Community time Starbucks runs. Cans of Yerba Mattes scattered around Rosen. Whether you’re relying on a shot of espresso to survive your classes or never partake in any caffeinated drinks, caffeine is an ever-present, constant part of life at Stevenson. Perhaps you see it in your friends or teachers as they joke about their morning coffee.
In a recent poll, the Stevenson community predicted that the average number of caffeinated drinks each student consumes is around 1-3. The most popular drink seems to be Yerba Mates, which makes sense given the easy access and long lines after assembly. Senior Kate Negri obverses, “Caffeine is just a large part of culture in general. Going out for coffee or grabbing another caffeinated drink becomes a social opportunity. I think consuming caffeine becomes pretty normalized in high school, so it can be good common ground.” Senior Emily Amador makes a similar observation: “You’ll go out and get coffee during free periods. Or you could be in class, and your friend is going and will get you something. I think it’s a running joke now with how much we consume.” Junior Mia Schlenker aptly theorizes, “Maybe there’s a stigma around it just because of the rigor around the school and the stereotype behind academically driven students surviving off caffeine.”
Likewise, senior Lydia Yu adds, “I think it is definitely a large part of Stevenson culture. There are always multiple people that bring caffeinated drinks to each one of my classes, and this was not normal at my past schools. Even my teachers have noted this, and they would speak about how they didn’t drink any caffeine until college.”
There is, however, a wide spectrum of numbers consumed. Senior Ara Traina explains, “I feel like the spectrum is very wide because I don’t drink caffeine, but there are other people that drink a ton of coffee. some people I’m a little bit concerned about because they can down three Monsters back to back, and that’s normal to them.” Similarly, Yu shares, “On average I drink about 1 a day. I think that’s probably average for a Stevenson student since some drink a lot of caffeinated drinks while others don’t drink any at all.” Senior Curtis Da Silva concludes, “Not more than one. I can go days without anything.”
On the other hand, Negri shares,”I would say roughly 3 caffeinated beverages a day. I think that is slightly more than the average student. Most people probably drink 1 or 2.” Likewise, junior Mia Schlenker adds “Probably like two or three. I feel like that's a relatively normal amount.”
For some, the passion for caffeine stems from a young age. Schlenker reveals, “I started when I was very young because I used to competitive dance. So I probably started drinking coffee in 3rd or 4th grade.” Senior Emily Amadaor got her start with her family: “I can't even remember. I just remembered my grandmother always giving me coffee, even at night. I didn’t realize it was a caffeinated drink and the effects it has on me.”
For some, it started much later. Senior Curtis Da Silva shares, “I hated coffee junior year, and it took a while for me to start to like it. Now, coffee is more of what I drink.”
Whether you go days without drinking coffee or chug a can of Enlighten Mint before math class, caffeine can be seen in all pockets of life. And as long as Starbucks remains in Pacific Grove, a fixture of life for upperclassmen, and as long as cans of Yerbas remain available at Simoneaus, caffeine culture can always be found at Stevenson.