Wellness Center should serve caffeinated tea

Gabriel Reuter, Reporter

When you walk into the Wellness Center, the atmosphere is welcoming and calming. Soft music plays as the steam rises slowly out of the little volcano. The couches are deep and comforting. Someone greets you with a smile. If you choose, you can make yourself a cup of warm tea. It almost feels like home.

There is no question that the Wellness Center is a resource that students love. People may seek help for emotional and physical problems by talking to an expert or just wind down from the stressful life of a high school student. The mission of the Wellness Center is to make time at school easier and less stressful.

Well, if the Wellness group wants to help us succeed in our academics, they are seriously lacking one critical item, caffeinated tea. This addition would help students get through the day after the lack of sleep many of us suffer but can’t fix. It would keep us awake after lunch during the afternoon wave of fatigue. This could surely help increase our focus and in turn decrease the stress of not retaining information presented in class.

Why won’t the Wellness Center have caffeinated tea? “Caffeine exacerbates anxiety in people who are stressed out and we wouldn’t want to give someone something that increases those feelings.” Margaux Buehl said. This is a reasonable argument, however the crucial flaw is that it only increases feeling of anxiety in people who are already stressed out.

A simple fix for the dilemma in the Wellness Center would be to label caffeinated tea as not ideal for stressed individuals. A study published by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology states that there is no correlation between anxiety and caffeine consumption in students. This is one of many studies
on caffeine and anxiety, but one of few that tested students on and off caffeine. Other studies that measure only students on caffeine for anxiety of course find the results positive, but that is likely because all students have some stress in their lives.

On another note, there are well documented health benefits to drinking black tea, which is also caffeinated. To name a few, black tea is known to relieve asthma, improve digestion, and reduce cholesterol.

Black tea would be one way for the Wellness Center to provide healthy caffeine options for students. The choice to not provide caffeinated products is made with good intentions, but takes away a resource that many students would appreciate, and utilize to keep us awake in the classroom.