Sadie Helmick

Franklin having coffee with Mayor Steve Williams.

Franklin Norton, Social Media Manager

There is just something about a coffee shop. There is a solitude I find in them that is rare to find in many other places. There is a certain peace in being surrounded—surrounded by pleasant aroma and full conversations, surrounded by the guy reading his favorite book and the girl writing poems. Coffee shops are a place for old friends and first dates.

Especially on a college campus, a coffee shop holds a certain energy. It’s a hub of connection, but at the same time a fortress of solitude. We study and we sigh; we laugh and we listen. It’s okay to sit alone and it’s okay to have meaningful, intimate conversations. In the busyness and clutter of modern day life, sometimes it takes a coffee break to bring us back to reality.

Every time I sit in a coffee shop I am reminded of what it is to be human. Today I sat with friends and talked forever about nothing, but also about everything. From psychological theories to personal life events to societal issues—we covered all the bases. Every type of human narrative can be found amidst the seats: a love story, a reunion, a reconciliation, a breakdown, a celebration, and even a mourning.

Even if it isn’t a coffee shop, I think it is essential for people to have a sanctuary, a place to become grounded, a place to think and process, and a place to connect. Our days can fly by us, as we rush from class to the gym to work and to class again. We can forget to stop and breathe and take it all in, leaving us exhausted and frayed. Find that place. Whether it’s a riverbank or a football field or a church or a coffee shop. Take a pause and take a breath—and maybe even grab a cup of coffee.

Franklin Norton can be contacted at [email protected]