By Kristen Lauletti
Since my freshman year of college I’ve been exposed to finals and the preparation and stress that come along with them. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was surely not in high school anymore when a skimming of my notes in homeroom ensured at least an 80 percent on the exam that day. College was a whole different ball game and I quickly learned that people’s ways of getting through finals weren’t the same as in high school.
Some religiously drank cups of tall coffee with shots of espresso thrown in and others gulped down energy drinks so they could barrel through a semester’s worth of notes in one night. But for others, those cups of joe didn’t seem to cut it and they resorted to popping Adderall.
Though people with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) are prescribed Adderall by doctors to help them concentrate and focus throughout the day, many college kids who don’t have the disorder resort to taking the drug. Actually, according to CNN Health, more than 90 percent of users take Adderall in order to concentrate while studying.
As a rising senior, I know more people who have tried Adderall than those who haven’t. I don’t find it surprising, though, since obtaining the drug on a college campus these days is fairly easy and not much harder than getting someone to lend you a bio textbook. A text to a friend of a friend is usually all it takes to get a hold of the pill. It also doesn’t help that it’s difficult for a doctor to tell whether a patient has ADHD or is just faking the symptoms of the disorder in order to get the drug.
Although I have never taken Adderall, I know what friends have said about the drug and how they rave of its power to get them through many a 15-page paper without a blink of an eye. With its prevalent use, it begs the question of whether there are any side effects for those who use this prescription drug, but don’t actually need it.
According to The New Yorker, Adderall can cause sleepiness, loss of appetite, headaches and nerves. The FDA label on the bottle even warns of how frequent use can lead to dependence on the drug. Although most people saved using the drug solely for midterms, finals or the once in a blue moon all-nighter, they still, in my mind, depended on the drug when the going got tough.
I, like a lot of college women, have a lot of on my plate between schoolwork, clubs, sorority duties, trying to get sleep and working out (not to mention attempting to maintain even a morsel of a social life). Because of this, a lot of girls find that they want to do everything, yet don’t have it in them, or enough hours in the day to get it all done.
You don’t want to be someone who depends on a drug that your body doesn’t need in order to compensate for working hard or instead of skipping a party or two. It won’t help you in the long-run either if you find that Adderall helps you get through simpler tasks easier. I’ll be a college senior who has never taken Adderall, is on the dean’s list, stays fit and has a social life with much thanks to my sorority - and I haven’t gone completely crazy yet from a packed schedule (only kidding). So, yes, it can be done!
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