We have all had to study outside of our own homes, either because we needed to get together for group projects or because our little siblings were being so loud that we couldn’t concentrate on any of our work. This is a comparison of three popular places that students choose to go to when they need to get out of their house: Panera, Starbucks, and Sips. I have three criteria for these places: they must have free wifi, they must be study level quiet, and they must be cheap.
I went to the Panera in Tulsa Hills because it is the closest Panera to the school. I ordered a drink and a muffin; it totaled around five dollars. I took my food, wandered into the back, and sat down at a half booth, half table. There were other students there, which I took as encouraging. I pulled out my chromebook and started working on my online business class. The wifi connected easily and was fast enough to keep up with my work. Panera had the radio going over speakers, but it wasn’t distracting. The only thing that I was bothered by was the Russian couple that was arguing a couple tables away, but that probably isn’t a common occurrence at Panera. One of my favorite things about Panera is the smell. If you’ve ever been in the room for Panera Mondays, then you know the smell I’m talking about: the comforting fresh bread smell. This will probably become a study spot I go to regularly.
I decided to go to the Riverside Starbucks; it is right across the bridge from Jenks. One of the first things I noticed when I walked into Starbucks, to quote a small child that was also there, is, “I smell coffee.” I got a tall peppermint mocha for 4.25 – by far the most expensive of the three places. While I appreciated the fact that there were other students there, the limited seating became apparent when the only table left was by the door. It was also the most loud of the three places, and as a person that enjoys quiet, this was not the best environment for me. There was music that would have been nice if it was played more quietly, loud machines for coffee making, and loud customers. Despite the fact that they didn’t have much space, they seemed to make an effort to make their limited space cozy. There was free, fast wifi, so I got some more of my online class finished. I would say that this is not the optimal place for me to study, but if you have a higher tolerance for noise, maybe it would be better for you.
Sips is a locally owned mom and pop shop on Jenks Main Street, and it was by far the closest of the three study spots. It was very quiet with only the light Christmas music and the occasional bell ringing to signal that someone was walking in the door. There was one other student there working on their online class, too. I got a chai tea latte and a cookie for just under five dollars, and it was delicious. My chromebook connected easily to the wifi, and I was the most productive here, getting two lessons done instead of the one that I got done at Starbucks and Panera, respectively. Sips has the kind of feeling like you’re sitting in a friend’s living room (it was warm and smelled like coffee and cookies). One of my favorite aspects of Sips is that it is within walking distance to the school. I plan on coming here again to work on my homework when I don’t want to do it at home.
By Sydney Langley