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The Best Places to Chill on Campus

    It is a well-known fact that most popular places to study and meet up with friends are the library, student center south, and the fountains. The problem with everyone knowing this is that all three places are constantly packed, and finding other spots that are just as nice– or even better!– can feel impossible. Luckily, I’ve had my fair share of trying to find places to relax on campus, and I’ve compiled my favorites into a list:


  1. The couch on the second floor of Roy G. Cullen



    As an English major, the entire second floor of this building feels pretty homey to me, since the English department is at one end of the floor and the Creative Writing department at the other. Regardless, that couch at the foot of the stairs is by far the comfiest one I’ve encountered on campus. You’ve got a 50-50 shot of finding it unoccupied– other people know it’s comfy, too.


2. Cougar Grounds



    This coffee shop is much more chill than Starbucks. Located inside the Hilton College building, its patio faces Lynn Eusan Park. It’s often pretty busy, but it doesn’t have the rushed, hectic feel that Starbucks has, so it makes it a nice place to relax and study. Plus, it has some truly awesome and unique drinks. Fair warning, though– they don’t accept cougar cash.


3. The tables outside the Student Service Center



    These are particularly nice in the evening or at night, when there’s people walking nearby but not too nearby. It’s a good place to have a talk with someone, or sit for some privacy while on the phone, or stop to read a book.


4. Student Center North



    Although its southern counterpart is usually packed, Student Center North maintains a quiet, calm atmosphere. It’s a good place to study or eat, and most student organizations (like Her Campus!) have their booths set up in the back, so it’s a great place to get involved.


5. Cafe 101



    Although it’s much farther away than these other suggestions– it neighbors Pink’s Pizza– it definitely deserves a spot on this list. The interior is cool and modern, with plenty of tables to meet up with friends. For those who are 21, they serve alcohol, but even for those who are not, they have what feels like hundreds of drinks ranging from milk tea to cream sodas to frappes. For those who want a true meal, they have plenty of delicious Asian fusion meals to choose from.


6. First floor of the bookstore



    Although generally pretty busy during the beginning of the semester when everyone is scrambling to get textbooks and office supplies, the lower level of the Barnes and Noble in the Student Center has a great setup for studying. Plus, I’m a firm believer that simply being surrounded by school supplies helps you focus on schoolwork. I don’t know the psychology behind it; I just know it’s true.


7. Upstairs Melcher Hall



    Not only does the upper level house the quickest and quietest Starbucks on campus, but it has some nice seating there, as well as some benches and barstools outside of it. Melcher is always a nice and quiet place to study or do homework. It might be a little out of the way for some, but the perpetually short line for coffee and the quiet atmosphere makes it totally worth it.


Elsa is a sophomore at University of Houston, majoring in English. When she's not looking at pictures of dogs, she's napping. She hopes to one day be a novelist or work in publishing.
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