The Daily Gamecock

Homework away from home: Best study spots in Columbia

Specials are written on a chalkboard right outside the register at Cool Beans Coffee Co. These drinks change often and range from lemonades to espresso drinks.
Specials are written on a chalkboard right outside the register at Cool Beans Coffee Co. These drinks change often and range from lemonades to espresso drinks.

Homework is something that all students can dread. 

Instead of hanging around their residence halls and apartments, ultimately getting distracted by noisy roommates or friends stopping in to "see what you’re up to," many students take the option of finding a quiet place away from their normal routine to sit down and get to work. 

While some students head to Thomas Cooper Library or find an empty classroom in Gambrell Hall, others take a less direct approach of finding that perfect place to get comfortable and write those last-minute essays. 

Cool Beans Coffee Co.

Whether visiting after a long night in T. Coop or an early morning lab, Cool Beans is an all-around favorite of any South Carolina student. From coffee to baked goods and brunch specials, Cool Beans has a wide menu for anyone who comes through the door. Many students are confident this Carolina classic is a top contender for an off-campus study spot. 

First-year undecided student Abigail Clarke eats while doing schoolwork on the first floor of Cool Beans Coffee Co.


Jessica King, a fourth-year biochemistry student, said she hopped on the Cool Beans train her second year of college because of nearby classes. She often stops in to grab her favorite breakfast: a sausage, egg and cheese croissant and a coffee.

King said the atmosphere of Cool Beans stems from "a lot of eclectic people that come in and out," making the cafe a unique place filled with all kinds of people. From the artwork to the board games, there's always something to add to your Cool Beans experience. 

JJ Tea House 

Located on the corner of Blossom and Main streets, JJ Tea House is another favorite among Carolina students. With a calm and inviting space, it is a great place to relax and stay focused.

JJ Tea House, a local Taiwanese eatery located off Main Street, is a popular spot for students to study and order authentic Taiwanese food and boba tea.


With Corner Blend right next door, JJ seems to do well with students because of its boba tea. Jason Lin, a first-year pharmacy student, said he prefers JJ's staple drink to coffee. The two for $5 special on boba tea appeals to students and keeps them coming back.

Bringing a new or familiar culture into a work environment seems to be of interest for some students when looking for a welcoming place to study. At JJ, the location and atmosphere make it a top choice to students from all backgrounds.

Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe

In the heart of the Vista, you’ll find Kaminsky’s. This popular dessert cafe is an interesting favorite among some students.

“They honestly have the best iced coffee that I've had in Columbia,” Davis Wellington, a second-year mechanical engineering student, said.

Wellington said he spends a good part of his time — "usually three or four times a week" — at the cafe while talking up his tall order of at least two cups of his favorite go-to drink, a caramel iced coffee. 

The soft lighting and soothing music make this cafe a relaxing spot to get homework done during the day, but there is quite a shift when the sun goes down. At the end of the day, the cafe turns into a lively date-night hotspot. This is the best of both worlds for a dessert bar in one of the busiest areas of Columbia.


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