FHC’s caffeine addicts roam the halls with focused minds and caffeine-filled hands


Kiera Kemppainen

A coffee maker, coffeebeans, Celsius, and a pre-packaged latte—all are common caffeine drinks for students at FHC.

When traveling to Florida for the Varsity Dance Team’s National Competition, senior Emily Smith was struck with a pounding headache.

On a normal day, away from a dance competition, Emily would start drinking coffee to ease her head, but unfortunately, there was none in sight.

“I was at a dance competition one time,” Emily said, “and we needed to get up really early. And there was no coffee shop or anything. It was at a hotel at Nationals. We went on to perform, and my head was just hurting really badly. I was kind of off, but afterward, I got coffee, so it was okay.”

Having no caffeine on such an important day was new for Emily. As an avid coffee drinker, even a normal day without caffeine would prove difficult. She would most likely be unfocused, tired, and struggling with a pounding in her head.

To combat her headaches and tiredness, Emily drinks black coffee—a large quantity.

I’m a big coffee fan—I like how coffee tastes even if it’s bitter.

— Liv Booth

“I start with a normal mug,” Emily said. “I start with two of those in the morning, and then I bring a big Yeti full of [coffee] to school. So that counts as four. Sometimes, another one after school if I’m really feeling up to it.”

Emily’s four cups of coffee add up to roughly 380 milligrams of caffeine daily if her coffee contains the average amount of caffeine per cup. This could seem excessive, but for Emily, it’s what works to keep her productive and prepared.

Junior Nate Delaney also drinks an ample amount of caffeine per day. Contrary to Emily finding caffeinated comfort in coffee, he prefers energy drinks like Bang Energy, Reign Total Body Fuel, or Monster.

“[I drink caffeine] two to three times a day,” Nate said. “In the morning, I drink about 160 milligrams, like a Monster. Then before practice, I’ll have another one. Or a Bang. On game days, I’ll have two. One of my friends gave me an energy drink before we had a workout [one day], and I just had a better workout. So I started to rely on it and started using it to perform better.”

With Nate’s large quantity of caffeine per day, he stocks up with 24-packs of Monsters or other energy drinks, like his favorite Purple Haze Bang Energy, so he has some on hand when he needs them. He began doing this after starting to drink caffeine on every day last year during his sophomore year. 

Another so-called caffeine addict that started drinking it frequently last year is senior Liv Booth. 

Where Emily and Nate mostly stick to either coffee or energy drinks, Liv drinks both. Though, drinking coffee is more common for them on a daily basis since making coffee is a key part of their morning. 

“I usually make coffee at home,” Liv said. “Usually, I make coffee with oat milk and then creamer, and I use a milk frother. So, I make an oat milk latte and then I use cold brew from the fridge.”

In making coffee every day, Liv has found comfort in that routine.

This routine is a stark contrast from Liv’s earlier days of caffeine consumption. Liv was enthralled by the ever-popular—and ever-sugary—drink that is not at all similar to Liv’s current coffee drink.

“The first caffeine I would drink doesn’t have that much caffeine,” Liv said. “I used to drink mocha frappuccinos from Starbucks when I was in middle school, and I used to love them. I used to get them all the time, but I don’t like super sweet drinks anymore. Sometimes I just get straight-up cold brew now. I’m a big coffee fan—I like how coffee tastes even if it’s bitter.”

Through many years of life, caffeine has helped Liv. Although their preferred form of it has changed, they still appreciate it for what it is and have only grown more appreciation for it as they’ve started to drink it more often. 

“I just really liked [coffee],” Liv said. “I liked making it. It’s one of my favorite things to do in the morning. It wakes me up. It’s like my everyday routine is making my coffee. And it’s kind of fun. I really enjoy the coffee—I think it’s really yummy.”