A Motivational Letter To A Very Unmotivated Mid-Semester Me

A Motivational Letter To A Very Unmotivated Mid-Semester Me

In the words of Frank Ocean, we feel "sluggish, lazy, stupid and unconcerned."
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Dear Mid-Semester Me,

We are tired and unmotivated. It doesn't help that Spring Break ending just added to that mindset. Anyway, we're back and in the final haul for the second semester.

But we're not there yet.

It takes an ocean of coffee and a mountain of motivation to drag our butt out of bed and up the Quad to class. It takes every ounce of energy to focus and study for our classes. Heck, even going out on the weekends feels like a chore these days. Some nights, when we're out of meal punches and have no food, we'll just have a granola bar for dinner. In the words of Frank Ocean, we feel "sluggish, lazy, stupid and unconcerned."

All we really want to do these days is sit on the sofa in our comfiest sweatpants with a pint of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food and watch HGTV all day long. The weather is cold and windy and makes you just want to sit inside instead of going out to class, to see friends or even to go party. Morale is really at an all-time low.

But we can do it.

Wanna know how I know?

Because you've been in this position before and you have made it through alive.

I've seen us push through some really tough situations so I know you can get through this rough patch. Think about our dreams and aspirations and goals. Think about how far you've already come! We've made it through six semesters in college already! We only have two and a half left. Just keep pushing through.

Remember last year when we felt this way? We cried, lost sleep, skipped classes to study for other classes, put on a heavy load, thinking we could do it without a second thought. It was difficult. But we did it.

Remember freshman year when we had a breakdown? We thought that it was the end of the line for us. But we still pulled through.

But we didn't do it by ourselves. We had the support of our friends and family the entire time. This is a reminder that it is okay to turn to them when you need a shoulder, a hug or just some words of motivation! They want to see us succeed more than anyone else and they will be there for us just like we're there for them when they need us.

So while it seems like we're stuck in a rut now, just remember how far we've come and how much we've grown. We still have many more miles to go and a lot more growing to do! So let's shake off the bad vibes and get back into the swing of things! We have our whole life to look forward to so why let something hold you back?

Go get 'em, girl.

Love,

Me

Cover Image Credit: Madelene Whitfield

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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 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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Even though you prefer one genre and hate the others.

I don't care for nonfiction tbh.

6. Workshops

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Not your best moments.

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

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

8. Feeling bad when you forget grammar rules

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Are you even an English major???

9. People telling you your major is the easiest one

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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

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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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