By Jordan J Kunkel
Coffee, the drink college students love to consume for those late study nights, early morning classes and exams, is seen in the hands of COC students on a daily basis.
According to the National Coffee Association, 41 percent of 18-24 year olds are drinking coffee each day, up from 31 percent from 2010.
COC only offers one coffee spot at the Valencia campus, called the Coffee Kiosk, however many other coffee locations occupy the Santa Clarita Valley.
Within a five-mile radius from COC, there are 10 Starbucks, two Coffee Beans, one Peet’s Coffee and Tea and two Coffee Kiosks for college students and other consumers to choose from.
These locations are only the larger coffee corporations in the SCV. There are also family-owned shops.
Coffee may seem like a necessity during the college years, but it is also an item that could potentially dig a large hole into student’s wallets.
Alexis Navarro, a COC student and Starbucks employee, says he spends on average $50 per week on coffee drinks.
“I started drinking coffee because it tasted good, but now if I go a day without drinking coffee I feel unawake. I normally drink coffee after stressful exams,” he said.
“Even though I woke up earlier in high school, I drink more coffee in college,” Navarro said.
The most popular drink at the Coffee Kiosk on campus, the Carmalatto, is $5.25 for a 16-ounce beverage.
Given that some students buy that drink four days each week, they are spending $21 per week, averaging about $336 a semester and $672 a year, not accounting for winter or summer sessions.
Tyler Greenwood, a COC student and employee at the Coffee Kiosk on campus, says that sales peak during midterms, finals and at the beginning of each semester.
Greenwood explained that students love getting their coffee during the more stressful periods of the year.
“I notice a decline in sales a few weeks into each semester due to the students who have dropped classes,” Greenwood said.
Starbucks locations also see a trend during midterms and finals week for students.
“With finals week being this time of the year, we have seen an increased number of individuals with their laptop and headphones, as well as groups gathered together, books sprawled out while sharing coffee and notes,” says Jenna Boyle, Starbucks’ assistant store manager at the Magic Mountain and Tourney location.
Tamera Engel, a deaf study major at COC, says she finds herself purchasing coffee more frequently during midterms and finals, spending around $75 per week.
“I feel like it wakes me up. I usually get things with sugar in it or light caffeine,” said Engel.
Most Starbucks locations provide chairs, tables, outlets near most of the tables and Wi-Fi for its customers.
This gives college students both a place to study and to purchase caffeinated drinks, as they need a pick me up.
“The refill policy makes it affordable to enjoy drinks during a longer stay,” says Boyle.
One location in particular near California State University Northridge even opens up their store 24 hours a day during finals week to accommodate students that need somewhere to study and purchase caffeine late at night.
The Starbucks Corporation has always thrived to bring in students, and even pays for college employees to get their desired degree online through Arizona State University.
Lauren Beltran, a nursing major at COC, loves to study at Starbucks locations.
“I sometimes choose to study at coffee shops because I do not get distracted as I do when I am home. It’s also a quieter environment then studying at my house. I always love to study at Starbucks,” she said.
Beltran loves Starbucks especially because of its pleasant environment, laid-back music and friendly employees. During her studies she generally orders a caramel machiatto with two extra espresso shots, totaling up to four shots.
“It allows me to stay awake, and therefore I can study for a longer time. Caffeine wakes me up when I’m tired and have a long day at school,” she said.
Adam Beattie, also a COC student, only chooses to study at Starbucks locations.
“It’s best for me because it’s away from distractions. I could do that at a library but they usually don’t sell food and drinks there,” says Beattie.
Starbucks companies do not object to students studying for hours at a time, even if they do not purchase a drink!
“Starbucks takes education very seriously. Not only do we love seeing people accomplish great things in our stores, but we love that people use our home to connect over a cup of coffee, whether it’s with each other, their work, or their studies,” says Boyle.
Not all college students consume coffee for school purposes, yet instead they drink it more often because of the busy schedules they juggle between classes, studying, work and extracurricular activities.
“I drink coffee three to four times a week usually at work because of my hours,” said Nicole Keyes, COC student and emergency medical technician at the American Medical Response Station located in Canyon Country.
Let’s not forget that college is generally the time that students become of age to drink alcohol, and this may also play an important role in coffee habits during the college years.
Staying out late on a Sunday night before going to class early Monday morning may not be the smartest idea, yet students do it, so they can’t help but start off their morning by consuming some sort of coffee to revive their bodies and prepare themselves for the day.
CNN wrote an article on the most common 10 hangover cures used amongst Americans, and coffee happens to be up there.
“You may wind up layering a pounding caffeine-withdrawal headache on top of your hangover woes if you miss your morning fix,” says CNN.
College students have their various reasons for purchasing their daily dose of caffeine, but regardless coffee is something that makes college students alike in many ways.
Most think they need it for energy, allowing them to feel more awake while studying thus resulting in better test scores, or so they hope.