Unsweetened, of course. But why the hell is it noteworthy? Maybe because drinking tea is just one of the many things that have changed in the past three or so years of my life. It’s one of the more overt symbols of change, along with my hair, my weight, and my clothes. I know that I’ve changed but it feels as though I haven’t “changed” so much as I’ve “become the person I was always meant to be”, if that makes any sense. I am still me, except now I drink tea.
I’ve also gained the ability to drink coffee straight, despite my initial dislike of its bitter taste. I can still remember drinking that double shot of espresso my freshman year, which was pretty much my first taste of “legit coffee”. It was laced with cream and sugar in order to fight off the ever-creeping feeling of sleep in my biology lecture. It’s not that the subject or the professor were boring in any way, but I had never been subjected to an actual, full length lecture before. The length and level of interaction were unlike anything I’d ever experienced in high school, which left me unprepared and lacking the endurance needed to just sit there and take notes. So, the next time lecture rolled around, I brought my drink with me into the classroom and chugged it right before class started. Even with all of the added stuff to kill the bitterness, I didn’t like it much but I figured, “As long as I can get through the lecture and take some notes, I’m good.”
It worked…kinda. I stayed awake at least. But between my shoulders randomly jerking and a sudden hyper-awareness of my blood roaring through my veins, I couldn’t take notes for shit! My reaction to that drink served to keep me well away from any and all other sources of caffeine for a good, long while. This was back when I still drank soda just because I could, so it was kind of a big change in my diet.
Looking back, that strong reaction to drinking espresso was probably due to the sheer difference in levels of potency between a regular soda and a Starbucks Doubleshot. I went too far too fast and, yes, after the involuntary jerks subsided, I ended up falling asleep anyway. It was as though my energy level went to the highest diving board imaginable and then plummeted straight down into the drink. Awful. Just…awful.
So, what’s the lesson to be learned here? Everybody in college drinks coffee. Everybody. Even if you have the audacity to think, “Well, that’s not gonna happen to me, I’ve never needed caffeine to work! I’ll be the exception!” No. No, you don’t understand. If you are not used to ingesting high quantities of the stuff, do yourself a favor and begin now. If you’re starting college in the next few months and are already a living zombie (how’s that for a contradiction?), you will already have a leg up on everyone else.