Studying: Coffee House Composure

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It can be hard to focus in college. So many people and activities and food. It’s important to find a place to really be able to focus, whether it be in the library or dorm. After my first semester in college, I know I prefer studying in coffee shops or cafés. Some people may not have found their favorite place personally, but even during my winter session I get the best work done when I leave my house and venture to a new setting. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is definitely my cup of coffee.

Why Coffee Houses?

  • But First, Coffee: Coffee is both a cultural phenomenon and basically an essential item to function. Cafés/coffee houses have an endless supply of it (shocker, right?!), as well as varieties of tea, delicious pastries, or even the occasional healthy foods. Although Starbucks is great, more unique places tend to have different and better things to offer.
  • The People: Small coffee houses are usually stocked with original characters and quality service. Both the customers and employees are usually conversational and pleasant to interact with!
  • Noisy, but not annoying: Working in complete silence is just a call for distractions for me as little things tick or tock. Too much noise is a distraction in it of itself. I find the low buzz of conversations and steamers the perfect complements for a study session.
  • Energy: Not to get too hippie-hippie here, but my past three reasons all add to the feelings of a coffee house or café. I find them so cozy, comfortable, and straight-up motivating. Most other people there are also studying, and everyone is hyped up on coffee and cream.
  • Even science supports the coffee-shop-studying-movement!
  • Who does’t want to feel like the cast of Friends?
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Gif from giphy.com

Make the Best of it:

  • Know Your Budget: Know going in that you are going to only buy one cup and a muffin so that you do not keep ordering coffee as you spend more time there and accidentally drop $20 on coffee in one day.
  • Try New Things: Those giant menus are created for a reason. Don’t order the same thing every time you go and it will help bring more excitement to what you are studying!
  • Get to Know the Staff: I have yet to master this, but having the people know your name and/or order could really make your stressful study days a little bit better.
  • Don’t go every single day because the day you skip will be filled with a caffein withdrawal headache.
  • For anyone in Newark, Delaware: Brew HaHa and Brewed Awakenings are the best things to ever happen on Main Street.

You’ve got nothing to loose, except maybe some money.

Please join me in my coffee house obsession and check out your local places, especially if you are a student or if only just to support a small business at the end of the day!

Your Caffeine Enabler,

Casey

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My Road Trip & Travel Essentials

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I sleep better on planes and in cars than in my own bed.

I believe this stems from the many hours I spent staring out of the window of my family’s red SUV while we drove as many as fifteen hours to Ocean City, New Jersey (From Chicago). It should have only taken twelve hours, but my brothers could never control their bladders or stomachs.  I can still picture the small television we had in back of our car and I can practically feel that back seat car sick feeling I got from watching it. That’s why I always stared out the window. As long as this trips were, I loved them. I miss them and the time I spent with my family.

I find myself going on road trips less and less often, but now I am about to take a road trip that will not be followed by another one just one or two weeks later. My mom and I are leaving at five AM to drive to OC, then we will drive another 1.5 hours to drive me to school a few days later.

I think that after all of these years of road tripping, I have picked up a few tips. I am no expert, but I am gonna share them anyway. Although no parents probably read this, I picked up a few things from my parents to make the ride smoother for the young ones and drivers.

Packing:

  1. NEVER pack stuff on top of the car. I will never forget hearing our roof storage zoom off our car and tumble onto the highway on our way home from Nebraska (another one of my family’s 6 hour+ road trip destinations).
  2. Do not bother with suitcases if you do not have to. Baskets and bags stack better. I may find this helpful only because my trips are usually to family houses where I could unpack and use the baskets for dividing laundry, but if that is also your case than this will really help.
  3. Keep snacks easily assessable. Maybe even leave someone in charge of them. My family’s car had captain seats (with no seat in the middle) so we kept ours between them.
  4. If there is ever a time to overpack, this would be it. You don’t have to worry about luggage weight and you never know when you”ll get stuck in the middle of nowhere. 😝

The Drive

  1. Bring pillows. Or a fluffy blanket. Make it really feel like your just at home.
  2. Entertainment is key. I prefer music over movies, but if technology is not an option then games are always fun while the sun is up. Classics like the license plate and alphabet games are great–the first time. If music is your thing, then make a playlist! Avoid those rainy day tunes and throw in some fun #tbt tunes.
  3. Keep a trash bag. It’ll keep the unpacking easier and it just makes you feel more civilized while you basically live from your car for a day.
  4. Do not discuss anything serious. Awkward moments might become hours if the wrong things is brought up.
  5. Car air freshers are life savers.

Looking back a lot of these things may be common knowledge, but at least its all in one place! Some of these things can be applied to a plane (hence the travel essential part of the title), so I hope everyone can use some of these tips and make the most of their travels.

When I think of having my own family, I imagine going on road trips just like my family did. It’s probably a good thing I do not remember the bad parts, except the time I threw up at a truck stop. I guess I’ll find out then how fool proof my own advice is. Before then I’ll use these tips as I travel the world, which I am probably the most excited about. Road trips on the left side of the road or in the desert. Oh the possibilities.

Please share any other tips and tricks you have!

Casey