Is it the desire to meet our parents' expectations and to make something of ourselves? Or is it merely the opportunity to stare unabashedly across the classroom at that adorable junior?
While all of these factors are truly inspiring, caffeine is the energetic force that supports our weight and lends the most significant helping hand.
Yes, caffeine certainly keeps us motivated and prevents us from falling into that ever-tempting pit of sin: lackadaisical apathy.
Why is it that, despite the necessary role that caffeine plays in all of our lives, the college only provides us with weak, bitter and all-around insipid coffee?
Many a time have I ordered a coffee beverage from our beloved Cage, impelled beyond my control to settle for a second-rate elixir. Often times, I simply make do without my usual caffeine fix.
If I could change one thing about my college experience, this would be it.
I for one do not wish to become an unresponsive automaton. When asked how my day is going, I hope to give an exuberant "great!" not a comatose shrug of the shoulders.
I prefer not to move lifelessly throughout our campus, blindly running into people and light-posts, and I want nothing more than to remain attentive in class so I can soak up the worldly ways of my professors and perhaps catch some of their intellectual jokes along the way.
Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze. Coffee leadeth me in the paths of consciousness.
Thus, I make a most heartfelt appeal: students of St. Olaf College, together we must demand better coffee. Let us put an end to falling asleep as we type those challenging essays. Let us put an end to waking up with keyboard impressions on our faces.
I don't know whether it is the way the coffee is made (for starters, I think we should put some coffee in that water) or whether the beans themselves are unsatisfactory, but I know one thing, we deserve better.
Coffee's amazingly low price is admirable, (50 cents for an espresso - incredible! $1.25 for a mocha - shocking!) but I would certainly be willing to pay a little extra to recapture the rich, earthy flavor of our coffee, instilling us with vigor and courage.
I'm picturing rallies, displays in the hallway between Buntrock and the library, a partnership with Caribou and buttons being clandestinely distributed and proudly displayed.
Let us not forget that coffee is the most American of drinks.
An unknown author writes, "Over second and third cups flow matters of high finance, high state, common gossip and low comedy. [Coffee] is a social binder, a warmer of tongues, a soberer of minds, a stimulant of wit, a foiler of sleep if you want it so. From roadside mugs to classic demi-tasse, it is the perfect democrat."
I leave you with this crumb of historical biscotti: during the American Revolution, Americans drank coffee instead of tea to stick it to the man, English King George III.
So even if you aren't a dilettante completely devoted to coffee, consider this more a defense of the counterculture upon which our great nation is based.
Protect our right to drink good, strong coffee.
Every small effort makes a difference, for it is together we stand, and divided we crash into caffeine withdrawal.