Eyes wide shut

“Red Bull, ProPlus, sniffing eucalyptus oil, drinking shot after shot of espresso and taking ice-cold showers in the middle of the night – some students will do anything to stay awake when there’s last-minute cramming to be done. It’s not hard to realise that regularly overloading on copious amounts of caffeine in order to stay awake in the battle to finish tomorrow’s presentation or read through a tome of lecture notes in the dead of night will invariably take a toll on your brain, body and academic performance. And yet it’s something most students will have done at some point in their university career. In the final year of an art history degree at the University of Leeds two years ago, Chloe August found herself rushing to finish her dissertation on time. ‘Keeping the window open all night to keep cold, smoking cigarettes and taking ProPlus were all on the agenda,’ August says. ‘I also bought myself an espresso machine – the cheap ones that you could put on the hob – and at one point I was drinking 12 to 15 espressos a day …’” (more)

[Huma Qureshi, Guardian, 28 February]

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