When I was in high school, I was the occasional coffee drinker, if you could call it that. I would drink Starbucks frappuccinos and iced mocha drinks, which were more like snacks than coffee, BUT they had coffee in them, so I said I drank coffee. I progressed from my love of “snack drinks" to a more general appreciation of coffee, and would have a cup of coffee once a week or so. My “cup of coffee" would consist of a little coffee and a lot of cream and sugar, but it was coffee nonetheless. Then I started college.
I bought a coffee maker and scheduled 8 a.m. classes (what was I thinking?), and then coffee became a regular part of my every day routine. I ended up drinking about five cups a day but never paid attention to how much caffeine I was having. Until one day it hit me -- during a Physics quiz, unfortunately. I hadn't realized but it was two o'clock and I hadn't had any coffee that day and all of a sudden my head was pounding, I couldn't think straight, and the classroom lights hurt like no other.
That's when I came to the unhappy conclusion that I had become addicted to caffeine. This had never happened to me before! I had no idea what to do or how to handle it. So I came up with a few ideas on how to fix it and decided to try them out.
1. Don't drink anything caffeinated after 3:30 p.m. This way it won't affect your sleep.
2. Start by gradually decreasing the number of cups of coffee you drink a day. Don't fret; just because you can't have caffeinated coffee, doesn't mean you can't have decaf if you really want coffee.
3. Work your way down to only one cup of caffeinated coffee a day, and if you're feeling adventurous, try not having any! You might have a minor headache in the afternoon, but it's nothing in comparison to a massive caffeine headache.
4. You could also try alternating days of caffeinated coffee and decaf, so this way your body won't become addicted, and you won't have to suffer the consequences.
5. Now that you're no longer addicted to caffeine, you could have your coffee on mornings when you need an extra little pick-me-up and you will actually feel the effects of the coffee.
I'm fairly certain I will perpetually be stuck on a loop of caffeine addictions, but at least now I know that I can break my bad habit, even if I start it back up again during finals or because of an early job.