Hooked on being wired?

By By Alicia Greenleigh

By Alicia Greenleigh

It used to be only twice a semester that you could spot students wandering around campus simultaneously wired, yet about to fall asleep-the magical weeks of midterms and finals. But lately this state of the living dead seems to have become a persistent trend at the U, thanks to the growing supply of energy drinks and other caffeinated products. It makes me wonder: Are we sleep-deprived just because we can be?

Now, before we jump the gun here, it is true that coffee has been used as a “pick me up” for hundreds of years, and before that, tea held the same role. But with the new wave of caffeinated treats, it seems that students are using these products as a replacement for sleep altogether.

Case in point: For the past several days, I have found myself utterly exhausted and incapable of functioning.

“Well,” my roommate said, “it might have something to do with the fact that you’re up until past three every night.”

I was shocked, because she was absolutely right. And the thing is, I wasn’t even doing anything-just watching reruns of “Scrubs” and eating ice cream sandwiches until the wee hours of the morning. Why? Because I can drink a pot of coffee or a pack of Red Bulls and be fine swinging these shifts?well, relatively fine.

This same logic is used by students (and unfortunately I’ve been guilty of this as well) who put off their studies thinking they’ll just drink gallons of Rock Stars or pop a few Adderall pills for an all-nighter cram fest. How productive can such a night be, really? By now, professors can probably spot the Adderall-laced term papers (I’m sensing short, declarative sentences).

Energy products are also used as a way to prolong and maximize one’s social life. The other day, at the bagel shop, Clay Norlen screamed, “Watch me pound these?” right before his paper espresso cup made a hollow “tink” on the counter. Moments later, another co-worker accredited his own delirium to a “righteous night of drinking and partying,” only to ask later on if we had anything stronger than coffee and Red Bull.

That made me curious about what other caffeinated products are readily available to us. The answer is surprisingly long: caffeine mints and gum-just in case you find yourself in a stinky situation at 4 a.m.-and ETZ’s Energy truffles (“A delightful box of super-charged energy chocolates!”) are among them. There is even a caffeinated hot sauce for all the spicy food addicts with droopy eyelids. Still not enough? Use caffeinated lip balm and lotion, or try using caffeine-infused soap to get clean and buzzed.

Aids for staying up past bedtime for homework-or just to stay up-have never come in so many tasty, colorful and scented options. So who can blame us for falling into temptation? It appears that the drug and food companies have come up with the 25-hour day. So whether it’s studying, drinking or just lying in a pile of your own filth, now you can be wired 24-7?and be a partial zombie.