I have yet to meet a college student who has not succumbed to the beauty that is caffeine. Our lives are busy, hard and fun. Sadly, this means that they also involve a minimal amount of sleep.
This goes against my personal ideals. In my mind, sleep is the ultimate force of good. So what happens when our fleeting dreams of a long night’s sleep are not realized?
Well, what happens is that we are tired. Very, very tired. And what better way to solve this problem than with caffeine? Well, it is not always that easy. After the first few weeks of school, dining hall coffee does not hold the same majesty that it did at the beginning of the semester. In fact, it is quite unpalatable.
One could buy coffee; coffee shop coffee usually has the connotation of being quite good. However, because the amount of coffee college students drink is, well, a lot, the habit could very possibly put them more in debt than the thousands of dollars they pay for their education.
Well, there’s always soda. Soda is a great source of caffeine. But seriously, how healthy is that? Coke in the morning? Root beer at lunch? Sprite at dinner? Heavily sweetened iced tea late at night when you’re trying to finish the paper due the next morning? Or how about heavily aspartamed tea or soda, you know, diet? Here’s a hint: it’s still not good for you.
Luckily, I have found the perfect solution. Tea! Tea has caffeine. Tea tastes good. If you’re a fan of herbal tea, it hydrates you. Hydration makes you energized and healthier! Tea is not riddled with sugar, or, if you choose to go with diet, carcinogenic substitutes. Not to mention, tea contains antioxidants—agents that protect against cell damage and disease!
If you don’t want too much caffeine, have a cup of caffeinated and then a few cups of herbal or decaf throughout the day. If you have trouble falling asleep or relaxing, have some sleep time or stress-reducing tea (yes, they make it).
In fact, if you drink 4-6 cups of tea a day (not all caffeinated!), you can lower your risk of cancer, which is always a good thing.
There seems to be a tea for every ailment you might have and that seems like a good tradeoff from coffee or soda to me. I’ve certainly made the switch and a lot of my friends have, too.
Note to self: Tea equals love.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a freshman at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.
By Lily Berthold-Bond