Coffee dependent

Sophia Pezze

“One Venti Iced Caramel Frappuccino, please.” I hear a group of girls order this in front of me, while I wait to order some tea. I watch the barista as she writes the order on the side of the cup, and continues to make the frozen blended beverage. I notice the coffee barista brew 4 shots of espresso and dump the sum into the drink. I ponder to myself, why would any young girl need THAT much caffeine?

In today’s society it seems as if more and more younger teens are drinking large amounts of coffee as time continues on. I have talked to fellow students in my senior class who swear by coffee, and how little they can do in school without drinking the strong, dark concoction.

So I tried figuring out the purpose for the coffee in a student’s life. What my conclusion was actually reflected on myself. I am taking four AP classes, which include a lot of schoolwork. Staying up late and doing the classwork can take massive amounts of time. The solution? Stay up late, drink coffee in the morning — otherwise that class’ grade will suffer.

Can’t students plan ahead and use their time wisely? In a perfect world, – yes. Sadly though, many students are bogged down with work along with other sports and activities after school. Carly Uselmann even adds in, “Coffee saves us from a long night of studying so we can study some more”. She also adds in, “Study, Coffee, Study, Repeat.”

Yet, although coffee can be a helpful pick-me-up, many students depend on coffee to take them on an energetic wave throughout the day, and end up crashing towards the late afternoon. I had asked seniors their viewpoints on coffee. Natalie Harty states, “Coffee is f***** crack”.”

Are students creating a dependence on coffee? Turns out a report by the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University called caffeine “a little known risk factor” for substance abuse and warned that the glamorizing of addictive substances has contributed to this problem. Drinking coffee daily can have a direct relationship into drug and alcohol use in young people – due to looking “hip” and showing it off to others.

So what? A cup of joe in the morning won’t hurt anyone. Quite the contrary, coffee is very acidic and stains teeth easily. Also research from a 38-year study at the John Hopkins Medical School found that drinking coffee can increase the chances of one getting heart problems.

I have personally tried a substitute drink that tastes a lot like coffee and is great to sit and enjoy hot. It is a powder called Dandy Blend. This powder is made of roasted dandelions (yes the flower you make wishes and blow off the fuzzies with) and other roots. It is an herbal substitute for coffee, and is actually very healthy and beneficial. The only downside is that this powder does not have caffeine, which is a large part of the reason for people drinking coffee.

In the end, not many students including myself will change our habits of drinking coffee on a regular basis. Either way, senior Courtney Stephens says, “ Coffee is my saving grace.”