As a young man just a few years out of college, I’ve experienced first-hand what Adderall can do to students. I spent many long nights in the depths of the library studying for an economics exam. As I sipped on a fourth coffee at 2 am, I could see students with their wide eyes glued to their screens with an intensity matched only by grand master chess players. As I whittled away at Nash equilibriums, it was obvious the night owls around me weren’t looking for rats, but enjoying the pills they swallowed or snorted before jumping into their nest of studies.
Many students feel there isn’t enough time in the day. There isn’t time to attend four classes, eat three meals, study, go to work, play video games, listen to music, and smoke marijuana. Many days, there isn’t enough time to do all of this. I’ve been there. I’ve spent many nights staying up past my bed time studying for exams and running on four hours of sleep. I would study with friends who popped Adderall before we went to the library. Some of them may have even begun to show signs of Adderall addiction. Heck, I even tried it one time.
Adderall makes you feel exhilarated. Energy pumps through your body and gives you the ability to conquer the world. Your eyes blow open and no amount of work seems insurmountable. Unfortunately, students don’t realize how much time they waste and don’t realize how little Adderall actually helps. When I took Adderall, I felt like I was studying the entire night and getting so much done.
In reality, I looked at my notes the next day and realized it was half gibberish and half English. I also could barely retain anything I looked at. Though, I didn’t realize it at the time. After listening to my friends talk about Adderall, I realized that no one recognized how difficult it is to study on Adderall. Especially since sleep is so important to the memory process. I will say I got a better score on my exam than if I hadn’t studied. But if I just properly managed my time, I would have done just as well.
There was a study by Alan D. DeSantis, Audrey Curtis Hane, and co. from the University of Kentucky. I realized I wasn’t alone, but that my thoughts on Adderall were likely wrong. In the study, they found 34% of college undergraduates used ADHD medications illegally. Rather alarming because that means 60 of the 200 students in my economics class blew some Adderall before an exam.
While I was 21 years old studying for exams, I didn’t realize most of this information. In fact, it wasn’t until I read a study that I finally looked back and realized the sleep I wasted on Adderall. I could have spent more time with books out or notes up rather than sleepless nights at the library and painful days afterwards.
After I graduated, I finally realized where I went wrong. It doesn’t actually solve the problems you think it does. A could have spent a little more time studying instead of playing FIFA or the guitar. I could have also spent a little less time at the bar.
-Josh D. Former student at Michigan State University