Study Distractions @ Starbucks

So you’re looking for a quiet place to do work. You rule out the school library, cause that’s just too quiet & if you opt with your bed, studying with extra comfort and a nearby fridge, you may doze off. I know the feeling, it happens to me quite often. And without thinking twice, I somehow end up in the same place: cozy atmosphere, soft (often jazz-like music), and outlets! Sound familiar? I’m talking about Starbucks.

Whether we love it or hate it, Starbucks has turned into a student haven. But as your sitting with your grande half sweet, light whip latte, you realize that Starbucks really isn’t a haven at all. While the drinks are yummy & the staff’s friendly, there are millions of distractions – especially when you need to get stuff done!


The Interview

Starbucks Interview

Now whether it’s an interview or a business meeting – you’re bound to catch this. Starbucks is a good place to hold anything work related because it’s classier than Tim Horton’s and if the new intern (aka. us uni students) orders some fancy modern drink, the boss won’t have to dish out more than a 10er, max.

The introduction will always be awkward. That’s when your school brain gets distracted – is this a first date, or an interview? Once you’ve sussed out that it is in fact an interview, you suddenly want to play employer.

However, instead of focusing on whether or not the person is qualified for whatever the job is, you start creating their dating profile. Blue eyes – they definitely like the beach. Tight, but professional dress – probably prefers low fat dessert. Flat shoes vs. high heels – totally a hiker! This person’s dream date section might read: I enjoy long walks on the beach (with my pet dog named Magnolia), small talk over a candle lit dinner (that we just made together, while laughing hysterically at how funny it is that we’ve never met at the local gym) – and don’t forget the sorbet for dessert, I’m not a cheesecake gal. They would make an awesome assistant! Hired!

But seriously, watching the interviewee sweating through their dad’s tie, and overdoing the smile while trying to keep eye contact, is a lot more fun than whatever you were doing 10 minutes ago.

The Newbie

Starbucks Order - Paul Rudd

You can hear them from your table: can I have a tall caramel mac mac, macci – how do you pronounce it? That’s the big size, right? What’s it called when it’s skim milk? Skimmy? I’ll have a large skimmy caramel mac, mac…that one (points). Oh it comes in hazelnut too? Did you already write that down?

It’s not even that you’re being a Starbucks snob – this person’s just so confused. Maybe Ellen sent them!

The Bathroom Goers

Employees Wash Hands

I think it’s a worldwide fact that Starbucks bathrooms are clean. It really is a mystery, seeing as they don’t require a key and anyone can use them. Regardless, they’re your go-to while waiting in line for a concert – so you’ve probably been this person.

As you’re writing your thesis, you notice that one person – the one that hasn’t bought anything, but really needs to pee. They walk in, maybe stop at the cash “debating” a purchase, and then suddenly realize, “mid decision making,” that they have to go.

You then enjoy watching them scurry to the back, eyes darting across the café, wondering if anyone’s caught onto their ponzi scheme. You almost want to make eye contact with them – give them a nod. But their in the bathroom, door locked in seconds.

They then come out a few minutes later with a bit of a hidden grin. They’ve just gotten away with using a Starbucks bathroom and you just wasted another 10 minutes.

The Gossip

Coffee Break

This may just be a personal distraction, but since we cant easily turn our ears off I feel like it’s happened to you too. And if it hasn’t, at least Charlie McDowell gets me.

You spot them as they walk in. They eye the spot behind you and one of them throws her coat over the chairs – they’ve marked their territory. They giggle at the cash, deciding if they want the blueberry bar or the oat fudge bar. Maybe they’ll just get both! They sit down with their whip cream topped drinks & begin.

Their convo soon turns to gossip, and you just can’t stop listening. Before you know what’s happened, you’ve forgot about your assignment & are tuned in like last weeks episode of Girls.

You’ve been listening for so long that your jaw actually drops when you find out that Angela – the innocent one of the group – went home with Derek at the pub last night! And you become even more shocked when you hear that Lauren was talking to Anna, since they totally got in this really big fight last month and have been ignoring each other ever since.

It’s not eavesdropping if it’s within ear’s reach, right?

The Seat Waiter

Waiting at Starbucks

They’ve come to Starbucks with a plan: they’re other students, friends, family, patients & they all do one thing. They hover. The students stand around looking for a table near the outlet, while the kids of the family run around yelling, drunk off their short hot chocolate or tall strawberry frap.

You try not to make eye contact with them – cause they might think you’re leaving & you’re not! You’re just using them as a study distraction. You do however wish they were leaving, because their hovering is making you uncomfortable. Maybe they’ll finish their drink while they wait & give up on seats. Why did they even buy a drink if there wasn’t seating? Why didn’t they find a seat first & then buy a drink?

All these questions run through your mind and you nearly offer up your seat cause you can’t handle them eyeing you as you write your paper. In fact you’ve stopped writing entirely since they’ve entered.


Whether or not you’ve experienced these distractions – you’ve definitely experienced distraction while studying. I sometimes think that studying attracts distraction. It’s part of the game, unfortunately.

While the library might suck at first, if you want to get any work done HIT IT UP! Starbucks will have your eyes wandering & your ears working overtime. But it’s also such a nice working environment! #thestruggleisreal

What are some distractions you’ve caught while trying to study? Let us know in the comments below 🙂

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