To Be Honest, Christmas Is One Of The Times I Struggle The Most, Here's How I Handle It

To Be Honest, Christmas Is One Of The Times I Struggle The Most, Here's How I Handle It

It's the most wonderful time of the year, right?

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My most worrisome issue is gift giving. We all struggle with what to give the people we care about. We have to think about what they are going to get us, how much to spend and if they will like it. You can know people your whole life and not know what to buy them this Christmas.
My trick is that I use something that they like, no matter how small it is and make a gift out of it. For instance, one of my friends loves pineapples, so I got her pineapple lights. Even inside jokes make great gifts — an avocado can be a hilarious present for the person, even if no one else understands it.
With the parties, work, and for most of us, finals, we don't know where to find the time to buy gifts. How do I go shopping for 10 people when I don't even have time to eat? It can become really stressful and it is important to stay calm. Writing a daily checklist and making schedules can help. If all else fails the simplest thing to do is to shop online. If you're really in a hurry, Amazon Prime is always there.
My least favorite part of the holidays are family reunions. There are always people in the family we struggle to get along with. Seeing them again might even be the most dreaded part of the holidays. However, it is important to remember that they are family and if you get through these interactions, it'll be another year until you have to see them again.
Also, even though I know its hard, try not to react and get into arguments. It will not only hurt your evening, but it will affect the rest of the family, as well.
Lastly, the issue of money. Most people tend to overspend during the holidays and run out of money faster than expected. As a penniless college student, I have fallen victim to this trap very often and the consequences are very harsh. I suggest buying gifts for only the people you are very close with and if you have a lot of close friends, have a set budget person you cannot exceed.

I wish you all the best this holiday season.

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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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As I Get Older, I Care Less And Less About My Birthday

It doesn't hold the same meaning as it did when I was younger.

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Every year people celebrate their birthday. It's an exciting day for most as you get some gifts and cake and spend it with friends and family. I used to love my birthday. I loved that on that one day, the spotlight was on me. People had to care about me. As I've gotten older though, I found myself caring less and less about my birthday. It's not a day I get excited about.

I've always had a love/hate relationship with my birthday anyway, given that it's on Valentine's Day. So I've always had to share my birthday with all that love and people wanting to spend it with their partner. I believe that the dislike side has grown as well because as I get older and my friends get older, they are all finding someone to be with or starting a family. Therefore, they have someone they want to spend the day with. They want to celebrate with them, not me. I've always had to battle Valentine's Day.

I believe that once you've hit a lot of major milestone birthdays (i.e first, 16th, 18th, 21st) there isn't much to look forward to. It's just another year added to your life.

You realize more and more that you're just getting older.

I'm generally a simple person as well. I don't want a huge party, I don't want fancy gifts, and I really hate people singing to me. I like having the attention, but hate it at the same time. It's a weird feeling to explain. You want to be loved, but don't want it all at once. I don't want all eyes on me.

Of course, there will always be certain parts of my birthday that I really like and do look forward to. My mom gets me the heart-shaped donuts from Dunkin' every year on my birthday. She never forgets because I don't give her the chance to. I always remind her. I do like the fact that I can ask for something, and more often than not get it because it's my birthday.

I don't mean like big gifts either. I mean that I can ask that we have what I want for dinner. That I can ask my mom to spend some one on one time with me. Simple things that I don't usually get.

I don't hate my birthday, I just don't feel as much excitement as I did growing up. It's just another day of the year.

There's just too much effort you have to put into your birthday as you grow older as well. You usually have to plan something yourself, which I don't want to do. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do because I don't want a party and there isn't anything special I ever wish to do. Even if I did want to plan a party inviting people would be a nightmare and trying to make it work for different people is a hassle.

I just think that as you get older, birthday's just aren't worth the trouble.

So, I've accepted the fact that I just don't care. I will enjoy the little things about it, but I won't make a big fuss. It's just another day.

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