Amidst the horrors of dropping temperatures and the terror of final exams, zombie-like students stumble across campus, moaning "venti peppermint mocha, double shot."
Most of them end up in the Hodges Library Starbucks.
"It can definitely be just a mad house," Marion Kirkpatrick, junior in journalism and electronic media and Starbucks employee, said. "We have a line out the door all the time."
Mary Patterson, an Aramark representative, said the Starbucks locations at Hodges Library and the UC have served a combined 90,000 customers this semester. This statistic is made up of both students and faculty, many of which are regulars.
"A lot of teachers come through; most of them get normal coffee," Kirkpatrick said. "They all get a discount through Aramark for being faculty of the university, so I think that's probably why they come here a lot. It's nice to see their faces."
Marli Patten, a freshman in advertising who has been going to Starbucks since eighth grade, has seen a big increase in her consumption since living on campus this year.
"I used to go maybe once every two weeks; now, since I'm in college, I go almost every day," Patten said. "Since I'm in the library every day ... I get it. I am also doing a lot more homework, so I need the caffeine."
The rush period for this location tends to be around 8-12 p.m., especially during exams. Patten follows this trend, being "more likely to go at night," than any other time of day.
Michael Porter, senior in political science, said he finds himself satisfying a Starbucks craving late in the day.
"I'm an avid coffee drinker," Porter said. "I make my coffee, which is just plain black coffee, every single day. So when I go to Starbucks, it'll be more in the evening. It's like a fancy treat."
While Patten said she mostly goes to the Starbucks in the library, Porter said he gets coffee on Cumberland Avenue "at least three times a week."
The main reason for this is that Porter is a Gold Card member of the Starbucks Rewards system. While he could gain rewards at the campus locations, stores like the one on Cumberland Avenue let him utilize perks that are unavailable on campus.
One example of this would be the free refills on iced or brewed coffee and tea.
"I'll go to Starbucks, like the one on Cumberland Avenue and just sit and study and get free refills for three hours," Porter said. "It makes it a lot cheaper."
This system has also been beneficial to the company itself. According to Starbucks' web site, the company received $174 million in activations in the fourth quarter of 2013, averaging at around $14 per activation. Activating can either involve purchasing a gift card and applying it to the account, or choosing a certain amount to load via a debit or credit card.
After the money on the card has run out, customers can reload the cards or add new ones if using another gift card. Reloads have averaged at $22, totaling $876 million in net sales for the fourth quarter of 2013 alone.
While the convenience of this system and perks for both the customer and the company are substantial, some students, namely freshman, opt to use the dining dollars available to them.
"We do have a lot of freshman come in, just because you have dining dollars to spend, so you can be kind of frivolous with those and get coffee when you want to," Kirkpatrick said. "You know, more often than if you're living off your own dime. I know that I've even struggled with that moving freshman year to being a junior now."
Porter shares a similar view. While he was a freshman, he took advantage of dining dollars and the occasional meal equivalency.
"I wasn't even going to Starbucks on Cumberland Avenue since it was like right here on campus and I could use my dining dollars, which were already kind of paid for in a way," Porter said. "It was also tax free, so it was cheaper."
However, the overall appeal of Starbucks goes beyond dining dollars or academic year.
"I think a lot of it is the name," Patten said. "Starbucks has a lot of different flavors, and there are a lot of them everywhere, especially on campus, compared to Einstein's or something."
Porter named the atmosphere as the main appeal.
"It's just really casual, and that's regardless of whether it's the one on campus or Cumberland Avenue or wherever," he said. "They have comfy chairs and couches, and the lights are kind of dim, so it's comfortable, its cozy and it feels really homey."