To the coffee shop or the bar?


Credit: Rebecca Panico

By Anthony Muccigrossi | Published March 3, 2016

Coffee and alcohol go with college life like crayons and boogers go with elementary school.

From the sepia-toned photograph of coffee you just scrolled past on Tumblr, to the Instagram photo you just liked of your friend clutching their favorite beer, caffeine and the sauce have become synonymous with college.

And it makes sense: after a long day of classes, some students turn to coffee to refuel or alcohol to unwind. So do college students prefer to socialize at a bar or a coffee shop?

In an unscientific survey that polled 65 Kean students and 22 others using various channels like Twitter and Facebook, 38 people said that they prefer to spend their time in a coffee shop, 31 people said a bar and 18 said neither.

“I’m more of a quiet, more of a like let’s-sit down-[and]-read-with-a-cup-of-coffee [person],” said Alyssa Bodycombe, a barista at the Starbucks coffee stand located in the Center for Academic Success building.

“I don’t like the atmosphere that comes with the alcohol,” she added, speaking the bar setting.

Bodycombe did admit to going to Brewed Awakening located on Main Street in Metuchen when she was younger and didn’t work for Starbucks though.

Kean students spending time at the Starbucks on campus. (Credit: Anthony N. Muccigrossi)

Kean students spending time at the Starbucks on campus. (Credit: Anthony N. Muccigrossi)

On the Kean campus, there are plenty of places for students to get their daily dose of caffeine, including the other Starbucks inside the Nancy Thompson Library.

Since Kean University is a dry campus, students must resort to consuming alcohol off school property, like at Suspenders on Magie Avenue in Union. However, Ursino, located in the STEM building, but currently closed for renovations, is the only bar on campus.

For one Kean student, a cold one or some bubbly is the way to go.

“At a bar, liquor is flowing, so you are able to kind of get more comfortable with people,” said Julian Arias, a senior, majoring in communication studies.

The Tower asked an adult with a background in cognitive psychology to weigh in on the why youngin’s might prefer the cozy coffee-spot over the bar scene.

“You would imagine that more of them [students] would prefer to spend time in coffee shops, where they could both socialize and do school work,” said Dr. Suzanne Bousquet, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Bousquet said she has seen students playing card games, listening to music, and doing homework, which she cited as being unusual to see in a bar.

For this particular age group, social engagement is very important,” said Bousquet.

Follow The Tower on Twitter@KeanTower. Find The Tower on Facebook.


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