The overwhelming feeling of trying to meet deadlines, studying for tests, and completing assignments is a familiar feeling for most of us. It is extremely common to find college students in the library throughout the night and for nights on end, drowning in their studies each and every week. I honestly commend all of
us for working so hard and pulling occasional all-nighters and hours of study sessions, with the help of caffeine and other substances that keep us awake. On the other hand, let me tell you a story on why you should not overdo it with these substances that you consume to stay awake.
Last week my roommate had two tests back to back, a physics test on Wednesday and a chemistry test on Thursday. With that being said, it is very obvious that she spent most of her time that week studying. Early in the morning on the day of her first test, she woke up and went to Starbucks to get some coffee, so she could begin to start studying again. About an hour and a half, after she consumed the coffee, she decided that she wanted a little more energy. So, determined to stay awake and memorize everything for these tests, she took some Adderall.
According to center4research.org, the use of Adderall, also known as the “Study Drug” has skyrocketed over the past two decades. My roommate has a very mild case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which causes her not to be able to focus sometimes and for that reason, she is prescribed Adderall. She normally doesn’t even take the Adderall, because her ADHD is so mild that in most instances she can fight through it and prefers not to take the Adderall. But in this instance, she decided to take the Adderall for some extra strength to focus for the test. Sure enough, once it kicked in, she was extremely alert.
In the beginning, she loved the feeling. She flew through her study guide and was able to complete two other assignments on top of that. About an hour and a half into that, she started to feel her heart race really fast. That may not seem out of the ordinary too much, but about an hour after that, she started to have an anxiety attack. She stopped studying and started walking around the living room, freaking out about her test.
The anxiety attack that she had was worse than any anxiety attack that she has had in the past, and she kept saying that she felt so different and was not familiar with what she was experiencing. She had such a traumatic anxiety attack that she wasn’t even able to go in and take the Physics test that she just studied so hard for. Everything that she worked hard for was thrown out the window, and she got a zero on her test.
Soon after, we realized that this happened because she consumed the caffeine and then took the Adderall shortly after. Mixing different substances like that is a BAD IDEA. You are putting yourself in extreme danger. Luckily, it was just an anxiety attack for her, but her heart could have stopped at any point because of the mix of the Adderall and caffeine. It’s understandable that we have a lot on our plates, and on most days it seems as though there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. Assignments start to pile up, and it truly becomes overwhelming, but you need to remember that you and your health are what’s most important, and you cannot receive a degree if you’re dead. Take care of yourself and understand that it is not good for your body to consume too much of these substances!