Age of the Buzzed

We all know that coffee is not especially healthy for teens, but we cannot resist.


Omer Tuncer

Betul Tuncer, Assignments Editor

The smell of espresso fills the air as we pull up to the Starbucks drive-through. A memorized conversation takes place, minutes pass by, and then two arms stretch between the window and the vehicle, as the barista hands us a creamy latte with an extra shot of espresso. Tired comments are made, money is exchanged, and the interaction ends as the car turns out onto the main road, heading towards the school with time to spare before the first bell.

All of this is done in a sleepy daze, yet once we take the first few sips of that steaming drink, caffeine courses through our system, giving us the last ounce of energy needed to finally wake up. 

This is a familiar scene for many students at NASH. Whether that cup of joe comes from Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, their own home, or perhaps even the school cafeteria, many students at NASH have coffee in the morning, myself included. On mornings when I know I’ll have some time to waste and still get a good parking spot, I find that I just can’t resist going into the Dunkin’ drive-through for a cold brew with whole milk. But that’s not new information… 

What I want to know is why? What compels teenagers to drink coffee? Why do we feel the need to get a daily dose of caffeine and sugar every day? And not just coffee, but the coffee that we buy from franchise shops.

We must consider the fact that caffeine has a number of negative effects that could especially affect teens, such as insomnia, headaches, anxiety, and hyperactivity. Knowing that teens already suffer from these problems, our constant consumption of caffeine will only worsen them, making high school even more complicated. So why do we continue to drink coffee?

We all know that, with the overload of assignments and tests that come with taking AP and honors courses, we often have many restless nights. So most mornings, when we walk into school, we all look like tired zombies with our shoulders hunched, feet dragging and eyes drooping. It only makes sense that we would drown that drowsiness with an extra shot of espresso. Right? But as I mentioned before, caffeine can cause insomnia, so by drinking coffee to keep from falling asleep in class we’re basically just feeding an endless cycle of sleeplessness.     

However, I don’t think everyone at NASH drinks coffee because they absolutely can not stay awake. I think there’s probably a deeper reason behind why a bunch of teenagers chug caffeine so early in the morning- something a bit more subconscious.

In an age where society is plagued with conformity, it seems that we, as teenagers, will do pretty much anything if it means our peers will accept us. So at a school like NASH, where kids drive in fancy cars and enter the building each morning clutching a green siren cup, it just might be that some kids feel they need to buy stale coffee from Starbucks. 

In no way can I condemn teenagers for drinking coffee, when I myself love a good cup of the home-brewed stuff. All I really want to know is this: Why doesn’t anyone ever hype the coffee at the school cafeteria as much as a pumpkin spice latte?