College Q&A: To Take Adderall, Or Not To Take It…

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Got some college questions? Unsure of a decision? Getting ready to head off to college?! (Lucky…) Just wanna chat it up with some really awesome chics? We’ve got the girls for you. Hit them up in the comments or shoot them an email with the subject “College Q&A”! They’ve got all the answers you need, no matter who you are.

Question:
I have been reading your advice for awhile now and I really like what you say. I’ve taken a lot of it in my own life. So here’s my question that maybe you can help with…. And don’t judge me for it, please. So finals are coming up and I really need to do well. I sorta slacked for the past couple of weeks and I need these tests to bring my grades up. My friend offered to give me some Adderall to help me with the studying. I am tempted to take it… I need all the help I can get… But I’m sorta scared? I dunno. Have you ever tried it? Would you do it?

Thanks,
Freaked About Failing

GPA Girl:
DO NOT take it! Look, it’s just not worth it. Adderall is a prescription medication for a reason, and if it were safe for everyone to take, it would be available over the counter. You don’t know how your body is going to react to it or what side effects it might produce in conjunction with any other medications you’re taking, and I worry about the risk of that for you. Additionally, you need to keep in mind that Adderall is not some kind of miracle drug. Even if you did take it and it was able to improve your concentration and alertness, it doesn’t have the power to magically tell you the answers on all the tests you’re going to take or whisper you steps for how to write the best papers. The only one who can do that is YOU. So make up for the time you slacked off by studying now, reviewing as much as you can, getting as much sleep as you can, and trying to relax. You’ll do just fine, and you’ll feel much better about yourself after finals are over than you would if you had taken the Adderall.

Party Girl:
No judgment on this side, for sure, so don’t worry about that! Adderall is one of those things that is a constant presence on any college campus. Some of my friends swear by it (I’m positive that they wouldn’t have survived most of their classes without it). I have tried it once, but I didn’t feel much of anything. In fact, the only effect I experienced was increased drunkenness when I celebrated finishing a 25-page paper at the bar. If I made it through all these years of drinking and cramming without Adderall, you can too. Just grab a cup of coffee/tea, all your books, and plant your ass at the library. It will add up to the same result, trust me. Good luck!

Busy Bee:
Thanks for being an avid follower of our column! Now, I want you to know that I understand how you feel. There are times in life when you may feel overwhelmed, tired, not motivated – the list goes on. Regardless, I am tempted to say that taking Adderall is not the best solution. After reading your question, I did some research on the drug effectiveness, side effects, and asked a few friends if they had any first hand experience.
As for whether or not the drug works, the answer is yes. Many credible websites claim that Adderall allows a person to be more focused and attentive. I do not doubt that taking this pill will let you get all of your studying and last minute papers done.

On the other hand, the side effects can include a loss of appetite, insomnia, headaches, fast-pounding heartbeat, diarrhea, and possible addiction. I know that this may be a one-time thing, but what if the next time you “slack off” you decide to take it again? And again? Adderall is also known as a Type II controlled substance, which means that it can lead to severe psychological and physical dependence if abused. Yes, this is an extreme case, but anything is possible.

I did ask a few acquaintances what they thought of Adderall and one of them mentioned that you will crash very heavily after it is all over. That’s just another physical and mental consequence you may have to endure. I don’t want to be the one to tell you that you will get bad karma from taking this drug, but I do want to be the one to give you these facts and my old fashioned advice. I know that you are tempted to resort to the easiest solution there is, but it’s in times like these that your actions matter most. I’m not saying that taking Adderall is in any way going to make you a bad person, but do you have enough willpower to make yourself focus?

If you decide not to take Adderall, I suggest working out or taking yoga to relieve any stress and to start new. The next step is just sitting down, envisioning your goal (in this case, it’s a passing grade) and getting to it. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to say a lot about your character and determination. Call me crazy for thinking about these things when all you want is a good grade and a job when you graduate, but in the long run, I think this is the most important thing to keep in mind. I strongly believe that you have it in you to get those grades, Adderall-free.

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