There are many encounters that I had with fellow college students that worried me about our physical and mental health on campus. I've heard people say to me,

"I can't eat before my exam because I took Adderall. I'm afraid I'm gonna puke again from it."

And this person is not alone. Anywhere from 7% to 33% of college students abuse Adderall or other ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) drugs. The number ranges based on the university, but the most common groups are white students and students in Greek life.

You don't have to be a doctor to know that not eating before a three-hour exam is not helpful and that drugs cannot replace food.

On top of not being able to replace the energy from food, Adderall does not make you smarter. It can't help you increase the complexity of your thinking, so take out any idea of becoming a better writer or better chemistry student. It may help someone focus and stay awake, but there are countless side effects of self-medicating with a drug meant for people who truly have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Some side effects are insomnia, blurred vision, gastrointestinal problems, reduced circulation, high blood pressure, even hallucinations in some people. For someone trying to focus, these side effects are really detrimental.

You could end up with restless nerves and sleepless nights, add that to exam season, and disaster can easily strike.

For Ritalin, another prescription drug for ADHD, there can be cases of heart arrhythmia or improper beating of the heart. And those are for people with normal and healthy bodies. Take someone who is prone to heart conditions, and you have increased risk of cardiac arrest, or failure of the heart to pump blood, and even death.

These aren't things that students should take lightly, and I would hate to see the people I care about in the hospital for avoidable conditions. College is supposed to be exciting, fun, and an endless space for opportunities. Please, don't cut yourself off to those vibrant chances because of a short-term deadline.

You and your body will thank yourself later.

Take this as a sign that someone else cares about your well being and doesn't want you to waste your potential.