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Sugar-coating stress: an exercise in Candy Addiction

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Candy Binge

As finals approach for many college students, we all turn to different vices and sources of comfort. I’ve seen hoards of stressed-out classmates gathered in the smoker-friendly areas on campus, while others look wild-eyed and jabber about the benefits of slamming energy drinks. Sleep is hard to find, and talk of late-night pizza delivery is normal. Personally, I take comfort in candy. I prefer chocolate, but as I proved to myself after a particularly difficult anatomy exam, almost anything with sugar will do. This article is dedicated to my fellow Candy Addicts, the frazzled students and office workers who flock to candy aisles and vending machines in search of comfort.

Selection is very important. I can tell a true Candy Addict by which vending machine he or she frequents. Everybody who takes science classes passes the same set of soda, juice, and snack machines in the main hallway, but if you want the good stuff, you go to the obscurely placed machine in a tiny room next to the Academic Computer Lab. The Lab machine is always well-stocked, and the usual filler like crackers and granola bars is replaced with a larger selection of candy. I paid for $1 worth of copies that I didn’t need just so the librarian would change my 20 dollar bill into 19 ones.

Tax day tested my ability to reason, to function, and to eat candy in moderation. After an hour-long test on the peripheral and central nervous system, plus two hours of poking and prodding a sheep’s brain, I made like a zombie and wandered toward the Lab vending machine. The day’s binge began with a Snickers at 2 PM and didn’t end until almost midnight, when I’d had so much candy that my throat burned.

After dinner (a healthy dinner, I should add) I hit a box of Junior Mints. It was gone within minutes. I sat down at my mom’s computer to check the status of my anatomy grade online. She keeps a bowl of Jelly Belly jellybeans next to her computer. By the time I knew my grade (a respectable “B”), all the Very Cherry beans and most of the Coconut beans were down the hatch. The list goes on and on, and I took a picture (see above) of some of the candy I assembled for my pigfest.

After a night of realizing I’d had way, way, too much candy, I thought about the other students in my class, and decided to ask them if any of them ate sugary snacks to pacify their stress. The best responses came from two guys in my Life Fitness class. One just shook his head, said “finals”, and showed me a stash of several bags of Gummi Bears in his backpack. Another said he prefers candy, but when he only had time to eat lunch at Subway, he ate six chocolate chunk cookies with his sandwich. Good man.

Perhaps the lowest level of candy desperation hit me a few Tuesdays before my tax-day binge. There was already talk of finals, and professors were beginning to explain about what would be cumulative and when the exams would be held. That night, I ran a 5K, went to dinner with friends, went home, and suddenly realized there was no candy in the house. “Finals!” shot through my mind, and I saw that it was 8:50 PM. Walgreens closes at 9 PM. I flew out the door. I took back roads to the drugstore and got there with three minutes to spare. Two Cadbury Creme Eggs, a package of Giant Sweet Tarts, a pouch of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, a Kit-Kat, and a couple of other random findings, and I was the last customer out the door with $12 worth of candy in my bag.

Health experts will balk at my coping skills, but when I think of all the vices in the world, I put candy pretty low on the danger list. Besides, eating is a personal choice, and I choose candy! Time to sugar-up for my last two finals!

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4 Responses to “Sugar-coating stress: an exercise in Candy Addiction”

  1. 1
    Megan says:

    Speaking of chocolate, have you seen the Chocolate bubblegum by Bubble Yum? I bought it at Target….I’d be curious to know what you think!

  2. 2
    Tabby says:

    I also have a lot of stress in my life and I can relate to your candy addiction because I too love candy. I always eat candy before going into my classes and I even have a jar full of candy on my desk. In my blog I talk about all kinds of stress in my life, you should come visit my blog.

  3. 3
    April says:

    Whenever I have a test or final, I eat gobstoppers. Works every time. The first real test I took, the admin gave us all lemon drops, she says it gives you a higher score if you have something to chew or suck on while you take the test. I guess it keeps your mind busy so it doesn’t wander.

  4. 4
    Sera says:

    Nothing settle stress like chocolate and a Big Hunk to tear into. All the chewing really calms me down. ;)

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