One of the prerequisites of grad school is that you need to drink a lot of coffee.
Not because you like it, but because you have to.
Coffee is just wonderful. It's about the only addictive substance that you're allowed to consume legally; heck, you can even drive with a BCC (blood caffeine count) of 101. In fact, the DMV advises you to drink coffee to prevent sleeping at the wheel. Surprising, considering that caffeine is more addictive than marijuana[cite].
Caffeine has been known to inhibit repair of cellular DNA, and cause a lot of harm to general health of the user. In large doses (more than 250 mg), it can severely interfere with the central nervous system, just like any other drug. Why then do grad students live on coffee?
Well, mainly, it's to stay awake. It's not unusual to have 3 homework deadlines on the same day, and this calls for all nighters just to get the damn homework finished. Also, some folks like dear KK have an "all-nighter schedule" just before conference deadlines. Oh, come on, did you think that all-nighters are spontaneous? No, they are damn well planned, sometimes, with months of preparation going on before the big night.
But I ramble. Or do I really? I'm not sure; considering that it's been a week since I've had caffeine in my system. Can you believe it, I've now started using Nescafé instead of heading over to Starbucks. Well, we only have such a limited stipend...
It's difficult to actually walk past Starbucks every day, and decide to not head inside and order a double shot espresso, or a mocha, or a Java chip. Sometimes, my head spins round so much that I feel like running away, and grabbing the bitter sweet nectar that will allow me to concentrate on whatever I plan to do. One look at my fast depleting bank account jerks me back to reality.
So, all in all, I'm trying to stay away from coffee as much as I can. Coffee houses are expensive, and exist to leech you by getting you addicted to their products. Ever wondered how do they manage to have so many coffee houses next to each other, at prime locations?
Of course, there are people that are NRT (not really trying) when they go to a coffee house, order a large no-fat no foam double caramel decaf latte; open their Macbooks, scribble some insipid remarks on their blog, and think that they are damn authors...