5 Levels of Midterm Stress As Told By Your Coffee Drink

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Midterm week–The lovely time of the semester that never seems to stop once it starts. As the influx of exams and papers stream by, so does some form of caffeinated beverage to keep you focused and awake while you cram. But let’s face it, when preparing for exams, the level of caffeine you consume depends on how close or far your exam is in the future. You don’t just casually sip on a chai latte if your exam is the next day. You need something much stronger.

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Keep reading to find out what coffee drink you need for your stress level.

Frappuccino: When Your Exam’s More Than a Week Away and You Just Cracked Open the Book


While drinking this sugary concoction topped with whipped cream and delectable caramel, the last thing on your mind is your exam two weeks away. Sure you thought about studying now so you don’t freak out the night before, but you’ve got nothing but time at this point. You could care less about consuming about 260 calories than you do your test slowly approaching.

Stress Meter: Exam? What exam?

Pumpkin Spice Latte: When You’re Just Studying with the Squad


Pumpkin Spice and everything is nice. You’ve hit up Starbucks on campus with your homies, and you’re all casually talking while “studying” for your exam that’s still a week and some days away. Or is it less than a week? The only thing you know the dates for is winter break. Still, being around the squad helps you get a little bit more serious, and you start jotting down notes on flashcards. But this Pumpkin Spice Latte really has a nice kick to it, so instead of really studying, you’ve decided to kick it back with the rest of your PSL team and enjoy the flavor of fall.

Stress Level: Excuse me, professor, can’t you see I’m indulging in my seasonal PSL? 

Mocha: For When Casual Studying Starts Getting Serious


Mochas reflects your mid-level midterm panic stage. With its sugary goodness, a mocha tastes sweet enough to give you a pat on the back and remind you everything’s okay in life. You made flashcards and half-read your book the other day, but hey, the little caffeine kick and sugar rush gives you the extra boost you need to be productive today. “[It’s the] best combination of chocolate and coffee with a hint (we’ll sort of a ton) of sugar to keep me going after the coffee has taken its effect,” Purdue University senior Holly Maize said.

Stress Meter: Slowly getting your sh-t together

Expresso Shots: For All-Nighters When You Need an Especially Strong Kick to Get You Through to Tomorrow


You know you’re screwed when you start downing straight shots of expresso. These quick bursts of caffeine get the job done faster than a regular cup of joe to keep you up all night. “[Expresso shots] give me the great caffeine boost without the bitter taste of drinking coffee,” University of Wisconsin junior Mariah Prom said. Man did this  exam creep up on you while you leisurely drank that frap. Now you frantically flip through flashcards trying to remember what Angkor Wat is? Like what is going on? Why is this important to know?! Breathe. You still have a few more days to study, review and cram everything about the early classical period of Southeastern Asia into your head. *Proceeds to laugh nervously while reaching for another shot*

Stress Meter: Skips class to study for class

Straight Black Coffee: When You’ve Lost All Hope and You’re Just Trying to Survive


No one has room for cream in this coffee. You order it black just like those bags hanging underneath your eyes. “I drink my coffee every morning with my breakfast before I head out to the library to study for my exams,” University of Wisconsin senior Alex Hall said. Except today is not one of those relaxing mornings. You feel the doom lingering over your head. Black coffee represents the horribly bitter taste of your life as you slum over your chemistry textbook trying to understand Infrared Spectroscopy and the typical units of frequency. But don’t worry, *sips coffee,* you made flashcards right? *Gulps coffee* Wonderful flashcards that help you magically memorize every single formula you need to know. *Proceeds to chugs coffee and pull at hair * With the zing of black coffee, you’ll be supercharged to power through your day and your studies. Now…where are the flashcards?!

Stress Meter: Runs around library in manic state

Anne is a sophomore studying journalism and history at University of Wisconsin-Madison. A native Wisconsinite, Anne loves all things Wisconsin including sporting events, the outdoors and its summer concerts.

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