As the Hall of Fame rock band Queen once sang, "Pressure, pushing down on me."
College students experience constant pressure to meet deadlines without mistake, attend meetings we better not be late to and keep a functioning social life through clubs and organizations. We work ourselves to the point of exhaustion in order to keep up with the status quo.
For many of us, the solution is simple: Adderall.
After three and half years at UT, I have consistently heard and participated in the conversation concerning the world of Adderall.
The amphetamine drug helps equalize the community; those who struggle with Attention Deficit Disorder need a boost of motivation to maintain focus in class.
Though the majority of those with Adderall prescriptions probably suffer from this disorder, many students obtain the drug from their friends and use it without prescription.
Although every student is fighting the battle to be the most intelligent and efficient person in their respective class, is it fair to take medicine from those in need?
I guess I never saw using Adderall occasionally as an issue – I know many people who are guilty – until I started researching the concept.
Many college students jump on the Adderall bandwagon not really knowing the facts about its effects. Adderall has the same effects as the street drug speed, inducing a high that at first seems not to be addictive, but people slowly begin to fail classes without it after only a few uses. Some people don't even realize it is technically a drug when not prescribed.
Students scattered over America have attested to exaggerating their symptoms in order to be prescribed this medicine by their doctors. Not only is it a matter of lying, but addiction can come along with this pill. That is why I stopped taking it.
When I was faced with a test and couldn't seem to focus without Adderall, I realized something was wrong. Before I began taking it, I could generally focus generally well; still, I was prescribed to it. So I can't even imagine being totally normal and coming down off the high.
As a very busy and scatterbrained individual, my doctor saw it necessary to give me a prescription in high school. But I don't fill my prescriptions because I would rather work hard to get the grades I am getting and teach myself the hard trait of self-control and persistence, rather than enhancing my qualities through a drug that is supposed to aid narcoleptics.
This drug can have a rather frustrating come down as well. Many people will take more than the recommended dosage because they don't feel the effects. This is most likely from the fact they don't actually need it. This is not to say I have not been guilty of taking Adderall knowing I could get by without it, actually, the fact that I have validates my testimony.
For those who aren't in the know, Adderall is a combination of various active ingredients or "uppers" as many people say. Although these drugs are not necessarily going to affect the body long-term for such little use, the pills can suppress creativity and make consumesr stiffer, partially removing their personality.
I often sit studying in my room till the wee hours of the morning thinking, "Man, I should have taken Adderall and I would be asleep right now." But then I realize the payoff that comes with teaching myself how to focus and having the self-control to not get on Facebook, because in the real world these attributes are a necessity.
The fact that students are now "popping pills" in order to achieve success in school baffles me, but I partially blame it on the high standard that continues to demand more from university students. On the other hand, I blame it on the procrastination that lies inside of all of us.
So yes, Adderall is the cool thing to try and it makes you feel on top of the world, and honestly it just might boost your GPA a point or two. But in my opinion it should only be used for those in need.
For everyone else, just try a day without a Facebook.
Annie Blackwood is a junior in communication studies. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.