Caffeine and college life go hand in hand. It starts off with your sleeping patterns altering by the second week of your first semester; soon after, you don’t even know what day of the week it is.

Maybe you told yourself you’d never need it, but you felt really tired that day, so you had your first sip and the rest is history. Enter caffeine addiction.

Hello, my name is Sofia, and I’m a caffeine addict. As a first year, I was satisfied with a Coca-Cola from the POD, and I felt like such a rebel having soda every day since it was something entirely unavailable to me at home.

Then the semester got progressively more hectic and midterms reared their ugly heads, so I switched to coffee. At first it was because toting the Styrofoam cup that lets out a frustratingly small amount of liquid seemed like the cool collegiate thing to do. And then I just started to like it too much.

I even went so far as to buy my own coffee pot, and it was extremely satisfying to brew my very own cup of instant happiness in the morning.

During sophomore year, I graduated to Red Bull, and I’ve had chest pains ever since. What started as a “maybe-just-for-this-exam” kind of thing eventually grew to what is now, sadly, a daily habit.

I confess, I pro-caffeinate on an almost daily basis. By “almost,” I mean that I drink Red Bull during the week to trick myself into being productive, and on the weekends it’s mostly for fun.

Caffeine is the foundation of my hierarchy of needs, because without caffeine there is nothing to be excited about. So I would like to think that I am not addicted to Red Bull; we’re just in a committed relationship at this point.

Every once in awhile, after chest pains and some eye twitching, it gets to the point where my roommate has to hide the Red Bull from me, so I sip a cup of tea. In between sips, I tell myself that I will stop tomorrow. That’s never gonna happen, but I tried, and it’s the thought that counts, right?

Essentially, coffee and energy drinks are the stuff of a college existence. If you haven’t had any, you’re either managing your life exceptionally well or you’re in denial about how much fun it is to self-induce hyperactivity.

I like to think that having a cup of coffee or a can of Red Bull in hand simply makes you look busier. It appears that you’ve studied like crazy and are SO ready for that god-awful exam you’re about to take, or maybe like you’re about to sit down and blow through that 10-page essay.

I’m not about to tell you not to drink caffeine around finals, because that would be ridiculous. However, I will advise you not to drink it for fun, because chest pains only make writing a paper more difficult. Then again, if your heart isn’t racing to get out of your chest, you’re not doing it right. When it comes to caffeine, pain is often an integral part of the experience.

That said, do be healthy: when said experience gets to be too much, sip some water and just pretend those caffeine headaches aren’t real.

But for those times when you are simply in denial about writing that final paper that’s 30 percent of your grade, I champion your decision to crack open a Red Bull and procaffeinate.