I gasp in joy and relief as the bottom panel of the pod finally comes free. I let go of the pliers I had been using to pry the metal panel away and grab the little bottle full of juice; my ambrosia. I squeeze the bottle, filling the tiny pod with the nicotine infused liquid. Piecing the pod back together, I shove the plastic into the device. The “dizzy” is so close, but my obstacles are not over. I take a pull from the vape, and a sour, burning taste floods my mouth. I run to the sink and spit, the vape juice still tingling on my tongue. My nose and eyes scrunch at the offensive taste, and I gulp some water.

I cough, then bring the vape back to my lips.

I went to great lengths to continue to have the “dizzy” in my life. I couldn’t let it go. I wanted that lovely feeling to stay. I didn’t want to go without it. I sank to new lows. In some places, cigarettes were easier to buy than vapes, and so, for a few weeks, I would obtain my “dizzy” through the acrid scent of smoke. Despite the nausea, the smell seeping into my hair, clothes, and room, and the slightly different “dizzy,” I was still drawn in. Turns out, this wasn’t a want. It was a need.

The “dizzy” not only drove my days; it became the only thing I looked forward to. Taking classes online, stuck in my dorm all alone, having nothing but more monotony for the foreseeable future, the “dizzy” was a reward for making it through a few hours. I wasn’t looking to my future. I could barely look forward to the next week. I knew there were cons of vaping, but in the moment, planning my next “dizzy” was often the only thing that kept me going.

Cold, dreary, lonely days at the peak of my dependence.

I knew at this point that I needed to quit. The habit was stupid expensive, and I hated spending my hard-earned money on something that made my lungs feel so weak. I also knew my family didn’t want me to be doing it. Most people find the habit annoying, and I knew it was embarrassing to want to leave my friends in order to find the “dizzy” back at my dorm or even in a bathroom stall. Still, something held me back.

A few things, actually. First of all, lots of people around me vaped. I saw so many college students around my campus with brightly colored disposable vapes. Their flavors were never super important to me personally, but cites an article on flavored e-cigarette use in youth and young adult users, stating that out of all 18-29 year olds who vape, 92% started with a flavor of some kind. The smoke shop across the street from my campus doesn’t I.D., and they sell pricey disposables to fiending college kids. As one of those students, I would frequently find myself stopping by to pick up a new device, dropping a ridiculous amount of money for something that would maybe last me five days. No one else around me was quitting. Everyone was vaping, and no one else seemed to genuinely want to stop. The lack of solidarity in the idea of quitting scared me, and so I stayed on the fence. 

My own fear that I couldn’t do it, that I wasn’t strong enough to destroy this addiction, also kept me anchored in my nicotine usage. I knew that quitting would be hard. I knew from the times when I didn’t have a vape or access to any nicotine how awful it felt to be without it. On, a study exploring changes in mental health after quitting smoking is referenced: “Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can feel like depression, anxiety, and irritability.” This is why so many people try to quit and fail. They give into the cravings when the quit becomes unbearable. 

I didn’t want to fail, so I didn’t want to try.

Use this coupon to get 20% off smoothies, coffee, and juices at Serotonin Smoothies! Make sure to bring your student I.D. and a craving for a fruity drink!

By Sophie Rounds

Sophie Rounds is a rising junior at Loyola University Chicago, double majoring in creative writing and Spanish. She loves to read and wishes she were a better cook. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys singing in several choirs at her university and thrifting with her friends.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


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