Ask almost any college student if they know what adderall is and I guarantee that 90% of them would answer “yes.” Adderall, as described by drugs.com, contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine which are central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. It’s a prescription drug used to control narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); adults can also have ADHD and in fact, up to half of the adults diagnosed with the disorder had it as children but when the ADHD persists into adulthood, the symptoms vary and the individual often has problems with interpersonal relationships and employment.
There are three different categories of ADHD symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Those who suffer with the disorder know exactly what it’s like to try to sit patiently for a half hour, even ten minutes, to attempt to proactively keep their room clean, to pay attention when someone is talking, to finish an assignment without making stupid mistakes and worst of all, to procrastinate on almost everything there is to do. I made it through my adolescent life with a lot of help from my parents but as soon as I left for college, I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy four years. I managed to barely pass my classes for two years with the help of my first college boyfriend but the symptoms took a large toll on our relationship and in his words, “he got tired of babysitting me.” School became so difficult for me without any structure or authority figure in my life that I spiraled out of control and took the year off.
Last year was the first year of my college life that I brought home decent grades. How did I manage to turn things around? My randomly selected roommate had ADHD and was prescribed a form of adderall. She and I became close friends because we were so much alike and could understand each other, unlike a lot of other people who judged us for being impatient, disorganized, impulsive and “stupid.” I had a long talk with my mom and finally went to the doctor about the problems I had been having. I might not be a super-being now or even close to as organized and proactive as a “normal” peer but I am getting through my last semester and fifth year in college, realizing I am different and there will eventually a perfect job out there for me.