Stress. It’s inevitable. As college students, we are all united under the overwhelming force of stress. However, how we deal with it varies. Some people do yoga. Some people keep to-do lists. And a lot of people take Adderall. After I conducted a survey of some my peers, only 1 percent of participants actually have a prescription for Adderall, yet 42.1 percent of participants have used Adderall at some point throughout their college career.

The high you feel on Adderall is identical to the high you feel when you’re on cocaine. Scary, huh? Believe it or not, Adderall is highly addictive. Relying on study drugs for productivity is such a toxic mindset. To get you going in the right direction, I’ve made a list of 8 things that are more effective than Adderall. Please give a few a try to make sure that we are developing productive study habits without being unhealthy!

1. Getting ample sleep.

Seriously, though. I know you’ve heard this a million times, but this is KEY to being productive. No matter how many hours you devote to studying, if every five minutes you are dozing off because you did not get a good sleep the night before, you are not being efficient. If you have to choose between pulling an all-nighter or just going to sleep, go to sleep, because studies have proven that without ample sleep, your memory depletes quickly and when it comes time for the exam, those 7 hours you spent in the library instead of sleeping will have been for nothing.

2. Having an established exercise routine.

According to a study done by MSU doctoral student Samantha Danbert, out of 4,843 freshmen, 1,138 of whom purchased memberships to the school’s gym in their first semester had a cumulative GPA 0.13 points higher than those who didn’t have memberships. They also had a 3.5% higher retention rate and completed more credits through four semesters. Bottom line, work out. It reduces stress and helps you study better, while keeping you healthy and looking good.

3. Eating healthy foods.

Professor Fernando Gómez-Pinilla calls food a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain. When you constantly eat junk while you’re studying because it’s convenient, you are depriving your body of necessary nutrients it needs to properly function.

4. Smart amounts of caffeine.

While you can definitely overdo the caffeine, if you need an aid to wake up, coffee will definitely help. The expense of constantly getting coffee at places like Starbucks can start to add up, so consider investing in a Keurig and some to-go cups to save some money.

5. Giving ourselves a break

Being realistic, nobody can study for 6 hours straight. Setting a routine where you study non-stop for 45 minutes then give yourself a 5 minute Instagram break is a practical way to get things done while not making yourself miserable.

6. Eliminating procrastination.

So many people feel they need Adderall because of intense feelings of being overwhelmed due to procrastination. The simple solution to that is to just begin your assignments early! The hardest part about any assignment is just starting it. Break up each thing you have to do into tiny tasks and just knock one small thing out each day. You will easily stop procrastinating this way.

7. Viewing studying like a 9-5 job.

No matter what time you have class, if you wake up every day at nine and went somewhere other than your room to study all day until 5, only taking breaks to go to your classes and eat lunch, you will get into such an effective routine and will be so thankful to have every night free to relax and spend time with your friends.

8. Creating a study group.

Sometimes creating a study group with your best friends is not the best idea because you tend to talk and easily get distracted. Meet some people in your classes and plan times to meet to study. You can easily motivate each other and ask questions when you are all working on the same material.


Be safe, above all. Because getting good grades is not the same when it’s all thanks to a drug.