The Chronicle gathered the students’ favorite on and off-campus study spots that consistently saved their 4 a.m. Redbull-infused cramming sessions. Hopefully, they will make yours a little less miserable, too, and help you prepare for the finals.

Von der Heyden Pavilion. 

“I love studying in Vondy because it helps me trick my brain into thinking that I’m studying in the library when, in fact, I’m not,” first-year Alex Gara said. “The feeling of being in a coffeehouse is really nice. There is a lot of ambient noise, soothing smells and soft lighting.”

“When I was growing up, my mom was always drinking coffee in the morning,” Gara said. “This is why now my brain instantly wakes me up when I smell even a tiny bit of coffee. It’s a really great way to keep you awake when you are trying to study for an important exam.”

Perkins, the fourth floor.

“Perkins is my secret weapon against my discussion papers on political science,” sophomore Revo Tesha said. “I go to the fourth floor early in the morning, when there is no one else around, and find one of the non-reservable rooms to study in.”

“In this room, I’m my most productive,” Tesha said. “Sometimes, my friends come into my room and we all hang out — this becomes a perfect study break for all of us.”

Brodhead Center, secret room (the second floor, near the staircase).

“I found the secret room by accident,” first-year Noor Sandhu said. “When I went to [the Brodhead Center] for the first time, I was trying to find a bathroom, but I found this room instead.”

“Then, during [the inauguration of Vincent Price], I also happened to be studying in this room and, suddenly, the sky lightened up with fireworks,” Sandhu said. “I remember watching the night sky explore with color and thinking about how lucky I was. Ever since, I go to this secret room when I have to do some important homework or study for serious exams — it just makes me feel happy.”

Duke Gardens.

“Gardens help me get closer to the nature,” first-year Ian Miles said. “As a biology major, I find the natural world vividly fascinating and incredibly complex. When I’m surrounded by the splendor of plants, trees, flowers and animals, I know what I’m studying for. I know that I can to achieve something much bigger and more important than just passing a test.”

“Duke Gardens are the most quiet, peaceful and surprisingly energizing study spot one can ever find,” Miles said. “In the Gardens, I can hear my thoughts and sort out all of my ideas.”

Wellness Center, the third floor.

“The Wellness Center makes me feel incredibly safe,” sophomore Cassia Caruth said. “The third floor has some special charm to it. Once, I was studying in one of the grey couches for more than twelve hours — I could see the chapel, the woods and the sky that looked like a deep ocean.”

“This sight gave me enough energy to finish my 10-page Linguistics paper,” Caruth said. “Then I spent a couple of minutes listening to someone play the piano downstairs, took a deep breath and realized that I felt more alive than ever. Now the Wellness Center is my magical study spot.”

A booth near McDonald's, Bryan Center.

“Even if I wanted, I wouldn’t be able to count how many all-nighters I pulled at that one booth near McDonald's,” junior Onastasia Ebright said. “When I have to stay up all night planning my papers, researching summer schools or writing screenplays, McDonald's literally keeps me alive.”

“Why did I choose McDonald's?" Ebright said. “Their coffee. I know it might sound ridiculous, but McDonald's has the best coffee on campus — especially if you pair it with six chicken nuggets and fries cooked for you at 3 a.m.”

Duke Coffeehouse.

“The Coffehouse has a special place in my heart,” first-year Amik Mandal said. “Not a lot of people know about its existence, and even the people who do rarely go to there.”

“This is what makes this place so unique,” Mandal said. “Coffeehouse is a perfect mix of experimental music, dimmed lights, colorful artwork and amazing coffee that you can get at a very cheap price. It’s the only place I will go to when it’s time to revise my final paper.”

Cocoa Cinnamon and Triangle Coffee House.

“I love these coffeeshops because they remind me of the places that I used to go to when I lived in Mexico City,” first-year Maria Zurita said. “Cocoa Cinnamon and Triangle Coffee House are the two places that attract the most interesting people in Durham. These two coffeeshops are favored by artists, musicians, academics and even aspiring actors!”

“I made so many new friends while studying there,” Zurita said. “Sometimes, I can talk to them for hours when I am procrastinating on my assignments, but then, when I need to get myself back together, I just get a cup of black coffee, a lemon cake and do my work.”

Parker and Otis.

“I study at Parker and Otis whenever I have a couple of free hours,” first-year Defne Yorgancioglu said. “It has everything you need for a productive study session — snacks, soft drinks, lots of coffee and a very artistic, inspirational atmosphere.”

“And when I feel like I need a break, I just walk around the shop feeling like I’m inside some magical kingdom,” Yorgancioglu said. “Parker and Otis is a magical place for people who love art, beauty and décor and it always helps me find a creative way to approach even the most boring assignments.”

All at once. 

“This semester has been a big jumble of languages for me,” first-year Jamie Palka said. “As a computer science major, I’m constantly working with new programming languages. In Statistics, I’m learning R. In Computer Science, I’m learning C and the MIPS assembly language. I’m trying learn some of the syntax of C++ and JavaScript on my own to bolster my resume… and sometimes it’s hard to keep everything straight. Also, I’m in Spanish 101 and am taking the initiative to learn some Vietnamese to prepare for my DukeEngage trip this summer. “

“My solution has been to split up where I work,” Palka said. “Each subject has its own spot, own playlist, and own part of my brain. Vondy is for my stats homework, the third floor Perkins is for my computer science work, my C++ endeavor lives exclusively in the Divinity Library, JavaScript is, well, wherever I am whenever I have time. Then I study Vietnamese in Lilly and my Spanish is done in the Wellness Center. Despite my normally inconsistent lifestyle, I stick to this plan pretty hard, as it really helps me efficiently learn.”