The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
If there is one thing that college students are typically stereotyped as, aside from being sleep-deprived zombies, it’s the assumption that we’re all addicted to caffeine. If someone were to ask you to picture a typical college student, chances are you’d picture them with some sort of caffeinated drink in hand. As far as anyone is concerned, college students and caffeine definitely go hand in hand.
As much as people joke about this, college students should be reconsidering their caffeine intake because there might be some truth to it. According to Coffee Affection, 92% of students consume caffeine. As an avid coffee drinker myself, this statistic shocked even me. It seems like students and caffeine really are inseparable, but, many of us probably already knew that it would be a high percentage.
Now, why is this a problem? Well, assuming you are somewhere in this percentage, you could be experiencing some side effects. While drinking a cup of coffee or one caffeinated drink a day shouldn’t be too bad for you, once you start drinking multiple caffeinated drinks a day, it may start to affect your health negatively. According to Better Health Channel, the symptoms of having too much caffeine in your system include; anxiety, energy fluctuations, dizziness, headaches, health palpitations, restlessness, and dehydration, among other things. You might have already experienced some of this by now, and if you haven’t, it’s not long until you probably will. However, those are all short term effects and usually stop after a few hours, which could be why many are not aware of the serious side effects that caffeine can cause one to feel long term.
According to My Health Alberta, the long term effects of drinking too much caffeine are “chronic insomnia, constant anxiety, depression, and stomach problems”. It might be a good idea to start cutting back on your caffeine intake, if you haven’t already.
As someone who drinks coffee regularly, this is something that I have been struggling with a lot. I briefly tried to cut it out completely, but the caffeine withdrawal symptoms were so unbearable that I just ended up drinking coffee again. In the long run, I’d say it’s probably much more beneficial to make the effort to improve your sleep schedule and start managing your time and commitments better so you don’t have to get to the point where you depend on caffeine to get through the day.
I don’t intend to scare anyone into thinking that they will develop these long term conditions, or that exhibiting any of these short term symptoms is a sign of something more serious. Even just cutting back a bit, like I have started to do, can go a long way. All of this is to caution you about how much you are consuming on a daily basis, and to make sure that you are not dismissing your health.