The Caffeine Deprivation Experiment : Day One

My name is Adam Shakarjian and I’m a caffeineholic. Coffee, pop, pills, tea, energy drinks, I live off the stuff. So when I asked myself the question: “can I go without?” I had mixed feelings about the attempt. Many students use caffeine just as much – if not more – than I do, but I felt a needed to test myself further and gauge my dependence on it. Thus begins my seven day, 168-hour battle against caffeine deprivation.  Who knows exactly what I will go through.


The initial day was not as bad as I imagined it would be, but maybe I was still riding on the dredges of caffeine stimulation. Today I woke up at 7:30am for my 8:00 Biology class, though I could have sworn the night before that I would sleep straight through the alarm. Surprisingly, I woke up on time. Ordinarily I would have grabbed what I call a “perk pill” (a caffeine pill) on my way out, but I simply left without it today.

It wasn’t until I settled into Biology that I started to feel some real effects of leaving that morning pill behind. I became drained of energy quickly and continually yawned. Still, I managed to squeeze through without any big issues. Pre-calculus was a bit shakier, but if you can learn perfect squares without stealing some shuteye, you’re simply not a human being.

In Philosophy of Religion I learned that complex philosophical ideas and lack of energy do not mix well. All I could think of was Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. It played over and over again in my head on a constant loop. And while intricate ideas flew over my head like bullets in trench warfare, I just kind of lulled side to side in my chair, drunk on the song in my mind.

A mini freak-out session occurred when I thought I lost my phone at lunch. I checked my pockets like a hobo looking for a quarter. It took me about half a minute to find it, and was all I could think about for those thirty seconds. When I finally found it I was so wired that my body was shaking. I don’t know why it was so important, but it definitely got me going more than I expected.

When I finally reached band rehearsal at the end of the day, I realized the two veteran alto-saxophone players were gone. This normally wouldn’t be an issue, but we were also playing new music. Throwing me to the dogs seems like the appropriate metaphor. The band doesn’t want to hear a first-year, caffeine-deprived sax player wailing away in the wrong key.

On a normal caffeinated day, I could have handled any of this, but I ended today on a stressful low note.

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