very important decision, setting the tone for the entire studying session. Making sure the atmosphere is cozy enough to be able to get work done, but not so comfortable that one no longer has the motivation to study is a tricky balance to achieve. So, here are what some Berkeley High School (BHS) community members look for when it comes to finding the perfect spot to sit down with a computer or some textbooks and grind it out. 

“I think a good place for studying is a non-chaotic area in a space that has enough room for studying material,” said Haleemah Mujahid, a BHS senior. This sentiment was echoed by many of her peers, including Meilin Jokela, another BHS senior. Jokela added that it’s much easier to study in an environment when other people are also studying, as there are fewer distractions. As such, one of their favorite places to study is the Downtown Berkeley Peet’s Coffee. “The open tables give a lot of space to lay out your papers and notebooks, and the other people studying or working there are focused,” said Jokela.

But for those who don’t like to be inside, Jokela recommends Live Oak Park. 

“The open grassy fields with intermittent trees and spots of shade provide a calm and soothing environment which enables me to focus on my work. On a day with nice weather, it’s an ideal study location, even near good food options,” said Jokela.

BHS also provides a few study spots of its own. For instance, Mujahid prefers to study in the RISE (Responsibility, Integrity, Strength, Empowerment) office, describing the atmosphere as quiet, spacious, and easy to focus in. Another space commonly used for studying by BHS students is the College and Career Center (CCC). 

“I have a specific spot at the CCC where I can face away from big groups … I like the resources there,” said Adea Hansen-Whistler, a senior at BHS. Jokela also likes to study at the CCC because of how quiet it is and the resources it makes available. They also find it’s “a great place to get help from peers, or go to study with someone else.”

On the other hand, BHS senior Kayla Hess enjoys studying at the North Branch Library, where she’s been going since childhood. “It’s a bit nostalgic,” she said, “It’s always really quiet there and there’s these really big desks you can spread your stuff out on. It’s also just nice to be surrounded by books while you’re working on stuff.” 

Hansen-Whistler agreed, saying they prefer secluded areas of libraries that are free of distractions. 

BHS and Berkeley as a whole are bursting with places to study, which is beneficial to the many students who find that studying away from home is the only way to get things done. 

Not only are there “fewer distractions or ways to procrastinate,” but there is also “the reward of getting to go home when you’re done,” said Hansen-Whistler. 

“The greatest benefit is not having to worry about people walking in and out of my room or like someone asking me to do something mid-study,” added Mujahid.