As An Experienced Junior, Who Screwed Up Her High School Years By Not Using Advice Given By Elders, Here's How To Avoid The Same Mistake.

As An Experienced Junior, Who Screwed Up Her High School Years By Not Using Advice Given By Elders, Here's How To Avoid The Same Mistake.

Welcome to one of the stages of life!


Now, being in the third year of high school, I have realized how much I messed up academically and physically. My grades could have been amazing if I only had been more focused freshman year. In the first year of high school, I basically studied poorly for all my tests and ended up blaming all my teachers because the upperclassmen said my teacher was the "worst".

I just kept that assumption and did not seem to care about it. I told myself that "Oh I have three more years, I can bring up my grades but that obviously did not happen." Also, all the administratives encouraged us freshman to join multiple clubs to get involve and show colleges that you are doing other extracurriculars.

However, I did not take as much of an advantage than I should have. I was only in two clubs and was barely involved in them. The only contribution I made was I paid the club fees and that's pretty much how I was involved. I should have taken the advice given from the counselor by taking freshman year more seriously and by joining multiple extracurriculars.

Sophomore year was not that bad actually because I started on a more serious note after seeing how bad freshman year was. I started to learn how to manage time and stay away from your phone. I still kind of blamed my teachers for the grades I got however I was still working on that. Plus, I got more involved in extracurriculars and even competed for events in those clubs. What I should have done was just prioritizing what needs to get done first instead of looking on social media forever.

Overall, my favorite year so far is sophomore year. Then junior year hits me. The workload is unbearable. This is the peak of high school where you grades matter the most!

Sometimes it's so bad that when I have 4 tests in each of my classes the next day, I would just fake being sick just so that I could have more time to study. All the teachers randomly decide to put all the tests on the same day to the point where having mental breakdowns become a norm. Also, at this point in high school your classes are very rigorous, meaning you are probably taking 4 to 5 Ap's and on top of all that there are standardized testing.

SAT or ACT whichever one you took was another barrier in your path. These standardized tests were an addition to the loads of work given in AP and honors classes. I have to stay up past 2am at night because I have to cram in information for tests and taking practice tests for SATs.

I often have no time to just focus on my physical or mental health. Juniors also have to start thinking about what college to go to and what they want to do in the future which can be scary! On top of all that, junior year needs to be the year where you are truly passionate about a club and are some type of officer or leader for that club.

Now imagine how much stress has been put on you; you have to study for the SATs which is in a few weeks, all your teachers have put the tests on the same day and you have two meetings with your club members twice a week after school. After going through all this here's what I suggest.

Start taking freshman year more strict, get work done on time and most importantly be involved in multiple clubs as possible. From those clubs narrow down to the top 5 clubs that you are going to be committed to it. Next, start preparing for the SAT/ACT because you think you have time but in reality the next thing you know you are taking your first SAT/ACT.

Now, I know no one wants to study for the SAT/ACT this early but trust me this will only benefit you when the other kids during junior year are just stressing about how to manage time for SAT/ACT and maintain a good gpa.

Don't take the first two years of high school easy because it will only haunt you back like it did with me!

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Why You Actually Don't Want To Be Prescribed Adderall

ADD isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

As I'm writing this, I can feel my concentration slipping. Noises have become enticing, I feel distanced from my phone, and every time someone walks by me in the library, I turn around seeing if it's someone I know. My extended-release Adderall is starting to wear off and my brain is starting to relax back to its natural state. My ADD is climbing out from underneath the blanket of focus I had for 10 hours today.

ADD is not all that it's cracked up to be. Sure, we get prescribed the precious Adderall so many people want, but at what cost? Let me put this in context for you. You know when you're at the library and there's a one really, really loud girl talking on the phone? You know the one. The girl that, for some reason, thinks it's OK to have a full-fledged conversation with her mom about her boyfriend in the middle of the quiet section. The girl that's talking so loud that it's all you can think about, occupying all of your focus. Well, that's what every single person in the room is like when you have ADD.

