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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

Everyone appreciates the employees of James Madison University. They all deserve recognition for the high quality work they do so we can all learn at the best place on Earth. We are very lucky to have everyone work together so well. While almost everyone is recognized at JMU there are a few people that serve our community and not often get praised, Starbucks baristas. Don’t stop reading quite yet, take a minute and think. 

They are our fellow students and community members. They know the struggle we deal with and understand when we may order a little more grumpy than we mean to. Not only do they have this job to do, but they also have a test tomorrow or a paper due next week, too. They’re apart of what JMU is and helps keep everyone caffeinated and productive all week long. Seriously, take a minute and think about how your week may go without Starbucks. Would you need more sleep which leads to less studying and then all of a sudden you’re failing classes? These baristas are basically the reason you’re able to study and do well. 

Because they’re apart of the student body they also understand our complicated orders. They constantly try their best to make drinks to our expectations. The no whip, almond milk instead of whole, three pumps of chocolate, double shot, caramel macchiato. You can manage to say fifteen different words and specify exactly what you want and they’ll understand. They’re basically bilingual. I go to Starbucks on campus five times a week (don’t judge) and this past semester they’ve only messed up once. I make more mistakes in a day than Starbucks has all semester. Cheers to them. 

Try not to forget the fact that both Starbucks on campus are constantly packed with students and faculty all day long. The lines usually wrap around and the wait is never as long as it should be. There are always easily a dozen people talking, ordering, and in line waiting their turn.  It’s so busy and they have to memorize every drink, meanwhile I struggle to even memorize anything for Spanish 101. Each barista takes orders with a smile for every person while chaos surrounds them. It’s very impressive and definitely a skill they should all list on their resumes. 

When asked about JMU most people comment on walking through the Quad, their old dorms, and many hours spent in the library. What they often forget to include is that they drank a hot chocolate while walking through the Quad, brought a mango-dragon fruit refresher back to their dorm, and drank many coffees while studying at the library. All of that made possible by our very own Starbucks baristas.

As we continue our semester and get closer to finals week make sure to smile at the barista and say thank you. They’re just as stressed as you and they have to make a coffee. They’re real life superheroes powering JMU every day. Thank you Starbucks baristas, we see you. 


Kate is majoring in writing, rhetoric, and technical communication and minoring in entrepreneurship. You can usually find her at Starbucks and listening to true crime podcasts.
School of Media Arts and Design student with a concentration in Interactive Design. Campus Correspondent for the JMU chapter of Her Campus, Campus Coordinator for Rent the Runway on Campus, and Social Media Marketing Intern for Auntie Anne's.