Categories: College Life

How Iced Coffee Got Me Through Grad School

Anyone who goes to college knows that coffee is superior to literally everything else. Coffee helps you to wake up for class, stay focused through class, and be prepared to take on whatever else the day may bring. And, if you’re like me, you know that one particular kind of coffee reigns supreme: iced coffee.

Why Iced Coffee Is Better Than Hot Coffee

Why, in the morning when you are barely aware that you’re even a person, would you put yourself in harm’s way by drinking hot coffee? You’re running the risk of burning your mouth and, when you jerk back in surprise from the sudden sting, there’s also the chance of spilling that same fiery liquid on yourself. Why would you do that? Do yourself a favor and chill your coffee the night before. Instead of being woken up by something terrifyingly hot, you can wake up to something more cool and refreshing. You’re not living in a sitcom, so don’t hurt yourself for laughs you’ll never hear.

An argument will be made, and I’ve been on the receiving end of it multiple times, that iced coffee can only be good when it’s hot out—that it’s inconceivable that a person would ever want to drink an iced coffee in the middle of winter, unless you’re the Night King himself. To that, I say nay. Iced coffee is a year-round drink; you can wear some mittens if you’re so distressed. An iced coffee is just as refreshing in the cold as it is in the heat. Besides, you’re likely already inside where the heat is blasting, so what’s the difference? I’ll die on the iced coffee hill, drink held tightly in my hand.

Firstly, A Bit Of Background

As you can probably tell by this point, I love iced coffee. If it’s coffee and it’s cold, I’ll down it faster than the Flash can run. But this isn’t about my ardent love for iced coffee, or at least not entirely. I went back to school for my master’s about two years after I had graduated from undergrad. It was a really confusing time for me; I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do yet. But, I was hearing that societal clock ticking (side note, if you take anything away from this, it’s that you need to do what YOU want, not what society thinks you should) and I was starting to feel the pressure. I had been interested in pursuing a master’s in literature, but I wasn’t confident that I was a good fit for it. That said, I hadn’t applied right after graduating the first time. Luckily, I was (and am) surrounded by people who uplift me, so after some encouragement from my best friend, I contacted one of my professors for more information. With her help, I applied to a program at San Francisco State University, my alma mater, and was accepted.

Iced Coffee, Please

I was riddled with nerves on my first day. I still wasn’t convinced I belonged there and I was sure my professors and classmates would realize that immediately. I was commuting an hour and a half to attend classes, so the first thing I did was go to my favorite coffee shop on campus. As an undergrad I was a faithful customer, so now that I was back, nothing was going to keep me from that sweet, cold brew. Everything was exactly as it had been two years prior, though I don’t know why I would have expected anything different. Even one of my old baristas was still there and remembered me. Just standing in that line and waiting patiently for my drink helped ease the nerves that had been swirling in the back of my head. Even if everything would prove to be a disastrous mistake, at least I’d gotten some of my favorite iced coffee again. It’s small things like iced coffee that you take for granted until they’re no longer a steady part of your routine. As I write this I can’t help but miss it again. So, with iced coffee clutched in one hand, I made the trek to my destiny.

Iced Coffee Is The Friends You Make Along The Way

Ok, so it wasn’t nearly that dramatic. But that iced coffee really meant a lot to me that day. It was something familiar to ground me when I was feeling so out of my depth. I made it through the obligatory, stress-inducing class ice-breakers and, most importantly, the iced coffee gave me something to focus on so I didn’t have to make eye contact (I’m painfully introverted, just in case that wasn’t clear). As time went on, though, iced coffee proved to be just the in I needed.

See Also

During the three hour seminars we would get a break about halfway through and that’s when I would scurry to the nearby cafe for more caffeine. After a while, a few of us would go together since we were all headed there anyway, chatting as we went. That provided me with an opportunity to get to know my classmates better. Eventually, we’d either arrange meet-ups or stumble across each other to get our caffeine fix before class. Thus, the friendships continued to grow. I don’t know that I would have made the friendships I did without iced coffee as my unseen catalyst, though maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit (I’m working on it). Our shared love for iced coffee has become a running joke in the friend circle I’ve found myself in, one that I’m so grateful to have. Since we’ve since graduated and split off, every once in a while someone (me) will send an iced coffee meme in the group thread that has us all chuckling with how accurate it is.

Iced coffee may not have literally gotten me through grad school, but it brought me to the people who did and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do you love iced coffee? What foods/drinks have a special place in your heart and why? Let me know in the comments below!

Featured Image Source via Pinterest,
Nidia Melgoza

I'm a writer based in California. I received my Bachelor's and Master's in Literature from San Francisco State University. I dream of one day writing books of my own and maybe even being part of a writer's room for a show! I love to talk about pop culture, books, and travel to anyone willing to listen. Some of my favorite topics in those categories are "Avatar the Last Airbender", "Gilmore Girls", the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Mexico, and Paris. My favorite thing in the world though is my dog, he's just the cutest!

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