Coffee: The addiction of the century

Paige M.

Managing EditorCoffee 1 PM

Coffee has become a staple item more so than ever before. This drink plays an important and irreplaceable role in many people’s lives, including a large population of high school students. The addiction developed within high school students leads people to believe that students rely on the beverage for the daily energy that they should be getting from a good night’s sleep and exercise. It is believed that a much younger generation is accepting and adopting coffee into their lives than ever before.

Coffee used to be considered a “man’s drink” because there were no additives, and generally was never consumed unless it was black. Though coffee has been around for quite a while, it has changed in many ways over the years. Ms. Johanna Marcusky, a literature teacher at WHS, said, “Back then we drank it like real men, without the syrups and the ice chips.” Coffee is also way more expensive and way more accessible than before.” How past generations have considered coffee in the past is now very different. Our generations today now mix all sorts of creamers, syrups, and sugars to coffee to make over a thousand different types of drinks. Seldom does anyone ever see the average high school student proceed into Starbucks and order a cup of black coffee. The addition of these creamers and other ingredients provides quite a health issue as well. The calorie count of a cup of coffee is much higher than the low calorie drink used to be.  Along with this, because of these access flavorings, coffee is often associated with a high price in most places.

The effect of coffee on people is unnoticeable until it is taken it away. Addictions establish, and people are unable to focus without their morning cup of coffee. Junior Emma Gilbert said, “I find myself craving coffee all the time. Without it, I feel groggy and unable to focus. I usually have about two cups a day.” This is a direct representation of how people rely on coffee, especially at such a young age. Another student who has been impacted by coffee is junior Alyssa Moffitt, who states, “Coffee has made my everyday life much more enjoyable because I never get tired, and I’m always in a good mood. I usually drink two to three cups a day.” Not only are teens relying on the natural caffeine, but they are drinking multiple cups a day to sustain them.

The market for coffee recently has a new target. Stressed high school teens, over-loaded college students, and young business employees are the main audience whom maintains their coffee purchases. Not only has coffee become associated with a younger crowd, but it has also recently become associated with studying in general.  Most coffee shops set up areas for doing work, which provide customers with places to stay and study as they cram for tests and work on their homework. Outlets are provided for laptops, and many use this to their advantage. Along with this, Woodstock High School has even become subject to the situation. Woodstock has had a coffee shop run by softball players for quite a while now, providing coffee to those who were unable to stop by a local shop for their morning cup. Recently, a coffee shop is also underway in the media center to be not only sold in the morning, but all day long. This is so that students can pop in and out and grab a cup on the way to class, or even stay and do their work. Mrs. Pati Olton, Woodstock High School’s media specialist, said, “I agree that coffee and studying have become closely associated. This is why many people study in coffee shops.” She continued, “Based on the new healthcare codes, we are unsure if we will be able to sell coffee to the kids. The creamer is said to have too many calories. We are going to work with alternate coffee companies to see what we can do.  Starbucks coffee shops are located near schools and universities for exactly this reason as well. Studying and coffee have established a very friendly relationship in many ways, influencing students to purchase coffee even more.  

There is much debate over whether coffee has had a positive or a negative impact on teens. Ms. Marcusky says, “It has definitely had a negative impact. You guys drink way too much coffee!” Many parents and teachers will side with her on this statement, while students will argue about the positive impact of constant energy. Coffee has changed the generation and is adapting into something that it has not been thought of before; an addiction, an easy source of energy, a morning necessity, and a study partner.



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