Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Four-year cup of fun

Published: February 26, 2010
Section: Opinions

It’s 11:30 on a Thursday night and the campus coffee shop is bustling. At college, the coffee shop is an experience (no matter why) everyone seems to gather here.

You notice the freshmen right away. They huddle in the corner over books, still bundled up. They haven’t adjusted to the cold, and judging by the large cup of coffee they’re each holding, they haven’t adjusted to the workload, either.

Sophomores are easy to spot. They look exhausted, but instead of working they’re socializing. This is a habit for them; in between life’s demands this is where they go.

Juniors, they’re the ones not sitting either, but, instead of exhausted, they look rejuvenated. Among them there’s talk of study abroad and internships. Life is good for them; they’ve balanced demands. Their conversations end with “I’m going to bed soon” instead of the sophomores’ lament: “I haven’t even started my reading for tomorrow yet.”

Seniors sit by themselves here. Their table is covered in resumes and grad school applications, signs of life after Brandeis. You look at them, their ease: working around the rustling noises of feet, voices, coffee makers, doors, chairs scraping the floor. You begin to wonder, how many times have they done this in four years?

Changed in the last three years, yet still the same late-night coffee shop run. How many friends have they sat here with? It’s like a high school locker. As a freshman, you can’t figure out how to work it or when to go to it, but, like the coffee shop, once you do it’s a haven in a sea of schoolwork.