Earlier this morning, Mira Sheehan bought a 12 ounce Almond Joy iced latte from a local College Station coffee shop. Sheehan, a junior nutrition major, clarified her bold financial decision. “It’s been a rough week. I don’t think I did well on my biochemistry exam, but I don’t think I failed either. I just needed a small pick-me-up.”
Sheehan has been facing several difficulties with her classes and her personal life. “Between the crushing weight of being alive, the job market, and graduating with a high GPA, I’ve been going through a lot,” Sheehan said. “I know I’m not doing badly in terms of my grades and my life, but sometimes the stress really gets to me and I think about dropping out.”
At first, Sheehan was unsure if she possessed the financial fortitude to afford the $5.00 coffee because she got guacamole on her Chipotle burrito the night before. Dr. Janine Fulmer, Sheehan’s therapist, supported Sheehan’s decision to treat herself to the bourgeois indulgence. “With all that is going on in Mira’s life, I support her actions to create small things to enjoy and look forward to.”
Sheehan reportedly savored her iced coffee while reading a book she had been meaning to read. “My mom’s worried that spending money on iced coffee will ruin me financially,” Sheehan said. “But when you’re staring at tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, sometimes that coffee is the only thing keeping me from dropping out and becoming a stripper.” She then considered creating another small moment of joy by getting sushi for dinner.
— Panic! at the Flagroom
On an afternoon like any other in the Memorial Student Center, Panic! At the Flag Room emerges from her practice room underground. She taps out silent melodies on her leg as she ascends the stairs and heads toward Texas A&M’s living room and its iconic ebony grand piano. The seat is empty. Today is the day. After a few cautious notes, she launches into her ambitious rendition of “This is Gospel” with perfect flourish and aplomb. It’s elegant, it’s inspiring, it’s loud. It ruins everybody’s study session.