The Most Important Student Survival Tool–and Where to Find It

Let’s talk about the most important tool in any college student’s survival kit. It’s powerful and effective, yet the closest thing we mere humans have to the nectar of the gods. We lift if up to the highest pedestal of reverence. It is enjoyed by hipsters and businessmen, pop stars and construction workers, teachers and students.

What I am describing is coffee. Whether it be an overpriced, over-sweetened cup from Starbucks or a cup of thick liquid from the dining hall, coffee is in abundance on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Whether or not you are a coffee drinker now, you will soon learn the value of this quick pick-me-up upon your arrival on campus. The Wharton curriculum demands a lot of students, so late-night study sessions or group work at 2:00 am is not uncommon. And what better way to get the energy to stay up than by putting off work to wait in line for a cup of coffee?

Simply by walking around campus, one can see the numerous coffee establishments that must be absurdly profitable here. Just to start, it’s important to locate the Starbucks on campus. The first is on the corner of 34th and Walnut, right next to the freshman college house, Hill. Here you can observe the Hill student in his/her natural habitat – it’s so convenient to stop by before going to class. On the opposite side of campus is the Starbucks on the bottom floor of 1920 Commons. With such a large number of tables and couches, it is an extremely popular study and social spot (for those who like to be seen studying). The interesting music choices and the plasma screen tuned to daytime television make for a unique study experience, which is why this Starbucks is exceptionally packed during a cold, snowy day before exams.

If you are opposed to supporting the corporate giant that is Starbucks, or spending so much on  16 ounces of “bliss,” you can always grab a cup at one of the dining halls. What is more popular for Wharton students, though, is the Bridge Café. Its location next to the entrance of Huntsman Hall means that tired Wharton students have ready access to caffeine and, even more popular, the amazing omelet sandwiches sold there (purchasable with dining dollars on the freshman dining plan, which is a huge convenience).

Of course, if you are a proponent of small businesses, Hubbub coffee is another great place for coffee. Situated next to the Wawa on 38th and Spruce (another great place for late-night snacks), Hubbub was originally a food truck, servicing Penn students on 38th street. Unlike most food trucks that serve students incredibly delicious and cheap food (I suggest Lyn’s by the entrance to the Quad), Hubbub only served coffee. Being so profitable, they moved to the space they are in currently, and it has turned into the great coffee shop that it is today.

So when you come to Wharton and have your first late night of studying (or whatever you stay up late for…), know that your need for caffeine will easily be satiated.

I am a member of the Wharton class of 2017 from Greenville, SC. Aside from my concentration in Finance, I am working towards a minor in Computer Science. Outside of school work and Wharton Ambassadors I'm involved in Greek Life and PennFA, a Christian Leadership development group on campus. In my free time I play guitar, exercise, and go on trips with the Penn Outdoors Club.