By AMANDA BOCCUTI
I’m a recreational coffee user. In fact, I pride myself in using only when I really need it, like the morning after a night spent studying into the wee hours of the morning.
Though I like to think I’m not attached to it, some of the paraphernalia I’ve acquired says otherwise: a stoic stainless steel travel mug sits on my desk, patiently waiting to be filled with coffee.
I never thought I would define myself as a coffee drinker. I was always the type that scoffed at people who swore by coffee to get them through the day. For years, it was a source of pride. Not drinking coffee was a testament to my own personal strength.
Then sophomore year happened. My habit started off innocently enough. After spending most of the night working on a lab report and a day of classes to go, a cup of coffee seemed harmless.
Unfortunately, I didn’t just have a cup. I had multiple cups, on an empty stomach. I made the rookie mistake of being so enthralled by the spike one had given me, that I had another—and then another. By my sixth cup of coffee in a four-hour time period, I was beyond caffeinated.
For the next few hours, I was on top of a very jittery world. I marveled over how I had gone for so long without coffee. All of those sleepy mornings trudging to an 8 a.m. class or late nights memorizing Latin names for plants were missed opportunities.
My euphoria was short lived, though. At 7 p.m. that day, I crashed. Feeling lethargic and nauseated, I crawled into bed. I vaguely remember my roommate nudging me to make sure I was okay. Each time, I sat up groggily and cursed coffee, swearing it off for life. When I finally awoke hours later, she looked at me and said, “Maybe coffee just isn’t for you.” She had a point.
I realized the next day exactly why people continue to drink it: hellish caffeine headaches. Harkening back to my days of anti-coffee self-righteousness, I decided to go it cold turkey. The rest of my day was spent with a dull pain jabbing at my temples.
Despite the epic fail that was my first experience with coffee, though, I still drink it. I’ve found it’s difficult to escape the seductive scent of coffee when the coffee’s spent more time brewing in the morning than I did sleeping the night before. It’s a dark, roasted road to coffee addiction.