Best study spots for a distraction-free environment


Joceline Giron

Opinion Editor Jeffrey Dratch shares some of his favorite places to study.

Jeffrey Dratch, Opinion Editor

For most people, our homes are often filled with noise and disturbances everywhere around us. Whether it be family members, pets or just lack of focus, studying at home can be challenging. One way to combat this is by finding a quiet place to study. 

Over the past few months, I have visited many study spots around the Northborough-Southborough area, and have discovered several places that I love to go to. Some of these are within minutes of Algonquin, good for an afternoon, while others are a bit further away, good for a day trip on the weekend.

So, without further ado, let’s get started. Each location is in no particular order.

1. Panera, Marlborough

Located in the RK Center on Route 20, only a few minutes drive from Algonquin, Panera tends to be a very popular study spot. In a large setting, with couches, tables, booths and outdoor seating, Panera is particularly good if you’re looking to spend a lot of time studying. The food, including sandwiches and the ever-so popular mac and cheese tend to be tasty, but pretty expensive. The main downside to Panera is that it can get busy at times and hard to find a table. There is free Wi-Fi, but in my experience it is a bit laggy.

2. Aero Coffee Roasters, Northborough

Within walking distance of Algonquin, Aero is a great option for students who might not be able to get somewhere by car. Aero, a small business, has friendly staff and fast Wi-Fi processing speeds. The best part of Aero is of course the food, with a wide variety of pastries, sandwiches, coffee, tea and smoothies. I’m a huge fan of the atmosphere as well. However, there isn’t a ton of seating in the cafe, so it can be challenging to have a place to work, and it isn’t for students looking to spend an entire afternoon there as it closes at 4:00 pm during the week. 

3. Sweetgreen, Wellesley 

While it takes around a half hour to get to from the Northborough-Southborough area, Sweetgreen is a great option if you’re looking for something different from what is in our area. Located in the Linden Square Courtyard, Sweetgreen has a variety of indoor and outdoor seating, and I have never had trouble finding a good table, and the Wi-Fi tends to be pretty reliable. I love going to Sweetgreen for a few hours on the weekends, around lunchtime, and grabbing one of their many protein-packed salads. The one problem that I’ve found is that it can get pretty noisy, with many customers coming in and out of the restaurant to grab food, which can make it difficult to focus.

4. Starbucks, Marlborough

Starbucks is located within the Apex Center on Route 20, so it is within very close proximity of the school, as well as most parts of Northborough and Southborough. It isn’t uncommon to see many others working there as well, and I’ve never had an issue with the Wi-Fi. I like going here for a little while if I need a change of scenery, and want to grab a snack and drink alongside. I wouldn’t recommend Starbucks if you’re looking to spend multiple hours there, because the environment tends to be difficult if you get easily distracted. Another downside of Starbucks is that there aren’t any large tables to put study materials that require a lot of space 

5. Northborough and Southborough libraries 

These libraries are great because they are both located in the centers of each respective town, within minutes of most people. The WiFi is always good, and I like the fact that I have a ton of room to spread out with my coursework. All of the public libraries mentioned, including Northborough and Southborough, also offer free computer access and the ability to check out books if you’re a Massachusetts resident. Of course, these are great environments if quietness is of great importance, and tend to be very easy to focus in. The main downside to our local libraries is the fact that it is easy to be a bit sick of these study spots, and aren’t good for someone who is looking to find new places.

6. Boston Public Library and Wellesley Free Library

If quietness and ease of focus is your biggest priority, but you want to explore other areas, the Boston Public Library and Wellesley Free Library are both great options. I’m a frequent visitor of both on the weekends when looking for a day trip when I have a lot that needs to get done. The Boston Public Library is a really architecturally interesting space. Built in 1852, it has been called the most beautiful library in America, and has many tables where you can spread out. I enjoy going to the Wellesley Library before big exam weeks, such as midterms and finals, as private study rooms are available to rent for free, with a large table and whiteboard at your disposal. The best part of these libraries is that they are both close to many nice shops and restaurants, great for exploring after a study session. The main challenge of these is that they are definitely far from our community.

I hope you enjoyed some of my suggestions! I think it is definitely worth visiting each of them, and I hope that by checking out some of them you too will be able to choose some of your own favorite study spots.