Teens Don’t Need Caffeine to Function — Just Willpower

What do Rockstar, Red Bull, Monster, Mad Croc and Go Girl have in common? Any of these could be pro-wrestler names, but they’re just energy drinks. Many teenagers rely on these and similar substances just to get through their days.

This is unnecessary and ridiculous. It is quite possible to function as a productive, active team without the crutch provided by caffeine, and it is time that teens try to do so.

Caffeine is simply the means by which teens are able to pursue unhealthy work and sleep habits that will follow into later life. It is the justification for an all-nighter, for overbooking extracurriculars and too much school work, all postponed until the last minute. Not to mention fitting in a social life around all that.

It does not matter if there are not enough hours in a day to do all of that and sleep—caffeine will save them!

“Students are getting too dependent on caffeine,” freshman Sarah Breslin said. “They should come up with non-caffeine ways to get energy.”

Caffeine is an enabler, a drug that allows students to pursue lifestyles that are neither healthy nor productive. One thing should be made clear: Caffeine is not a replacement for sleep. It is a drug that creates a feeling of wakefulness and temporary mental clarity, without the actual mental function that is possible after a good eight hours of sleep. That huge math test will not go any better after two hours of sleep just because of a venti latte.

If students are to be truly productive and healthy, both now and as adults, some lifestyle changes are necessary.

Caffeine cannot be used as a substitute for sleep. Students need to schedule their lives so that they can get everything done and still have time to take care of themselves. If this means dropping an activity or going on Facebook a little less during homework time, than so be it.

A genuinely healthy and balanced life is worth giving up a few Red Bulls.