Do You See an Outlet?

Carolina has taught me that there is yet another stress-inducing activity that a student has the opportunity to experience. Can you guess what it is? It is indirectly related to exams, essays, grades, deadlines, etc. If you’ve guessed “finding a place to sit on campus” you are correct! 

You know the drill, you have to get in the right headspace to start an assignment. Maybe you need a change of scenery, dead silence or some background noise? So you get out of your room to go on the hunt for a place to sit. More often than not you find yourself racing a stranger to an empty table near a coveted outlet, only to lose, sigh, turn around with what dignity you have left and search for another stranger to race.

After going through this process… way too many times… I like to think that I have figured out the key to success. Rather, I have figured out a few places to go and the best times to go to them. So today, I’m going to share my favorite indoor on-campus and off-campus places to go with you. 


  • Davis Library
    • If you are looking for a first-floor experience that is quiet with some small chatter, I suggest heading to Davis Library on a Friday or a Saturday morning. I always find it to be fairly empty on those days with high chances of finding a seat near an outlet. I would not recommend Davis Library during midterm/finals season or during a weekday. It is usually full to the brim and exudes anxiety. 
  • Park Library 
    • Media and Journalism majors, this one will mostly appeal to you. Park Library is Carroll Hall’s little library located on the second floor. It’s small but I always find a seat in there and all of the tables have multiple outlets. It’s not dead silent unless you go on Friday. But be aware that you will get kicked out at 4:30 pm on Fridays and 6:00 pm on weekdays. 
  • Student Stores 
    • I personally like the second floor of Student Stores, the area by the caffè, when I’m working on something that isn’t too intensive.  I would not go here during a weekend game day. There are waaaaaaaaay too many people then.  
  • Empty classroom in Murphey Hall 
    • One of the most difficult times to find a place to sit on campus is during finals week.It seems as though every nook and cranny of the entire campus is stuffed with a million students. If its finals week and you are one of those people who can’t find a spot, I recommend heading to Murphey Hall, located on the main quad of campus, and sitting in an empty classroom. The classrooms are fairly new, they have a computer, chalkboards, and are surprisingly empty most of the time. Murphey is a good place to go if you want to study with a group of people in a quiet and private place. 
  • Port City Java 
    • As someone who has lived on south campus for all four years, Port City Java is my place to go. The music is good, the #vibes are good and the ice…. they have the good ice, you know, the Chick-Fil-A ice. I like Port City Java because, for a coffee shop, it’s fairly quiet and it’s conveniently located for those days you want to get out of your room but you don’t want to be too far away from it. I recommend PCJ on rainy days. (It’s inside Chase Dining Hall). 


  • Open Eye Café
    • Unless you wake up at the crack of dawn, or maybe you camp outside all night to be the first one in the door, you will not find a seat in Open Eye on the weekend. However, it’s a good place to go on a weekday after class. Open Eye Café is a coffee shop in Carborro, Chapel Hill. When I go to Open Eye Café I sit there for hours and I’m able to get A LOT of work done. It can get loud, but the music they play helps me get into my own thoughts and be productive. I highly recommend this place. And if you want a drink rec., I would either go for a hazelnut latte with half the syrup or an iced matcha latte if you arent feeling coffee but want some caffeine. 
  • Panera in DurhamIf you have access to transportation, I recommend driving to Panera in Durham to get work done on Sundays. The wifi is fast, certain tables are near outlets and you can get lunch. It also removes you a little bit more from the college student crowd which can be refreshing at times. This is a recent discovery of mine and will likely become a Sunday regular for the time being.

Central Campus Map 

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