Off campus study spots bring new experiences

By RACHEL UNDERWEISER | May 4, 2017

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COURTESY OF RACHEL UNDERWEISER Avocado toast and a cup of tea at Dooby’s makes a great study snack.

Lately it feels as though the entire student body has moved into Brody. We’ve all been there: the sad moment when they announce the service desk is closing for the night and the even sadder moment when it opens again the next morning.

But if you’ve exhausted the breakfast sandwich selection at Brody Café and started to recognize coffee stains on M-level, don’t worry: There are other options.

There are many great study spaces beckoning to be visited beyond the Hopkins bubble where, believe me, you won’t have to fight for a seat.

At the beginning of this semester, I decided to start my own Instagram blog to document all my favorite places to go in Baltimore and little ways to get off campus and explore.

Even though we are in the crunch time of the semester, there are many ways to make the most out of Baltimore while still getting things done. You can even increase your productivity by changing your scenery.

For times like these when I am overwhelmed by deadlines, I usually end up in Hampden or Mount Vernon.

If the weather is nice, Hampden is the perfect walking distance away from campus, giving you a chance to clear your head and breathe. Getting outside, even if just for an hour, can increase concentration and lower stress levels.

So, the walk over isn’t a break, but a continuation of your study strategies. By recharging your mind, you are a step closer to slaying those finals.

Hampden has an amazing assortment of places to explore, but when on a mission to get work done, I have two favorites: Spro Coffee and Common Ground, both of which have perfect outdoor spaces.

Most of the times I go, I grab a drink and something to eat (the muffins from both places are outstanding), put on headphones and soak up the sun with the backdrop of colorful rowhouses to help me think.

And if you’re looking for a little nook, both Spro and Common Ground have secluded areas in the back of their shops where people don’t go unless they plan on cranking out work, so you can easily set up a laptop and plug away, all without worrying about finding a seat.

Although a little farther from campus, Mount Vernon is less than a 10 minute ride on the on the JHMI: about the same amount of time it takes to walk from Gilman to Starbucks.

My favorite daytime places in Mount Vernon are Koffee Therapy and Dooby’s. Koffee Therapy is like a cozy living room in your best friend’s apartment. The owner will chat with you, give you suggestions and treat you like family.

I find myself always choosing to sit on their brightly colored couches, with perfectly sized tables for my laptop, and no one cares how long I stay. If you prefer to work outside, they have a backyard patio that is cocooned by brick buildings covered in ivy, free from distractions.

My go-to order at Koffee Therapy is their ceremony tea, which is made in-house using all organic ingredients.

If you’re looking for a more sleek, modern vibe, Dooby’s is another place that is conducive to getting work done.

Right around the corner from the Peabody Conservatory, Dooby’s is surrounded by countertops and stools, making it the perfect hub for doing work.

Their food menu is packed with enough options to satisfy any potential craving, from a simple avocado toast to a filling rice and vegetable bowl.

Fun Dooby’s tip: There are outlets under every counter, so you never need to leave.

What started as a fun activity to Instagram has created tons of fun Baltimore memories for me, and I hope you can create some too.

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