By Josh Willcocks
The sun glides listlessly from behind the frosted rooftops, plumes of silver boiler smoke billow in the cool air, and a robin, perched atop a garden fence, warbles honeyed notes of festive song into the winter morning.
A seminar summons you from your warm bed, and bleary eyed and red nosed you follow the scent, stand in line wrapped like fajita filling and await some ratty barista to take your order: latté, non-fat, double-shot, soya milk with the daintiest pinch of self-loathing…to take away.
In a thousand different spots, in a thousand different cities, caffeine fiends queue up at their nearest dealer’s – be it Nero’s or Starbucks’ – to choke down some of that good ol’ golden black before the day has truly begun, a substantial percentage of whom are students.
For those passers-by who aren’t dependent on coffee, and don’t require it fed intravenously into the jugular to function – though few there may be – it must seem a bizarre ritual, it is though, a ritual that must be enacted.
Granted, this liquid onyx may sport odours of burnt hair and resignation, and, when they say ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ they may well mean that you’d be hard pressed to stay asleep when someone‘s chugging that crude oil (a metaphor all the more poignant given that the trade of coffee is eclipsed only by oil) nearby, BUT, we weren’t all blessed with the ability, or the motivation, to get up in the morning of our own accord.
Certainly, there are those fortunate undergrads among us who may wake afresh at 6am or find the prospect of learning itself rouses sufficient motivation to soldier into the twilight; I fear the majority however, are not so inclined. And, although this warm beverage may have its detractors, it’s a better choice than smoking your lungs raisin dry to the same effect.
A healthy custom of coffee drinking allows students to flourish and get the degrees they need to obtain one of the many jobs that are out there waiting for them when they leave university. One coherent mathematical equation can easily explain the effect of such a habit: 1 student + 2 cups of coffee x the number of days in university = employability + long term economic security. Simple. How has no one stumbled upon this connection before?
Sure, there may be some minor side effects to a dependency of this nature: you might find yourself at four 4 o’clock in the afternoon shaking like last night’s dinner has turned to hot coals in your guts, with a headache that a pack of Neurofen couldn’t cure, whinging to your flatmates whilst collapsing face first into a pillow.
You can however, in spite of this, take solace in the fact that you are becoming a valuable member of society and that you aren’t wasting the tax payers money by skipping class – an injustice that I’m sure is very close to all our hearts.
As Vegas was built upon a sea of vomit and whacked mobsters, is not the entire higher educational system of our fair isle built upon a sea of this murky water? If it were not for coffee attendance rates would plummet, grades would go in a similar direction and the country may very well end up like our European cousin Greece. I think it therefore apt that we pay homage to the brown beverage; the bedrock our universities are constructed upon.
Indulge your love of coffee, drink, and be part of Cameron’s Britain!
I do believe it was Jesus of Nazareth himself who said: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every cup of steamy coffee – a fine endorsement if ever one was needed.