May 3, 2011

The Great Adderall Debate

While riding the elevator this afternoon, I heard a conversation that I have heard dozens of times in my history as a student. It went a little something like this:

Bro 1: Sorry I am so jittery, man.
Bro 2: No worries, bro. It's finals. Shit happens.
Bro 1: Seriously, I haven't slept in 2 days.
Bro 2: That's rough man.
Bro 1: Yeah, I know but I've taken like 2 Adderalls in the last hour so I'll just stay up tonight and study. 
Bro 2: Nice bro.

I couldn't help but roll my eyes at this idiotic conversation. The worst part about this, is that I have heard this conversation so many times. I hear people talking about it literally all the time. Why take the time to prepare and study for a test properly when you can just take an Adderall the night before? 

There is a lot of debate about whether or not popping an Adderall and subsequently putting your brain on overdrive constitutes as cheating. Many universities, such as Wesleyan University have included the unprescribed using of Adderall in their code of student conduct. 

I also have wondered many times about Adderall. There have definitely been some situations in which I wished I could just stay up the whole night and finish off a paper or cram for a test. But I also would never let it get to that point. I have never put off a 20 page paper so that I only had 30 hours to do it. I physically have never wanted to put that pressure on myself, and I honestly do not understand why others do that.

Now don't get me wrong. I procrastinate. I put things off. I prefer a two-hour episode of The Biggest Loser over some reading for a class. But, I know how to time-manage and I make sure that I get my work done, and I am proud when it is done because I know that I worked hard and worked honestly for it.

I am also a working student. I work two jobs, three days a week from 8:30-5:30pm. I am in class two days a week from 9:30AM to 9:4PM non-stop. I also loosely observe Friday night Shabbat and generally do not do work on Fridays or Saturdays and I still manage to (pardon my language) get my shit done. 

As a full-time student and worker, I have little patience for people who resort to paying $10 to stay up all night and finish off a paper that I had spent hours working on for the past 2 weeks. I also get really annoyed when I hear people walking into a test talking about how they had been up for 18 hours studying for this test and my curve gets thrown off.

Obviously I cannot control what people choose to do. And at the end of the day, I am not all that bothered about it. You want to mess with your body and potentially damage it in order to study for a test that you could have prepared for a week ago? Go for it. And at the end of the day, I am not the one being cheated: they are. They are cheating themselves by not taking the time to actually properly learn the material and benefit from it. I think the part that bothers me the most is that I have to hear this nonsense. I wish I could just live in my little world with the unicorns and the glitter where people don't need drugs to study and cupcakes really do have zero calories.

If you want to read a great article about Adderall and the business of it on campus, I recommend this article from the Yale Daily News. 


Post a Comment