Senior column: Amara Harper


Ella Davies

Art by Emma Frizzell. My routine was repetitive: every morning I woke up early.

My routine was repetitive: every morning I woke up extra early just to make the extra 10 minute drive to Starbucks so I could get a coffee before school. I followed this for my sophomore and junior year. My first hour teachers would almost always say something, and I would explain that at this point it was a part of my morning routine and the extra caffeine boost was worth the money out of my  account each month. 

I started this routine drinking an iced vanilla latte with an equal amount of carmel and I think that reflects how I was sophomore year. At that point, I wanted to get what everyone else would get. I refused to choose my own path and simply did what I thought others would want me to do. I joined clubs because I thought that’s what colleges would want, I went to events because my friends were going. I felt trapped in this pattern of what everyone else wanted for me and much like the drink I chose to order that year, I went with what was popular instead of what I wanted.

When junior year was here, and with quite a few hits to my bank account, I came to the conclusion that my previous order was not ideal. Yet, I wasn’t sure what I wanted instead. That year was a whirlwind of iced and hot drinks and spending too much time on the Starbucks app. I am not surprised by this pattern, considering my junior year was a similar story. It was challenging to find my niche or a  rhythm I was comfortable with. I was tired of doing what I thought others would want me to do but didn’t know yet what I wanted out of me. Of course, as soon as I found my place I was quickly pulled out of normalcy. By March of junior year, my morning routine was changed. Instead of my usual Starbucks run, I was staying at home and forgoing my morning caffeine intake. 

So as my senior year approached I felt lost. Do I continue this repetitive routine with online school? Do I find a new way to get a burst of energy in the morning? If I knew one thing, it was that I would not be not having caffeine if I had to wake up at 7 a.m. for my classes online or in-person. 

My questions were answered as I began a new routine over the summer — I figured out who I wanted to be and how I was going to get there. I began to workout and make it a goal of mine to be productive and accomplish something each day. The key to this new routine was simple: a homemade iced latte each morning. I used my family coffee machine to make my two shots of espresso and put it in a cup with milk and ice. That same process continued all of senior year. From online to in-person to quarantine, there was that one constant in my routine, and I couldn’t pick a better drink to represent this year and represent how I wish to continue my years in college. My drink is simple yet delicious, and despite this year I find that is how my senior year has gone: simple yet amazing.