Two months ago I did not drink coffee. I know, how did I make it this long as a grad student without it? The hardest peer pressure to avoid around here is the pressure to drink coffee.
However, for over two years I made it through my days and weeks on fewer hours of sleep than I can count on my hand. How? Those liquid nuclear reactor waste darlings called energy drinks and, occasionally, that product that promises a certain number of hours of energy. Smart right? Wrong. I was perpetually wired, while still feeling sleepy. This confused my body tremendously. I would stand at my bench setting up experiments while simultaneously wanting to curl up into 1 of the 96 wells sitting in front of me. BUT at the same time, I could not make myself sit down between time points.
WEIRD right? This did not make me stop. What made me stop was not the icky feeling post crash: I felt like I got hit by a hangover and a bus. What made me stop was turning into a fiend twice a day, 11:00 am and 2:30 pm. Anyone who was around me and did not see me get up to make my way to a drink machine or a cafe for an energy drink, would comment on their surprise. Most of the time what they did not know was that I probably already had an energy drink.
Anyway, I made myself quit. It took two times. First time was cold turkey and lasted about three months. Prelim exam #2 ended that.
Second time was kinda cold turkey. I went to a conference that had no energy drink access, and, yes, I believed that like internet, energy drink access was a must. This was when I had my first taste of gold. Immediately, I was too good for energy drinks. It was like I made it to the big leagues and was too shady to even acknowledge my old friend. I quit energy drinks cold turkey as I was putting the coffee mug to my lips.
Now, I can fill up a Dunkin Donuts coffee card in a week. One guy knows my car and when he sees me pull up, I don’t even have to order. Now, I walk up to the counter of the coffee shop without having to look at what is offered. Now, the barista who used to always prepare my tea, pours a sample of the day’s brew for me to taste.
The funny part (to me at least) is that I still “need” my coffee (as a form or caffeine). There are definitely times of the day, that my body points itself in the direction of coffee and my feet get to moving. I have convince myself that the energy had a stronger hold and that coffee is considered to be good for you. I don’t crash on coffee. Coffee.
Medium, caramel swirl, cream, light sugar