I used to think that coffee shops were a place where my grandparents went every morning to get their coffee. Surely no one my age ever went there. When I got to high school, coffee shops were a cheap place to go with my friends to talk, but I saved my studying for libraries.
It wasn't until I got to college when I truly began to appreciate coffee shops, and now that I'm a graduate, I still love them! There are so many things that make coffee shops wonderful, but I have to start somewhere.
1. That coffee smellGiphy
For someone who doesn't like to drink coffee, I sure do love the smell! There's something comforting about the bitter aroma enveloping me that makes me feel at home.
2. People watchingGiphy
People watching is one of the best hobbies out there, and coffee shops provide the perfect atmosphere (I promise I'm not creepy - I just enjoy seeing how people behave in certain situations). First dates are the best to watch. You can just feel the awkwardness in the air.
3. The baristasGiphy
Not all of them are as sarcastic as Scarlett Johansson, but they're all great people! If you visit a coffee shop on the regular, make sure to get to know your baristas. They're people too, and who knows, you might just make their day!
Call me a snoop if you want, but I love listening in on other people's conversations. Sometimes they're talking about something interesting, others it's petty gossip. Either way, I love getting a peek into someone else's life.
5. Soft background musicGiphy
From smooth jazz to 80s pop to country, you hear all sorts of musical choices in coffee shops. Usually, the music decision lands on the barista. I try to find out what baristas play the best music and when they typically work so I can come in when the music is my favorite.
6. Good friendsGiphy
What better way to catch up with your best friends than to get some coffee or tea in a homey coffee shop?
7. Comfy chairsGiphy
Not all coffee shops have comfy chairs (and sometimes the wooden chairs and tables help you stay awake, but who wants that, right?), but when they do, you know you're in the right place. Sinking into a plush chair to read a good book is a heavenly feeling.
8. White noiseGiphy
I don't know about you, but to me, silence is deafening. I absolutely hate it! Listening to people talking to their friends about their latest car troubles or new Tinder match gives the perfect background for studying or reading.
But if you're there to talk with your friends, you might want to sit away from the really loud people.
9. Great place to studyGiphy
Why study at home when you could do your homework around other people? Then you can struggle through the work together.
10. Board games
I hope you know this game and had it on your shelf at home . . . if not, I feel very, very old.Giphy
Sure, you could bring your own games to your favorite coffee shop. But why would you want to do that when you could play games that are already there? From my experience, some of the best coffee shops have games there for you. I love being able to play Skip-Bo, Uno, Racko, and many other games with my friends while we talk.
11. Ultimate escapeGiphy
What better place to get away from your worries than a coffee shop? You can meet your friends and family to talk, study, journal, read, and so much more! The possibilities are endless.
When it comes down to it, I know that coffee shops aren't for everyone. But I know they are my home away from home. My college years were rough, and when I needed to get away from it all, I would go to my favorite off-campus coffee shop in Normal, IL - Fusion Brew. The atmosphere was just what I craved, and I never felt threatened or scared when I was there, and it soon became my comfort - even my "security blanket," if you will. Even though I'm an Illinois State graduate, I still appreciate Fusion Brew and everything it has given me over the years.
If coffee shops aren't for you, I encourage you to find your home away from home! Everyone needs an escape every once and a while (or every day for some of us). Discover yours and enjoy your own type of paradise.