By Esther Fultz
According to a 2013 study from the University of New Hampshire Scholars Repository, 90% of the adult population consumes caffeine on a regular basis. Among college students, the main source of caffeine consumption is coffee. Why is coffee such a popular drink?
Senior Biblical studies major Zach Leitch says he drinks two to three cups of coffee on an average day, particularly when he has morning classes to attend. “I like the taste of it, which I know not everyone does,” Leitch says. “Also, especially in the morning, it makes me more focused.”
“I probably get like 2-3 times more done per day when I drink coffee,” Leitch continues, although he says he does not consider himself addicted. “I could not drink it and totally be fine,” Leitch says.
Freshman nursing major Rosemary Hall also reports having more energy and a better mood when she drinks coffee. In fact, she decided to temporarily stop drinking coffee to avoid becoming addicted to it. “I think people drink coffee too much,” says Hall. “Honestly, I think more than one cup a day is too much.”
Senior communication major Gabrielle Bouquet agreed with Leitch and Hall regarding the energy enhancing and mood-boosting benefits of coffee, but she also stressed a third benefit of coffee – the community it builds among college students.
“At Cedarville, a lot of people go to Rinnova or Orion or Beans, and so many meaningful conversations happen around coffee,” says Bouquet. “I think that’s why I love it so much. Even if you’re just making it in a room, you can invite friends over to make coffee, I just love doing that so much.”
Bouquet also explained how coffee has connected students across cultures. “A lot of international students’ cultures have their own ways of making coffee, which is exciting to learn about,” says Bouquet. “That’s another way I’ve connected with people, [asking what] coffee is like in their cultures. I’ve heard so much of ‘oh, we make it like this, we do it like that.’ It’s fun because it’s kind of a common thing, but still unique in every culture.”
Like Bouquet, Leitch’s drinking coffee helps him to connect with other people. “It helps me to interact with others, and it helps me to be more awake and alert in conversations,” Leitch says.
And coffee’s relationship-building benefits go beyond the connections students have with their peers. Coffee affects the relationships students have with their professors, as some students are more likely to go to class when they’ve had their morning cup of coffee, and all three of the students I interviewed say coffee helps them to pay attention better in class.
Many students also focus better in chapel when they drink coffee that morning, suggesting coffee could even be a factor in improving Cedarville students’ relationships with God.
Coffee tends to have a bad reputation due to some of the issues that can arise when one excessively consumes caffeine. As Hall pointed out, it’s important to be careful. But coffee can most certainly contribute to a healthy lifestyle for the college student and has a variety of benefits, some of which might be surprising. To sum up, with a quote from Bouquet, “[A cup of coffee] is more than just a cup of coffee.”
Esther Fultz is a sophomore Social Work major and a Campus and Off-Campus writer for Cedars. She enjoys writing songs, spending time outdoors, and drinking coffee.