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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

Imagine this, you are new to college. You’re fresh in the dorms with big ideas, big dreams and a big homework load. Sarah, she’s your roommate, asks if you want to go to the local coffee shop to grind out some homework. Of course, you do! That’s what college students do, but there is one problem, you have no idea what drink to get. This isn’t your typical Starbucks and you want people to think you know what you’re doing. Not to fret, because here are five safe drink options that almost every coffee shop serves.

1. (Insert flavor) latte

To be honest, if you are new to coffee culture you can’t go wrong with an excellent old-fashioned flavored latte. Emphasis on the flavored because an unflavored latte might just be too bitter. The options here are endless; different milks, different flavors and whether you want it hot or iced. My favorite flavorings are honey, lavender and coconut. If you are looking for super-safe options caramel and vanilla might be the way to go.

2. Mocha

If you were a fan of chocolate milk growing up, a mocha might be the drink for you. A mocha is a combination of espresso, chocolate syrup and milk. This drink does tend to lean sweet so be prepared for that. However, nobody can go wrong with a mocha.

3. Vanilla Sweet Cold Brew

Out of all the drinks on the list, this might be one that not all places serve. A vanilla sweet cold brew is simply cold brew (or cold coffee, baristas please don’t come for me) and some form of vanilla creamer. This is normally a more affordable option and gives a good dose of caffeine. If you are not the biggest fan of coffee I might suggest sticking to a flavored coffee or noncoffee option.

4. Matcha latte with vanilla

I am not going to pretend for a second that I am a matcha girly because I am not. Nevertheless, if you don’t want coffee this is an option. A matcha latte is made with matcha powder, water and your choice of milk. Be mindful that matcha itself is unsweetened so you might need a flavored syrup to make it sweeter. A popular flavor pairing is vanilla.

5. Chai

Another noncoffee option is chai. At the beginning of my college experience, I wasn’t the biggest fan of coffee and this was my go-to. It’s good iced or hot and has a nice sweet yet spicy flavor. Spicy in the way of nutmeg and cinnamon, not jalapenos.

Wishing all new college students, young and old, a rewarding journey when venturing out to their local coffee shops. Just remember, never be embarrassed to ask coffee questions to the barista and try new things!

Hanna Brown is the writing director at the Her Campus at KU (University of Kansas) chapter. She oversees the writing team and acts as the publisher, ensuring all articles meet the Her Campus standards of quality and reverence. In addition to her duties as the publisher, Hanna leads weekly writer meetings and builds a safe environment where writers feel empowered to be creative. Beyond Her Campus, Hanna is the marketing/communication assistant for the Engineering Career Center at KU. Last summer, Hanna interned for Burns & McDonnell as a marketing writer/editor. There, she gained experience writing technical blogs centered around engineering, copy for digital marketing and new releases. She also interned for Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline in corporate communications. A senior at KU, Hanna is pursuing a BSJ in digital marketing communications, advertising and public relations with a minor in history. In her free time, Hanna loves to visit local coffee shops and explore her college town. She is obsessed with the Sims 4 and wants to start a podcast. Her motivation in life is to do everything in love. After college, Hanna hopes to move to the city and start a career in public relations, branding, digital marketing or copy/content writing.