By Matthew Goldman
Graduate Research Assistant

Now that the semester is in full swing, you are probably looking for a place where you can finish your 200-page reading assignment for the lit class you’re enrolled in. Or maybe you need to escape the distractions at your house to write that creative piece that’s due for workshop next week. If you’re finished with all your homework or feel like escaping it for a little while, you might be looking for a fun place around campus to unwind. Well search no more, fearless reader! The handsome devil in this blog post’s thumbnail has you covered. I interviewed a sampling of veteran students to bring you some advice on where to study and where to have fun around Chapman University.

Matthew Goldman (2nd Year – Dual Degree)

  • My favorite place to hang out would be a toss-up between O’Hara’s, Hollingshead Deli, and The 1888 Center. The bartenders at O’Hara’s are great people who have solid relationships with members our program. Hollingshead runs team-trivia every Friday beginning at 7p.m., which has become my favorite weekly activity. Be warned: it gets busy! Try and get there earlier than 6:30p.m. to ensure you find enough seating for your team. The 1888 Center is communally creative. It’s a fun place to chat with fellow writers and kick around story ideas, plus it hosts events that are relevant to people pursuing a career in writing and serves the kookiest coffees and teas.

Liz Harmer (2nd Year – MFA)

  • My favorite study spot is a quiet corner of Leatherby because it’s close to books and coffee, and I usually run into someone I know.
  • Favorite hangout is The 1888 Center for the same reasons, but better coffee!

Maryam Khamesi (2nd Year – MFA)

  • If I’m studying on campus, I go to the library in a corner where there isn’t anyone around. It’s quiet and I like looking out the window.
  • As a non-drinker, I was surprised to find that O’Hara’s is my favorite place to hang out. I get free non-alcoholic drinks and it’s just a cool, cozy environment. You don’t feel like you’re going to some crazy bar.

Tonika Reed (2nd Year – MA)

  • My study and hangout places tend to blend together. I like to read at Pandor in the afternoon because: gelato and WiFi. I used to dine at Watson’s occasionally before they changed the menu, but their bakery is still bomb. On real stressful days, I enjoy studying/reading at The 1888 Center. The minimalist space calms my soul and helps me focus.

Mariam Saïd (2nd Year – MFA)

  • My favorite place to write on campus is that little bench area next to Doti Hall because it’s quiet and I can get some good people watching without too much background noise. My favorite place to read is as close as possible to that fountain in front of the library because on hot days you get a little bit of mist and the sound of the rushing water provides enough white noise to prevent the specifics of people’s conversations from distracting me.
  • I like to hang with friends at that other, rectangular fountain close to the music building because it’s peaceful and a little quieter, so I can actually hear my friends.

Daniel Strasberger (2nd Year – MFA)

  • I would say my favorite place to study would be Provisions. I go there almost every weekday morning to grab a cup of coffee and do some reading. The staff there is very nice. They have good food and they have a small coffee shop in there called Portolo. The music is calming and you can sit in there all day to do some writing.
  • Anyone who knows me is aware that my favorite place to hang out is Ohara’s. It’s my favorite bar to go to. The staff is very nice, and after a few visits, they’ll start to remember your order and your name.  The prices are good and you can bring food in from anywhere in The Circle. Ray and Jason are the two friendliest bartenders in Orange, hands down.
  • Jake VanWormer (3rd Year – Dual Degree)
  • I study in the library. Booking a private study room is a wonderful thing. This is something that is free for graduate students, and graduate students get longer checkout periods than undergrads. Heads up that you must book the room online rather than in person. The rooms are located on the second and third floor, and, after booking one, you can pick up an access key from the library’s front desk using your student ID.
  • I enjoy hanging out in O’Hara’s because it has cheap booze, and it’s close to campus.

Do you have a place that you like to study or hangout that you don’t see mentioned here? Sound off in the comments and let us know!