Caffeine ideal drug for busy college lifestyle

When I came to the UA, I was caught a little off-guard by the rigors of the average college day, which begins near 9 a.m. and ends somewhere around three the next morning. Back in high school, I'd enjoyed a solid eight hours of sleep every night, as well as a constant, stable schedule. As most UA students know, both of the above conditions are about as likely as Michael Jackson turning down a sleepover at Disneyland with Macaulay Culkin. Complicating the issue is the fact that my religious group frowns upon "life-enhancing chemical dependencies" of any sort, which includes caffeine. What to do? Continue to plod through life in a sleep-deprived haze, or sacrifice deeply-held religious beliefs for a quick fix?

Let's just say that there's a 24-pack of Mountain Dew in the fridge right now. Caffeine, dare I say it, is the greatest creation in the history of mankind. No other chemical (available legally from vending machines) offers as much bang for the buck. In addition to being the cure for sleep, caffeine allows you to enjoy the convenience of a drug addiction without the annoyances (track marks, uncontrollable hallucinations, being killed by irate drug lords). So you're probably asking yourself, "Great, Brad, but what kind of caffeine is right for me?"

Well, the holy trinity of sodas is Jolt, Mountain Dew, and the young upstart beverage, Kick. Each packs a "healthy" dose of caffeine, and loads of sugar to boot. I highly recommend any of the three for your basic caffeine needs. However, as I am discovering, the effect of caffeine as a stimulant wears thin with repeated doses, so stronger methods of delivery are required as you progress. The nest stage up is everyone's friend, coffee, followed by Mr. Espresso, another proud member of the caffeine family. Now, if those stop working for you, or you're ready to give up sleep altogether, you can slip into the seedy world of Vivarin and Dexatrim pills (available without a prescription, thank heavens), which pack roughly four cups of coffee's worth of caffeine into one beautiful little pill. If you manage to get bored with that much caffeine, you can proceed to the final stage, available only from back-alley clinics: Intravenous Caffeine Injection. Death usually results in a few weeks, but boy are you excited up until the wired end.

So, what will this drug do for you? Besides reducing the need for wasteful sleep, you will receive a complimentary burst of short-term energy, followed by an insatiable need for more cool, smooth Mountain Dew (or other delivery system). Some of the more health-conscious out there might be wondering about side effects. There aren't any that I've found. Oh, sure, sometimes my head hurts uncontrollably, I occasionally twitch for no apparent reason, and my sleep has become less restful, but it's just as likely to be because of the Fiddlee Fig's cuisine as anything else.

Others might be wondering about the addictive properties of caffeine, and if it's as bad as "they" say it is. Let me assure you it is not. For example, I could quit at any time I just choose to drink caffeine. I'm in control of the drug, instead of vice versa. I choose to drink between two and six Mountain Dews a day, really. It's my choice. End of story. Get off of my back. It's none of your business how much I drink.

Sorry, sometimes I get a little feisty when it's been too long since my last hit. Anyway, just let me assure you that caffeine is the key to balancing the myriad pressures of college with minimal discomfort. Speaking of discomfort, it's time for another refreshing sip of Dew ... oh no! I'm out. I must fight the need and keep writing. So please, rush right out and buy some sweet, oh so sweet, luscious caffeine. Start the addiction today, don't wait! Anyway, for some reason I just got really tired, so until next time . zzzzzzzzz

Brad Wallace is a creative writing freshman.

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