To The Professors Who Actually Care About Their Students

To The Professors Who Actually Care About Their Students

Without your support I kind of don't know where I would be.

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Thank you. Thank you for motivating me. Thank you for giving me pep talks when I need it. And finally, thank you for caring for me.

Without your support, I kind of don't know where I would be.

I probably wouldn't have gotten good grades the past few years.

I probably wouldn't have applied to grad schools.

I probably would have given up and gone out to the workforce.

I have been vulnerable, scared, confused, and depressed. I have shown you guys my other side. The side that doesn't show strength as everyone says.

I have told you about my family, about my rape, about my depression. You have given me extensions, which were much needed. All my professors did. They recognized my struggle and helped me out. It is and always will be much appreciated. You went a step further. The best thing you gave me was your words.

"My office is always open"

"Time put in your own future is critical"

"Your physical and mental health are of the utmost importance. So focus on that first. When you are ready, come and see me and we will get you caught up."

"Please keep me posted with how you are doing"

The days where you stop me and ask how I am.

The days where you stop me and ask if I had enough sleep, or how many hours I've worked that week.

The days where you ask me how my family is.

The days where you don't show me sympathy, when everyone else does.

I've shown you my articles, and you actually have read them. You commented on them. You made me feel validated.

Yes, I have been through a lot. But people like you are the reason I continue on. I cannot thank you enough. I will never be able to. But I want you to know I am beyond thankful. Words will never be enough.

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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.
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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 Things Journalism Majors Can All Relate To

The life of a journalism major can be described here.

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Journalism is not the most smilied upon major at the moment. In today's climate journalists get bashed for writing the truth and writing the facts. There is no easy way to be one and to be a good one takes something special. But, for those who haven't hit the real world yet and are still in the class room as beginners here are some things that I believe us journalism majors can relate to.

1. When you pushed off the deadline for weeks and now have 30 seconds to write your story.

Procrastination is so real and I have definitely pushed back many deadlines, but hey I got it done right? And got it in on time!

2. Sleep does not exist sometimes

There will be some long nights of reading articles for class or just researching for your next piece. Sleeping will not exist for the most part during the week, hell even the weekend might not be any better.

3. No such thing as "Spring Break" or "Summer Break"

This one could just be me, but even during spring break I still had assignments for articles and having to brainstorm for new ideas. The grind never stops and you have to stay on top of things.

4. Must to be on top of social media

Now that almost everything is digital you pretty much have to stay on top of everything on social media. Knowing the trends, who are good sources, and just trying to find out what the facts are. Social media is pretty much our best friend sometimes.

5. When you set up a meeting on campus with a source and they don't show up.

Most annoying thing ever. All i needed was some details on how the event went at Commons and you don't show up. Listen if you can't come just me know.

6. Having to talk to people, but you're awkward

Having to talk and interact with people you don'y know is the name of the game and if you are awkward like me this will be very difficult. Literally this GIF is the most accurate way to describe the awkwardness of asking some random person dumb questions from class.

7. Looking at all those edits from your story.

Looking at all those red marks is very frustrating, considering all the work it took writing the damn thing. But, kind of blessing since you're just starting out and edits are necessary to fix the story. But, man all that time now i gotta start over ?!?!

8. Networking gets you places

Networking is one of the hardest parts and this goes along with being awkward. It is very hard to get out of that comfort zone, but the only way to get sources and leads will be to network your ass off. Shaking hands is the start, but going into conversation will be a whole different task.

9. Having to brainstorm ideas

Thinking of ideas for the next piece can be hard as well. Get a journal and jot them down, but still having to be in deep thought like Batman can go on for hours on end.

10. We know it is not the most glamours job, but we do it because writing is our passion.

This is sometimes not the job that will make you a billion dollars, but it takes true passion to write or talk. Journalism is art and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. It takes many hours of editing and gathering research to do what we do. Keep your head up and chase every story you can find!

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