Caffeine consumption increases as life becomes busier
Coffee aids students who need an immediate energy source to study and perform various daily tasks. | Thecla Li / THE CHIMES
Coffee rules the college game, as students trudge along with bags under their eyes and books in their hands, ready to take on a new day—as long as it means they get a chai bomb.
Late nights spent at the library with assignments still left unfinished hits close to home for freshman business major Maddie Prater. With little time to spare, she oftentimes turns to coffee as a way to to aid her focus and attention span when long nights of studying seem unavoidable.
“College has made me an avid coffee drinker,” Prater said. “There are weeks in particular when I have so many things to do, so I choose to have coffee and to stay up late.”
For others, such as sophomore English major Hannah Harkness, coffee plays an essential role in daily life. As Harkness sipped on an iced coffee, she shared how caffeine has an adverse effect on her ADHD, allowing her to focus more and fidget less.
“I’ve had it everyday, probably since I was 15, because I have ADHD. And so it has the opposite effect on me—it doesn’t make me more jittery. It calms me down and makes me focus more,” Harkness said.
However, too much of a good thing has the ability to turn it into a bad thing. For Harkness, drinking too much coffee made going without it physically harmful.
“Since coming to college, I had late nights and all of the long paper-writing study times, and I got up to like eight cups of coffee a day freshman year,” Harkness said. “I was so addicted—I’d get migraines and things if I didn’t have it.”
A COFFEE-FUELED CAMPUS
With coffee shops at every end of campus, students have access to caffeine all throughout the day and even during late-night study sessions.
Student workers from each campus eatery that offers coffee reported a rough estimate of how much espresso and coffee the establishment sells each day. Common Grounds, Heritage Cafe and The Talon uses approximately two five-pound espresso bags each day. The Coffee Cart may go through one bag of espresso a day, and Blackstone Cafe uses about half a bag. Each establishment also estimates they brew around five pounds of coffee every day.
Coffee sales remain steady with a high demand among students, and research supports this lifestyle. Studies show that coffee has the ability to extend one’s lifetime by preventing diseases like diabetes and heart disease. However, considering factors such as weight remain imperative to maintaining an appropriate intake.
The short-term benefits of coffee encourage students like Prater to continue through the dreaded all-nighters, while the long-term benefits ensure that coffee consumption has plausible purpose.
“Caffeine is my source of energy, so, if I didn’t have caffeine, I think that it would really negatively impact my life,” Prater said.