Books and Brews: Places to caffeinate and cram for finals

Geneva Nodland

If you’re like me, you’re starting to realize that in about three weeks you have finals … You really don’t understand this, because wasn’t it just Easter? With spring break right before that? You might even still have some cookies in a Christmas container sitting somewhere.

The point is, you recognize that you need to schedule in more study sessions during the next few weeks, and you’re going to need to know the perfect places to caffeinate and cram.

I’ve long since ruled out the plan of studying in my room; it fails every time, and I don’t see it conquering that trend anytime soon. The library is always a good choice for homework or studying independently, but it can start to get cramped toward the end of the semester. Sometimes a new, fresh place to focus on the next assignment or paper is needed.

Here are my top picks for the perfect study session:

Twenty Below Coffee Co.

Sitting right in downtown Fargo, this is the perfect place to crank out that 10-page paper you’ve been putting off or just chat with your friends. My only complaint is the shorter hours, as they close at 6 p.m. I understand people have to eat and sleep, but if I have to be up late I need something to get through it. Luckily, they have just what I need for an afternoon pick-me-up.

If you like a simple cup of black coffee, you will find a variety of different blends to choose from. There is a ton of seating options—a staple for a homework hangout—with a mix of couches, tables and even a bar.

Young Bloods Coffee Co.

Right around the corner lies a place that gives you a more modern feel, but still welcomes you with that same scent of roasting beans. The black-and-white aesthetic goes great with a cup of whatever type of bean they’re brewing that day.

I do wish they had a few more outlets; if I’m going to be doing homework, I need to plan on at least two laptop battery charges. Either way, it’s good coffee, and it makes for a pretty cool Instagram or VSCO picture (if you’re going to be deep in homework for a few weeks, you might as well look like you’ve got it under control).

Atomic Coffee

This coffee shop has also made itself at home in downtown Fargo. It’s a favorite on Broadway, tucked right in with a yoga studio, Sandy’s Donuts and a barber shop. The interior features rows of tables and a few comfy chairs here and there. Of course, the coffee is great, but they have something special: Italian sodas. Not many of the coffee places that I’ve gone to serve those, and with spring arriving (fingers crossed), you might need something refreshing for your taste buds. I struggle to find an outlet if I choose to sit at the tables, but the cushioned seats are conveniently right next to an extension cord. Whether you’re there to sip and chat or crank out a paper, this downtown hotspot can accommodate your finals-time needs.

One common denominator between these three places is the extreme level of hospitality they all offer.

No matter where you choose to settle in, take spring semester one sip at a time.

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