Spotlight on substance: caffeine on campus

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Molly O’Keefe/Winonan

With a full load of classes, extra-curricular activities, jobs and social lives it is no wonder that students at Winona State University turn to coffee to help them make it through the day.

Every college student has his or her own unique relationship with coffee: some hate it, some just think it is okay and others are addicted to it.

Everyone knows that one person who cannot live without his or her daily jolt.

Lily Kane, a junior here at Winona State, said, “I would describe my relationship as a need-based one. I have to have my coffee every morning.”

Another Winona State student, Nick Mikoff, said, “I really enjoy drinking coffee, and most people that know me know that I drink it basically all the time during the day.”

On the other hand, there are also students who dislike coffee and look to other beverages as sources of caffeine. Ashley Chlebowski said, “I rarely ever drink coffee, maybe once a month at most. I normally drink soda more often anyways.”

But caffeine in any form seems to be a mainstay for college students.

Kane said, “I drink coffee to feel awake when I have not gotten enough sleep. It helps me because then if I need to stay up late to do homework I have that option.”

Taste is also a factor. Mikoff said, “I just like to have something to drink during the day. I don’t feel that it gets me through the week, it is just something that I have daily to drink.”

But warnings about caffeine addiction abound, urging coffee drinkers to avoid dependency in what can become a delicate balance. Kane said, “I’ve tried to give it up but I failed after a couple of days and started drinking coffee again.”

Chlebowski said caffeine is part of her routine as well. “There are many days that if I had not had soda, I wouldn’t have had the energy to get my schoolwork done. Realistically, I don’t think I would be able or want to give it up unless it was affecting my health or habits poorly.”

But Mikoff said he is confident he could give it up. “Everyone thinks that I am addicted, but I would just go and find something else to drink during the day,” he said.

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