I hate coffee. As an English major and pre-med student, you'd think I'd have jumped on that bandwagon by now, but the substance that most of my friends love (and need) remains mildly repulsive to me. With finals fast approaching, however, I was tempted to try to make myself enjoy (read: tolerate) coffee. I opted to drink only "real" (i.e. black) coffee: no sugar or milk to ease me in, as my friends suggested. The results were disastrous.

Day 1

pizza, tea, coffee, beer
Emily Waples

I did my research, and grabbed a cup of coffee from Joe Van Gogh just before 10 am. Sitting in my first class of the day, I thought I was doing pretty well, combatting the bitter taste with mint gum and frequent sips of water as I tried to down all 12 ounces of my first cup of coffee ever. After class, however, when I opened the lid to check my progress, well, over half of the dark liquid remained. 

Since I hardly drank that first coffee, I didn't notice any significant changes to my energy in the subsequent hours. That night, I went to bed determined to do better next morning.

Coffee: 1, Me: 0.

Day 2

cappuccino, espresso, tea, coffee
Emily Waples

I opted to pair my second cup with food, so I went to The Divinity School Café for breakfast. I thought the clear glass mug would keep me accountable, but no such luck. When the food ran out, so did any motivation to finish the watery bitterness.

Coffee: 2, Me: 0

Day 3

mocha, milk, tea, cappuccino, espresso, coffee
Emily Waples

Frustrated by my inability to conquer coffee, I decided to give myself an edge and start Wednesday with espresso, (which apparently counts as black coffee). This was the first "coffee" I managed to finish, although I chased every micro-sip with water. I felt kind of obligated to, though – while it was the smallest drink I'd tried, it cost $2.25. Just five days of coffee was going to make a pretty big dent on my dwindling food points. No end-of-the-year WaDuke trips for me, but I counted this as a win.

Coffee: 2, Me: 1

Day 4

beer, coffee, tea
Emily Waples

Tempted as I was to repeat Wednesday's espresso, I decided to give regular old black coffee another go. A friend recommended Au Bon Pain hazelnut coffee, and while it smelled great, I was just as put-off by the taste as I had been on Monday and Tuesday. On the upside, the festive red cup made for a nice hand warmer on the walk to Physics.

Coffee: 3, Me: 1

Day 5

Finally, my last day! Unwilling to risk it with a full cup, I grabbed another shot of espresso from The Café in West Union. A few bitter gulps later and I reentered the blessed land of no coffee.

Coffee: 3, Me: 2


lemonade, water, lemon
Caroline Liu

Half of me wanted to end up liking coffee so I could finally fit the mold of "caffeinated college student," but I'm thrilled to be done with this experiment. Plus, even when I did manage to drink the espresso, I didn't notice any significant changes to my energy. I'm a morning person, so I generally wake up ready to get going anyway. If coffee's your thing, great. If you're like me, though, keep living your coffee-free life.