STUDENT EXPERIMENTS: A WEEK WITHOUT… coffee…

Becca Rosenzweig

Monday

My week without coffee is off to a decent start! I woke up with extra energy this morning since I was excited to see my friends and teachers. For context, I’m not a seven-coffees-per-day kind of caffeine addict, but if I don’t have my cup in the morning, functioning becomes pretty difficult. To be honest, I began to crave a cup of coffee about ten minutes after getting out of bed this morning, then again during B period, which was my first full class of the day. However, I charged through, kept awake by the enthusiasm of my teachers and peers as well as the freezing cold as I walked from class to class. It is currently around 9:30 p.m., and though I have a headache (and not really a minor one), I would say that overall, so far so good. 

 

Tuesday

This morning was a bit rough. Though I did fall asleep last night without melatonin, which I usually need, I had trouble waking up and wanted nothing more than some caffeine to boost my energy. My fatigue lingered throughout the bus ride to school, but chatting with friends and finishing up some last minute homework during my A period free helped me wake up. Surprisingly, I got through most of the day with high enough energy and managed to stay alert during all of my classes. I was incredibly jealous when my friends brought their coffees to class, but I overcame the temptation to stop by the cafeteria and grab a cup for myself. Everything was going swimmingly until halfway through H period when I was struck by a wave of pure exhaustion. While I typically like to be as productive as possible shortly after arriving at home, today I spent over an hour lying in bed and scrolling through my socials. Maybe that’s to blame on being a second semester senior, but usually when this happens, I go out for a cappuccino and start working once I’ve returned. It’s been very difficult to gain motivation to be productive without caffeine in my system, but my day has gone by headache-free.

 

Wednesday

Today was incredibly difficult. When I first gave up caffeine, I expected that the early days of this challenge would be the toughest. Apparently, I was mistaken. I began to feel quite groggy towards the end of E period, but I still managed to stay alert in my classes. However, by the end of H period, I was more than ready to fall asleep. In all honesty, all I wanted on the bus ride home was a hot cup of coffee. The convergence of my headache, my sleepiness, and the cold weather did not help whatsoever. When I got home, I practically collapsed onto my bed, which is where I stayed until dinner. I never do homework from my bed, but I felt incredibly tired and couldn’t fathom getting up and sitting at my desk. I completed one homework assignment, then decided that the rest would have to wait until my free tomorrow morning. While watching Dr. Butler speak, I took some extra-strength Tylenol to soothe my piercing headache that’s been sitting above my right eyebrow. It seems as if I’m more addicted to caffeine than I had thought. 

 

Thursday

Final day without caffeine! I definitely do not plan on continuing my caffeine-free journey. Today I took naps in the senior study room during both B and G periods, each nap lasting the entire period. I could barely keep my eyes open during my classes, especially those in the afternoon. My faint headache also persisted throughout the day and has only continued to grow since I got home. Though these symptoms have truly proven to me that I do in fact have a pretty serious caffeine problem, I’m not sure that it is a big deal. I tend to focus better when caffeinated, and as a Horace Mann student, I’m not ready to give up that extra productivity boost. Overall, I really learned a lot about myself (mostly about withdrawal) during this experiment, but I am extremely excited for my cup of coffee tomorrow morning!