Setting up for success

Students adapt their workspaces to maximize productivity and enjoyment of learning

Junior+Sam+Stubenhofer+studies+for+his+AP+United+States+History+class+at+Caf%C3%A9+Equinox.+I+study+at+Caf%C3%A9+Equinox+for+the+environment+of+relaxation+and+serenity%2C+Stubenhofer+said.+

Mitri Krishna

Junior Sam Stubenhofer studies for his AP United States History class at Café Equinox. “I study at Café Equinox for the environment of relaxation and serenity,” Stubenhofer said.

Despite the lack of teacher-to-student connection Junior Sam Stubenhofer said he is experiencing from school, he has found ways to enjoy his hybrid schooling experience, particularly through his workspace of choice: Cafe Equinox.

Stubenhofer said Cafe Equinox, located at 8424 Farley St. Overland Park, KAN. 66212, is connected to Family Tree Nursery which he said allows it to have a good environment for studying. 

“I’ll go there to study, but also when I am feeling stressed I will walk around the building and see all the beautiful plants and I’ll use that to kind of relax myself,” Stubenhofer said. 

When he is at Cafe Equinox, Stubenhofer said he has gotten into a routine of doing classwork in a chronological order, starting with his first hour and ending with his seventh. 

“[Cafe Equinox is a] pretty chill environment, there are plants all around and there is natural light coming in so it just feels fresh and rejuvenating, especially if you have been trapped in one spot all day,” Stubenhofer said. 

I’ll go there to study, but also when I am feeling stressed I will walk around the building and see all the beautiful plants and I’ll use that to kind of relax myself,”

— Sam Stubenhofer

What sets Cafe Equinox apart from other study spots, according to Stubenhofer, is the feeling of freshness one experiences while there. 

“If ever you are having a bad day to see all the plants and all the people who enjoy being there kind of lifts your spirit. Stubenhofer said. “But also you can get coffee and just get away from like where you do school most of the time and get some fresh air.” 

Stubenhofer said he will continue to go to Cafe Equinox regardless of the version of school he is in for the remainder of his junior year, as he said it provides him a place to be relaxed while doing work.

“I feel if I’m on a set schedule, I get bored and then I’ll start not trying as much and so if I have that one place where I can just go there and relax and do schoolwork, I’ll be fine,” Stubenhofer said.

Writing in his notebook, Junior Sam Stubenhofer takes notes seated at Café Equinox. “I find that I have better motivation to keep working as I am surrounded by things that bring me joy,” Stubenhofer said. (Mitri Krishna)

Similar to Stubenhofer, senior Caroline Flannagan said she makes online school more enjoyable by doing her work with friends and considers the highlight of her senior year.

Seniors Caroline Flannagan and Rachelle Jackson work on AP Statistics homework. “It has been nice to have the ability, if I had missed Stats or something didn’t make sense to me to double check with Rachelle or have her walk me through it,” Flannagan said. (Mitri Krishna)

“We choose to do [school together] to mix up the monotony of being at home and sitting in our rooms doing school by ourselves and to make it more fun and have the ability to see each other,” Flannagan said.

A typical day for Flannagan and her friends she said usually begins around 7:45 a.m. and always consists of making coffee or tea together. She said they go along with the school day schedule and spend their breaks eating together and hanging out. 

“During lunch time we hang out and talk and laugh,” Flannagan said. “We’re all very studious so it definity is a time that we are getting our work done and since a lot of us are in similar classes we use that time to work together and ask each other questions.”

We choose to do [school together] to mix up the monotony of being at home and sitting in our rooms doing school by ourselves ”

— Caroline Flannagan


Senior Rachelle Jackson, one of the friends Flannagan works with, said working with friends has helped bring some normalcy to her school year, pointing out the social aspect of working with others. 

“It can get pretty lonely when you are by yourself and not surrounded with other human beings,” Jackson said. “So it has been really nice to have that social interaction.”