Since moving to university a month ago, I’ve discovered there are several coping mechanisms students employ to survive the general mayhem that is university life.
One of the most common strategies is simply not going to lectures. Rather than suffer the sheer torture that is early morning lessons after falling into bed with club-encrusted shoes still on at 5 am, some students decide it would be far easier to just remain in bed. At least until the doors of the local pub open.
This would explain the stubble-adorned, beanie-hat-wearing second years that frequent my first year lecture halls. They are also the loudest gigglers. Sleep-deprivation can do that to a person.
Whilst this is a popular choice, the king of all coping methods has to be extreme caffeine consumption, most particularly the abuse the white caffeine pills otherwise known as Pro Plus.
The British journalist Charlie Brooker was once asked if he had any tips on how to be a student. One nugget of wisdom he bestowed was, “Don’t take Pro Plus pills to stay awake. They’re worse than heroin.”
There are several friends of mine who have strayed from the Brooker way of life. They zealously throw back the tiny tablets with all the enthusiasm of half-starved monkeys tipping peanuts down their throats.
It’s begun to worry me.
I mean, at first it was quite amusing. We’d be sat in a silent lecture hall and a sudden thunk would make every one jump because my friend Lauren had fallen asleep so suddenly she whacked her head on the desk.
Will, the last of of our “gang” as Lauren and I affectionately refer to the four of us, (including Ollie) would chuck a pack of Pro Plus at her so enthusiastically, it would smack her neighbor on the side of his face.
Who doesn’t find that entertaining at nine am on a Monday morning?
But now, the side effects are kicking in worse than the caffeine.
Will had a panic-attack in the middle of the shopping centre, for no other reason than that his heart was beating twelve times faster than it was supposed to.
Ollie joked he’d turn green soon, and then promptly began to shake like a leaf caught in an extractor fan.
Lauren was the last to succumb today.
It was assessment day, but surprisingly we didn’t mind.
This is because we have discovered one of our lecturer’s is an actual golden comedian.
Last Thursday he set up a mock press conference, during which he reached behind his desk and pulled out a police officers hat and placed it on his head.
“I am Superintendent Iain Smythe,” he said, tweaking his hat so it was at a jaunty angle. “Any questions, members of the press?”
Oh how we laughed.
So we weren’t too anxious about the assessment. We were hoping for more police re-enactment antics.
Lauren, drained from her previous nights out, had taken Pro Plus and then decided when they failed to kick in, that Red Bull would be a good idea.
I would like to take this opportunity to point out what a fantastic and insanely intelligent girl Lauren is. Caffeine boosts aren’t usually her forte. Nor will they be in the near future.
Lauren spent most of the assessment with her hand on her heart saying, “It’s beating far too fast, far too fast.”
Which we all found quite funny to say the least.
I’ve decided that however great 5 am parties are with Twister on a hill, ‘Danger Can’ tournaments, dancing in the kitchen, Arctic Monkey‘s sing-alongs and –
Who am I kidding? I’m not giving ANY of that up.
Though I think milky coffee might be a wiser option.
They should come with a health warning. Oh, they do.
Images courtesy of Google