“Don’t conform. Don’t be like the rest of them.”
That’s what my parents would say to me every time I would take a nice, long sip out of my Grande Starbucks Caffe Mocha. One sip… two sip… and the rest was history. I was another victim.
I got hooked on coffee about five years ago and for all of the wrong reasons. “…But everyone else is doing it,” I would think to myself. Seeing that I was in my first year in college, I was trying to find my way. How could I manage to have a kickass college career? How could I be a straight-A student, killer collegiate athlete, reliable friend, good daughter, and an avid volunteer? How could I set the foundation for my future? How are people successful here? …Oh yeah, the thoughts were overbearing, and so I began to "people watch."
I would walk through the library, walk by study groups, and even waltz on over to my study-buddies and I would notice a commonality among these nerd-fests. Every single table shared a similar scattered layout; a laptop, textbooks, half-eaten dining hall food, flashcards, a few highlighters, and of course, that steaming hot cup of coffee. It was as if drinking coffee was not only a right of passage to being a college student, but a prosperous one.
So there, my thought process began. I thought that in order to manage my life optimally, I guessed I should jump on this caffeine trip. I needed to enjoy coffee. Then I took my first sip. It was black. No sugar. No milk. No crème. Just black. And it shocked me. How could something smell so good and taste so bad? How could so many people enjoy such a bitter taste?
Well, I kept drinking. I mean, if I enjoyed coffee, I’d reap the benefits of spending my weekend afternoons cooped up in a local coffee shop equipped with free Wi-Fi, a quiet place to study, and a free, shared paperback bookshelf. I’d enjoy quick breaks to Starbucks between classes. I’d also be able to taste the different seasonal flavors. Not to mention, I’d also have more energy. So there I was, still gulping back different ways to feed myself caffeine. From lattes to espressos and mochas to iced coffees, I wanted to acquire this new taste.
Well, I was a fake coffee addict. I relied on something because I just didn't know how to get that extra kick of energy. For me, energy shots brought me up only to shoot me back down. I was also a college athlete so it wasn’t something I considered the healthiest of options. I even went as far to explore regular teas. None of which, ever met my expectations. I was still craving something with that extra kick. I felt like there had to be another option out there. However, the simple access to coffee led me to, just sort of, follow the crowd. I conformed with my surroundings and gave in. I learned to acquire the taste that I did not enjoy in exchange for having the energy to do more.
Is your story similar? Why’d you start depending on coffee?
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