Why do I find myself…


Addicted to Starbucks

As my schedule grew busier during sophomore year, I established a habit of waking up early or making an extra errand just to buy a grande from Starbucks.

Senior Maddie McCarthy’s schedule grew busier during sophomore year, and she started regularly going to Starbucks for caffeine.

“It began as a once in a while thing I would do if I didn’t get enough sleep the night before, but then coffee replaced sleep in general as it became an almost everyday thing,” she said.

At one point, she drank over 800 mg of caffeine per day, compared to the suggested average of 200-300 mg.

“Starbucks coffee has so much caffeine — it’s ridiculous. Sometimes I would have two ventis per day. I would shake, feel nauseous, sweat, feel dizzy, and not be able to sleep,” she said. “I decided I couldn’t keep doing that to myself after I realized how much caffeine was in there.”

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Starbucks coffee contains almost twice as much caffeine as Panera’s coffee.

Ultimately, she weaned herself off of her venti order. McCarthy said that caffeine is “not worth the potential health risks and a messed up sleep cycle.”

When each Starbucks run left me with a headache the next day and an empty wallet, I realized that caffeine is not worth the price I paid — literally.


Seeking celeb gossip

When I visit the dentist’s office, I always reach for the Us Weekly or People magazine. At home on my couch on late Saturday nights, I always flip to E! News.

Still, I come away dissatisfied.

Camille LaScala, junior and follower of select celebrities, does, too.

“If you are seeking out celebrity gossip, it seems like [the media] either leaves the good things out to make someone look bad or leaves the bad things out to make someone look good,” she said.

LaScala believes that “people watch celeb shows because they want their lives to be wrapped in a package” like celebrities are portrayed in magazines or TV shows.

“They’re not actually thinking of the fact that none of it is remotely valid or real,” she said.

Author Rolf Dobelli examines how to correct “cognitive errors” in our daily lives in his book, “The Art of Thinking Clearly.” He explains that celebrity news “is to the mind what sugar is to the body” because it’s easily digestible.

Since news is generally appealing to people, any hyped-up rumors displayed as news will grab my attention.

Maybe I should stop falling for the rumors, but hey — sometimes, it’s comforting to read information that’s not pertinent to my life, whether or not it’s true.


Treating a smartphone as a fifth limb

Even with full access to a laptop at home, I rarely dust the top off and turn it on. Owning a laptop is old news now.

Although the practicality of my iPhone screen is iffy, I can accomplish a range of activities, like scanning gift cards or doing research for a history project.

Junior Hannah Boykin confesses to relying on her iPhone for “basically everything.”

Boykin only has access to a household desktop, so, in turn, she depends even more on mobile capabilities.

“If I have a question, my phone is the first place I turn to,” Boykin said. “My smartphone is something I have with me 24/7, so I’m always looking to technology for information.”

The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University reports that “one in four teens are ‘cell-mostly’ Internet users.” These teenagers access the Internet more throughout the day and night since the introduction of smartphones.

“My phone used to keep me up, but now my parents take my phone at night so that I’ll get enough sleep,” Boykin said.

With the swipe of a finger and a four-digit code lies easy Internet access. Now, the goal is benefitting from this accessibility in moderation.