No Studying Signs In Coffee Outlets

A 17-year-old JC student wrote in to Stomp. Even though he and other students were not chased away, he complained that ‘no studying’ signs in coffee shops were discriminatory against students.

You have probably walked into a Starbucks or Coffee Bean and seen that SMU kid (his T-shirt literally says SMU) with his hoodie, laptop, pile of books, and ice blended drink.

Sometimes they have headphones plugged in, other times they participate in banter with their clones. Like pigeons in the food centre, they take up all the seats! Well, there are also OLs but you don’t judge because you are one.

You look across the cafe and feel relieved to see a sign that says ‘no studying’. Hurrah, there is justice in the land. But are unenforced laws, still laws?

Student complaints about policy

Students are paying patrons too, so why can’t they study there? This reminds me of how I hated everything adult when I was a kid:

Why do adults like to dress in boring, dreary colours? I want Spiderman on my undies.

Why are the urinals designed so tall? I have to tip-toe to pee.

Why must I go to school and do homework? They are not even paying me. Plus my service provider, the teacher, is very rude!

But after I grew up, everything made sense. I feel this issue is similar. Students will proclaim it is unfair and discriminatory while non-students just want their seats.

Reddit comments

Most of the reddit comments on the issue were for the policy. (Why do I feel like I am writing about 377A again?)

It’s okay to browse some books for few minutes over coffee but most of them literally park themselves whole day occupying seats, denying others. Is that fair to other patrons or the shop?! –Patapechy

It’s those students in groups who take bloody long to eat. And these students don’t even study, like they just talk and eat or make out SMH. –Maolez

Nothing discriminatory about it. They’re running a business. –Lyrekemmm

But the best comment of all, that brought clarity to this issue is from Sublimemesses:

I think it is meant to be discriminatory—as your comment rightly suggests.

Students ruin coffee joints’ aesthetic experience

People probably would not take so much issue with students if they weren’t always a mess. Hand-me-down textbooks, dog-eared foolscap and notes sprawled across the table never matches the chi-chi cafe decor.

Please pack up your ink-stained pencil cases and head to the nearest Kim San Leng Coffeeshop. The men will there will better appreciate your fashion choice of pairing a bright orange ORIENTATION 2016 dri-fit shirt with FBTs and flip flops. Ew.

It sounds like I am a snob making fun of the less affluent. But if you are racking up student loans, you probably should not be buying S$8 coffee on your parents’ dime.

Try Reading:

Studying Banned In Coffee Joints For The Greater Good

Indeed, coffee joints pick on students because they are the most identifiable seat hoggers. Obviously, most of them are considerate young people who just want a quiet place to study, but the few bad apples make them a target of the public.

If I went to a cafe with my BFF and chatted from 3.00pm to 7.00pm, the cafe has no case against how long I can take the seat for. But a JC student in uniform scribbling on her stack of papers annoys the hell out of me and probably other patrons too.

Traumatised from ‘A’ levels, I get PTSD when I see a stressed out, pimply student in her unkempt uniform with tangled hair. By studying in a beautiful, relaxing environment, they emit negative aura into a stress-free atmosphere.

Nobody wants to be reminded about stress and exams when they order their, “caramel macchiato, soy milk please.”

Overpriced coffee joints are for public servants to lim kopi at 3.00pm and complain about their boss, rich tai tais to gossip, and basic bitches like me to write perspective pieces while getting a caffeine fix. Let’s learn to partake in activities that are appropriate for an allocated space.

We roll our eyes at students because we were once them.

The older and wiser us today, knows that the test and exams they fret about are but a blip in the universe. The textbook information they imbibe with their piccolo lattes are only head knowledge with no real life application; like the foam on their cappuccinos.

Honey, real learning only begins after graduation when you can finally put your GPA chase to rest. You will then be able to appreciate the humble pleasures of life—drinking warm pumpkin spiced latte on a rainy day, without the unnecessary textbook.

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