Students Struggle to Stave Off the Z's
Jolt Cola, the self-styled "espresso of colas" is sponsoring a contest to discover the 10 zaniest ways college students stay awake--and at Harvard, it might not be by drinking Jolt.
All that may change, however, because of the drink's "high-powered taste," according to Jolt Media Director Randy A. Kambic.
"This is the first time Jolt has conducted this contest," Kambic said in a telephone interview. "And because [Jolt] is so popular with college students, we thought it'd be a fun way to create some excitement."
But Jolt's flavor may not be enough to win the affections of the truly sleep-deprived.
"I pop Nodoz," said Ethan E. Thurow '99. "It's a pure caffeine pill, and it wakes you up more than Jolt Cola. Who cares about taste when you're trying to get a paper done?"
Thurow said he also had South American contacts who supply him with the most potent picker-uppers.
"I have this friend from Argentina who gives me these pills which are sold in his country," said Thurow. "It's like Nodoz and aspirin in one."
To beat the Z's and get his A's, Leverett legend Carl F. Engstrom '98 resorts to Nintendo and other video games.
"Sometimes when I stay up till three in the morning, I'll start playing Nintendo or Doom. That way I get into the game and your brain works faster because of the adrenaline," said Engstrom. After playing these games, the rush usually carries him for another hour or two, he said.
Engstrom rated Doom and Super Mario Kart as the best because they give the "first person" realistic perspective.
Using a combination of Doom, some caffeine and amphetamines such as ritalin, Engstrom managed to last 52 hours straight during final exams last year.
Katherine T. Wen '99 subscribes to a method more traditional and accessible than Doom and prescription medication.
"I take a one-hour nap before I work," she said. But one must maximize utility in that one hour. "If you jump straight into the dream cycle instead of the other kind of sleep. You'll be all rested."
Ken B. Hughes '99 takes it a step further. "I'm usually in bed by 11:30 p.m. or 12," he said
The top 10 responses in the contest, run through the Internet via Jolt's home page, will be posted shortly after New Year's Day, Kambic said.
Winners who stayed up all night to enter will win a supply of free Jolt Cola.