Caffeine Kick: The Mass Consumption of Coffee by Beacon Students

By Mollie Butler


It has become increasingly apparent at Beacon how much coffee students drink, especially around  PBA week. The Beacon Beat interviewed a few students who commented on how they have become reliant on their morning cup of joe to stay awake and focused during these especially stressful times.

Lenwich, which is only two blocks from Beacon, charges $1.80 for a small, regular cup of coffee. There are around 180 days of school each year, so for a student to purchase a Lenwich coffee every day of the school year, it would cost around $324.

The Beacon Beat asked student Ronna Margalit if she minds spending so much money on coffee. “I used to only drink decaf because I never wanted to become reliant on the coffee, but I started ordering regular coffee due to my lack of sleep…I sometimes make coffee at home, but I feel that due to my lack of sleep, coffee is a necessary part of my day. The money I spend [on coffee] is definitely worth it.”

Faced with the workload of high school and extracurriculars, many students find they need an extra source of energy and have begun to turn to coffee. “I didn’t start drinking coffee until last year at the beginning of PBA week, after seeing all my fellow classmates come in with cups of coffee and telling me how coffee is the only thing that gets them through PBA week,” reported student Olivia Uxestskey.  She continued, “I really love the taste of coffee, but with that comes me getting addicted to the caffeine.”

Caffeine addiction can cause symptoms of withdrawal if a regular coffee drinker stops consuming coffee.  Other symptoms can include dizziness, grogginess, and stress.  For students who skip their coffee because they’re running late to school, these symptoms can make for an unpleasant school day.

“There was one day where I was running late and had no time to get coffee.  I began to get headaches during the day and felt no focus in my school classes. All I could think was how much I needed a cup of coffee,” said Everett, who usually consumes two cups a day.

Along with the possibility of withdrawal comes the crash when students’ coffee buzz wears off during the day: “I never truly experienced an abrupt crash. I just slowly fade as the day wears on and I have started drinking coffee at the end of the day as fuel to get through my homework,” said Ronna Margalit. Hayley Bernstein recalls that when she stopped drinking coffee over winter break, she “felt dreary and tired, and began getting mild headaches from not consuming it. I started drinking it when school started again.”

The Beacon Beat asked a few students if they started drinking coffee for the caffeine fix or because they saw so many other Beacon students doing the same thing.  Is there an element of peer pressure?  “I guess I only started drinking coffee because of the students around me and I feel that when I talk to other students about it, it’s like I am being part of some large student movement and fitting into a high school ritual,” said Everett.