Distractions that are easy to ignore to someone without ADD are intensified and, instead of focusing on the task at hand, I'm listening to the girl three seats down from me eat her barbecue kettle chips. When you have ADD, it's not just schoolwork you can't focus on. You can't focus on anything. I tried to watch a foreign film one time without my medicine, and I forgot to pay attention to the subtitles. I realized about halfway through the movie that I had no idea what was going on.

What almost everyone that asks me for my Adderall doesn't understand is that I take Adderall to focus how you would normally. When you take my Adderall you feel like you can solve the world's problems. You can bang out an entire project in one night. You can cram for an entire exam fueled by this surge of motivation that seems super-hero-like.

You take my Adderall and ask me, “Is this how you feel all the time?" And, unfortunately, my answer is no. I'll never feel like a limitless mastermind. When I take Adderall, I become a normal human being. I can finish a normal amount of work, in a normal amount of time.

My brain works in two modes: on Adderall, and off Adderall. On Adderall, I'm attentive, motivated and energetic. Off Adderall, I can barely get up the motivation and focus to clean my room or send an email. And it's frustrating. I'm frustrated with my lack of drive. I'm frustrated that this is how my brain operates. Scattered, spastic and very, very unorganized. There's nothing desirable about not being able to finish a sentence because you lost thought mid-way through.

The worst thing that you can say to anyone with ADD is, “I think I should start taking Adderall." Having ADD isn't a free pass to get super-pills, having ADD means you have a disability. I take Adderall because I have a disability, and it wasn't a choice I had a say in. I was tested for ADD my freshman year of college.

My parents were skeptical because they didn't know exactly what ADD was. To them, the kids with ADD were the bad kids in school that caused a scene and were constantly sent out of class. Not an above average student in her first year at a university. I went to a counselor and, after I was diagnosed with ADD, told me with a straight mouth, “Marissa this is something you're going to have to take for the rest of your life."

When the late-night assignments and cramming for the tests are over, and we're all out in the real world, I'm still going to be taking Adderall. When I'm raising a family and have to take the right kid to the right place for soccer practice, I'm still going be taking Adderall. And when I'm trying to remember the numbers they just said for bingo at my nursing home, I'm still going to be taking Adderall.

So you tell me you're jealous that I get prescribed Adderall? Don't be. I'm jealous that you can drink a cup a coffee and motivate yourself once you lose focus. I'm jealous that the success of your day doesn't depend on whether or not you took a pill that morning. The idea of waking up and performing a full day without my medicine is foreign to me.

My brain works in two modes, and I don't know which one is the right one. I don't know which mode is the one the big man upstairs wants me to operate in. So before you say you want to be prescribed to Adderall, ask yourself if you need and want to operate in two different modes.

Ask yourself if you want to rely on medicine to make your entire life work. If I had a choice, I would choose coffee like the rest of the world.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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10 Ways English Majors Are Figuratively, NOT Literally, Ted Mosby

To write or to read, that is the question all English majors must face when working on homework.


Rather you're an English major or lit major or a writing major, there are a few things that we all have in common. And if you watched "How I Met Your Mother," you probably related to Ted Mosby more than you wished to.

1. Restraining yourself for correct people's text


It's you're not your and it irritates me to no end.

2. Not understanding the difference between an English major and an English writing or English literature major


My friend from another school is an English major and I'm an English writing major. I still don't know what the difference is.

3. Having one grammar rule that you care a lot about


Whether it be "your vs. you're," "affect vs. effect," or "literally vs. figuratively," there's a good chance you go crazy throughout your day.

4. Writer's block


Especially because your grade counts on it. Although, it won't be fun when it turns into your job depending on it.

5. Having to write all genres in one class


Even though you prefer one genre and hate the others.

I don't care for nonfiction tbh.

6. Workshops


Not your best moments.

7. Knowing how impossible it is to have a favorite book


It's like picking a favorite child... but worse.

8. Feeling bad when you forget grammar rules


Are you even an English major???

9. People telling you your major is the easiest one


I get it, but at the same time, we can have a lot of work to do. We just drown in papers, reading assignments, research projects, presentations and portfolios. I still prefer it to exams and labs.

10. Figuring out life


Honestly, there's too many things I want to do for a career and I can't pick AND each one is under my major. It is a nice problem to have. But hey I can run away from making a choice until the time comes.

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