Before I started college at the University of Kentucky, I would never have been able to tell the difference between a latte, cold brew, or a simple coffee. I only knew that every coffee shop I walked into always smelled amazing as coffee beans roasted behind the counter and whipped cream topped off different mochas and hot chocolates.
In high school, I had only thought of coffee as the occasional drink that I would treat myself to once a month because I drove past a Starbucks on the way to the mall. But now, I cannot imagine going through one weekend without a vanilla oat milk latte from Manchester Coffee Co., one of my favorite coffee shops in Lexington, Kentucky. My somewhat indifference towards coffee has grown into a great appreciation for the caffeinated goodness that comes in cups, mugs, glasses, and mason jars.
I truly believe that it is simply being a college student that has implemented such a shift in my opinion on coffee.
The college schedule of classes is within and of itself, an adjustment compared to high school. Class times can range anywhere between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., which makes for incredibly long days filled with homework, projects, exams, and studying. Because college classes demand more from students, the time and effort that is required can seem overwhelming. This might mean a few late nights at the library or early morning study sessions before class starts.
It can be stressful when thinking about how you're possibly going to manage to stay awake amongst the college chaos. This, my friend, is where the coffee comes in.
Whether you're ordering yourself a caramel iced coffee, or chai tea, or one large cappuccino to beat the morning fog that comes with lack of sleep, any variation of caffeine is guaranteed to keep you awake and focused for as long as necessary.
When I endured my first experience with college finals last year, I knew I could not possibly get through 12 hours of studying at Willy T if it weren't for a large iced vanilla latte to keep me going. I never thought I would have developed such a strong love from such a strong drink, but drinking a coffee has instilled more of meaning within itself. I now drink coffee while spending time with friends, or to treat myself to a long week, or to catch up with a family member at our favorite local spot at home.
"Let's get coffee!" is a phrase I now hold near and dear to my heart. It is without a doubt my love language, and I'm not sorry about it.
Laughing over coffee has cultivated some of my strongest and most meaningful friendships. It is something I look forward to after class, it's a pick-me-up when I haven't had the best of days, and it is my own way of congratulating myself after success on an exam or project.
Though I might feel less jittery at times if it weren't for the peppermint mocha I just consumed, drinking more coffee has opened up my eyes to a whole new world filled with the comfort of caffeine.