7 a.m. The blaring sound of the alarm. The routine grudge and stretch out of bed. The blur of a toothbrush, clothes picking and hair combing. A quick to-go cup from the dining hall, an iced oat milk latte handcrafted by the local barista or a stop by the nearest Starbucks to grab a Frappuccino with your misspelled name scribbled on the side. The minute it hits your lips a change occurs: eyes brighten, a smile appears and you feel, in the truest sense of the word, human.
If this is more or less your morning routine, you’re probably a coffee addict.
Addiction is a strong word. It’s more of a way of life, despite the various not-so-positive side effects that often accompany caffeine dependency. While for many NYU students, it’s normal to down one or two cups of coffee a day, there are those among us who can’t survive without surpassing a three cup minimum. LS first-year Allie Dunlap drank so much coffee prior to attending NYU that she started losing her hair.
“Still, I will probably drink coffee for the rest of my life,” Dunlap said.
This can’t-stop-wont-stop attitude defines caffeine-crazed fanatics. CAS first-year Nathan Shek is no exception. “I know the health risks,” Shek said, “and I don’t give a f-ck.”
The coffee craze and New York way of life go hand in hand. Ever wonder why NYU students move around Greenwich Village with such speed and stamina? It’s not merely to match the pace of New Yorkers — it comes from the copious amount of caffeine coursing through their veins. How else would you attend four club meetings in one night?
WSN asked the Class of 2022 Facebook group to define how they’d react if forced to go without their daily dose. Answers range from disorganized and groggy to extremes such as dying and — my personal favorite — “Empty. Just empty.”
The journey to becoming a self-proclaimed coffee addict is a natural progression. Gallatin junior Candace Cameron admits she switches over to the harder stuff when her schedule becomes jam-packed.
“I then usually have more coffee or stronger coffees with extra espresso shots,” Cameron said. “I will actually have a migraine if I don’t have coffee before four in the afternoon.”
In a city with coffee shops on every corner, it’s hard to imagine people who prefer leaves over beans. However, there are some NYU students who would rather drink a mellow cup of tea over coffee. These students harbor an underlying fear of the unknown: What would happen if they switched to the hard stuff?
“Tea is better,” GLS first-year Leelu Ravi said. “If I let myself start, I’d become a caffeine monster.”
Moving past the initial trepidations, those that decide to test dark waters will be welcomed into the warm coffee culture, where every member finds a kindred spirit in anyone who wants to “grab a cup of coffee sometime.” Eventually, coffee can be the catalyst that takes one to places they never thought possible. LS first-year Robert Coventry III can attest.
“Without coffee,” Coventry said, “I’m not sure I would even be at NYU.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 24 print edition. Email Anna de la Rosa at [email protected]