The “Starbucks Experience”


Picture this…

Resting in front of me is my laptop, my notebook, my backpack, my water bottle and, of course, my trusted Starbucks coffee. My headphones are plugged in, but Florence and the Machine is playing so low that I can still hear the Bruno Mars song playing from the bookstore speakers. The hustle and bustle of students desperately trying to get some work done, so they can watch the Superbowl all day and feel a teensy bit less guilty about it, is underway, and I am extremely content.

This scenario is exactly why I go to Starbucks.

It is the experience that goes along with buying an overpriced cup of regular coffee or an extremely overpriced breakfast sandwich, that makes me come back for more. The thought of getting up and going to the library to start doing the mass amounts of homework that have already piled up becomes much more tolerable when I imagine coming to Starbucks and working there instead.

Freshman Sarah Thuet said the atmosphere is what she loves most.

“It is a really easy place to do homework for me,” Thuet said. “I like that it is not so quiet, but most people are respectful of those trying to focus. Also, the instant access to coffee is perfect.”

There is no written rule that says you cannot sit at a Starbucks table without one of the famous concoctions; however, there is an unspoken rule that you shouldn’t. When I sit at one of their tables without a drink, I feel strangely uneasy. It may be because I feel as if I am cheating Starbucks if I get the experience without paying for it, but it might also be because the drink in my hand completes it.

For junior Hanna Holman, Starbucks allows her to be social while still getting her work done.

“I love going to Starbucks because I get to see so many different people,” she said. “People are working, but also everyone’s having relaxed conversations.”

I know it may sound extremely “basic” to need a Starbucks cup in hand, but if it is going to get me through my strategic-communications textbook readings and my 100-page-old Victorian novels, then, believe me, I’m going to embrace my inner basic.

There is a reason why, when you are struggling to wake up for your 8 a.m., the light at the end of the tunnel is a Starbucks latte you grab before class. It is not really the coffee that helps; it is the idea of the coffee. That latte, or tea, or tea latte, comes with a promise that you will get to class on time, you will be awake enough to concentrate and you will be productive throughout the day. Unfortunately, a cup of coffee from the Keurig just doesn’t quite say that.

Or maybe I am just caught in the Starbucks web. So many of us are.

However, if that iced tea during the break in my classes is going to ensure that I get my reading done for my last class of the day, then truthfully, I am OK with it.

And if you are ever wondering what to get me for my birthday, a Starbucks gift card wouldn’t hurt.