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February 29, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Caffeine pills aren’t the answer to final exam success

It gets closer every single hour. You mark off the days on your desktop calendar, nervously anticipating the moment when it finally arrives. The days fly by all too quickly.

Some of you may think that I’m referring to that wonderful time period in a college student’s life known as Christmas Break, when classes are finally over and homework and tests become things of the past.

Unfortunately I’m actually noting the dreaded time before it: Finals Week.

Many of us may still be in denial that the dismaying time period is only two weeks away. But for those of us already trying to cram a semester’s worth of information into our already jam-packed minds, wouldn’t it be nice if there was something to help us retain the information? Maybe just a magical little pill that could keep us going for hours at a time?

Surprisingly enough, there is a pill floating around college campuses that can give students limitless energy and a minimum sleep drive. And for those of you who assume I’m referring to some restricted drug that could possibly land you in a jail cell, this tiny pill is actually perfectly legal.

I now introduce to you, the caffeine pill: a tiny, harmless pill that conveys about 200mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to two cups of strong coffee, according to, one of the leading producers of caffeine pills.

Sounds convincing, doesn’t it? No side effects and unlimited energy all stored in a completely legal little pill that is deemed completely harmless by most of the pill’s manufacturers.

With finals week right around the corner, these little pick-me-ups sound more appealing than ever. It seems manufacturers will say anything to get you to buy their products these days.

According to a recent article published by the Chicago Tribune, the so called ‘harmless’ pills actually are more addicting than some types of drugs, including LSD and marijuana.

Many students, attempting to fight sleep and prolong hours of study, continue to pop the pills even after they have exceeded a safe limit because they compare the pills to a cup of coffee, which they unreliably believe will not harm their health.

According to the Boston Daily Free Press, a community college student in North Carolina was reported dead on site after she swallowed nearly 90 pills-the equivalent of about 250 cups of coffee. Her finals would have commenced the next week.

Unfortunately for today’s society, it seems that manufacturers would rather disregard the health risks of their products just to make a profit.

According to, ‘the caffeine in Vivarin is less irritating to your stomach than coffee,’ and contains little or no side effects. They recommend taking no more than three pills a day.

However, after only two pills, symptoms can include everything from nausea, vomiting and a racing heart to hallucinations, panic attacks, chest pains and trips to the emergency room.

Not to mention a strong case of addiction.

Let’s face it: Everywhere we go, we’re surrounded by caffeine.

New energy drinks are released every day, candy bars litter our shelves; we even have a busy Starbucks right here on campus.

The problem is we as college students see caffeine as a food product, rather than the drug that it really is. We don’t realize that caffeine is just as addicting as a more powerful drug, such as LSD or cocaine. We never even assume that there are deadly health risks involved after taking just two pills in one day.

According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, the researchers found ‘more than 250 cases of medical complications from ingesting caffeine supplements. Twelve percent of those cases required hospitalization, including in the intensive-care unit. The average age of the caffeine users was 21.’

As much as we’d like to believe that these little pills will not hurt us, caffeine pills are not something to mess around with.

They are addictive, dangerous and can lead to permanent effects in our neurological systems. So in the next two weeks, when finals begin to get overwhelming and those tiny, energy-boosting pills seem so appealing, remember the consequences of popping just one.

Your grades may reflect the use of the pills, but unfortunately, your health might, too.

Send comments to Kristin at [email protected]

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