Seasonal Drinks: Cheers to Finals and the Holidays
By Hannah Zozobrado
December 17, 2021
Image Credit: Josie Jack for The Campus Trainer
Winter break and holiday festivities are right around the corner, but before University of Maryland students can enjoy what the season has to offer, they have one thing left to tackle: finals.
However, in classic multitasking fashion, UMD students have merged the repressed winter spirit with the stress of final exams by downing seasonal and holiday-inspired coffee, specifically those from Starbucks and Dunkin.
As someone who celebrates Christmas, biochemistry sophomore Julianna “Julie” Le finds comfort and joy in drinking holiday-inspired drinks, treating it as a “special experience” despite the high pressure of exams and projects.
“I think holiday themed coffees are all-around really amazing,” Le said. “They make everyone excited for the holidays, because they have become such a big part of my holiday experience, I don’t think Christmas would be as fun without them.”
Around this time of year, Le enjoys coffee with nuttier flavors, but recently she hasn’t bothered to get anything besides a Chestnut Praline Latte from Starbucks, simply because she liked it that much.
“Holiday drinks make me feel happy, I think they just lighten my mood because I know that they are something I don’t get to have a lot,” Le said.
Despite working at Dunkin, sophomore journalism and criminology and criminal justice double major Sofia Garay doesn’t drink much coffee herself. However, a few holiday drinks she does stand behind are Dunkin’s White Mocha hot chocolate, Peppermint Mocha and any drink with Toasted White Chocolate.
Like Le, Garay thinks of holiday-inspired drinks as a heartwarming reminder of what awaits at home once exam season gives way into the feeling of the winter season.
“With school, the holiday season is always the hardest for me because we’re finishing up the semester, so getting excited to go home and celebrate the holidays with my family makes it more worth it,” Garay said. “I think holiday themed coffees are a great way to get in the holiday spirit because they are festive and delicious.”
According to Garay, most holiday drinks available at Dunkin today “come with whipped cream and a drizzle, which really adds to the festivity.” Dunkin also offers holiday coffees that have special brews that have fruit and molasses flavors – “it represents the holidays perfectly,” Garay said.
In the last few weeks of the fall semester, students struggle to truly feel the winter spirit, given the weight of their academic responsibilities. But even in a seemingly small exchange between customer and barista, the gesture is enough to spark a sense of what it’s about.
“I like interacting with people and making people happy, so when I hear that someone’s drink is ‘extra good today’ it makes me happy to know that I made that drink,” Garay said.