Coffee dependence and the college student

Karlie Borges – Special to Southern News

Many people start the day with a cup of coffee to wake them up and help them feel energized for the day. Jayme Schledewitz, special education major at Southern Connecticut State University, said that coffee is always a part of her day.

“I have coffee every day,” said Schledewitz. “I don’t leave the house without it.”

Schledewitz is not alone in this habit. The website published an article in August 2014 that said 54 percent of Americans over the age of 18 consume caffeine on a daily basis and 68 percent of coffee drinkers have their first cup of coffee within 1 hour of waking up.

Even if Schledewitz doesn’t start her day with a cup of coffee, she said it is still part of her daily activities.”

“If I don’t get one in the morning,” said Schledewitz, “then at some point throughout the day I will.”

Schledewitz said that having a cup of coffee before she leaves her house in the morning helps her feel more awake. The article from said that in low doses, caffeine has been shown to improve one’s cognitive functions, and increasing alertness.

However, while there are benefits to drinking caffeine, there is a negative side as well. Jordan List, a student at Southern, said she limits her caffeine intake to avoid the negative symptoms of caffeine.

“I don’t drink coffee as it makes me really anxious.” said List, “I stopped drinking tea because of that too.”

Anxiety is one of the side effects of consuming caffeine. The article from said that overdoses of caffeine can also cause other symptoms, symptoms that can be quite sever such as manic episodes, panic attacks, hallucinations, delusions, disorientation, and the lowering of one’s inhibitions.

Many studies suggest that caffeine is the most widely used stimulant in the world. However,  is not considered a controlled substance and it exists in many different drinks and food products. The article from claims that there is no law stating that caffeine has to be identified in any food or beverages that contain the substance.

Caffeine is a not a regulated substance,” said the article. “So manufacturers are not legally required to label their products with caffeine content.”

The article also pointed out that many people may not realize that caffeine is actually addictive and that it’s believed that some 3 out of 4 regular caffeine users are actually addicted to the substance.

Emily Strauss, secondary education math major at Southern, said that while she is not a coffee drinker, she has friends who frequently drink coffee and claims her friends are “addicted” to it.

I don’t want to be addicted like my friends.” said Strauss. “One of my friends has, like, at least 3 or 4 cups a day”

Dylan Mazzarella, Social Work major said he doesn’t see any reason for him to consume any kind of caffeinated substance

“I just don’t find the need to,” said Mazzarella. “I have enough energy to do what I to in the day, get my homework done, go to class. I don’t want to be wired and up too late because I have to wake up early.”

Mazzarella claims he doesn’t even see the need for the ordinary morning coffee.

“I take a shower in the morning,” said Mazzarella, “so that wakes me up enough.”

Photo Credit: Jene Thomas – News Editor 

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