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The Daily Illini

Don’t let the stress of finals lead to bad decisions

By Jamie Linton, Columnist

Perhaps reading this column is a form of procrastination from the crippling anxiety your finals schedule is burdening you with.  If so, it’s important not to let dead week get you down. If you’re like the other tens of thousands of students at the University, as warm weather is approaching, so is the dreaded two-week period known as second semester finals.

No matter if you’re whizzing through last minute papers or seriously struggling to retain the information on 200 flashcards on Quizlet, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

As students have already finished applying to summer jobs and internships, there’s an increasing amount of pressure to maintain the pristine GPA that was the result of easy intro classes your first couple of semesters, or boost grades that may have struggled against a tough major or bizarre gen-eds. 

Some students will use the gift that is Reading Day and Reading Day Eve to take a break from studying and hit the bars, while others will lock themselves in a study lounge in hopes that they’ll learn enough to make good use of the tuition they’re paying to deserve that hard-earned degree. 

However, there comes a point where pressure isn’t simply being transformed into academic motivation, but instead will drive students to misuse “study drugs” without a prescription. 

Considering 25 percent of college students receiving disability services have been diagnosed with ADHD, and 5.3 percent of college students are currently prescribed ADHD medications, a student doesn’t have to go very far to gain access; many will look to family and friends with a prescription.

According to Medicine Abuse Project, 61.8 percent of college students were offered a “study drug” while 31 percent went through with abusing it. While it seems as if ADHD medications will help you maintain much needed focus, many users don’t understand the risks they’re undertaking after popping this pill.  Side effects include high body temperatures, irregular heartbeat, heart attack and stroke. 

Moreover, this can also harm the person selling the drugs because they’re more likely to skip a dose and therefore mistreat their disorder if they’re giving all of their medication away.

If you’re battling a heavy finals load, chances are the majority of the college-aged population across the country is too. If you’re consistently struggling to maintain a passing grade in most of your classes, know there are other alternatives and  maybe the major you’re in isn’t right for your skill-set. 

Although it’s too late to drop a class, know that there are future opportunities that can point you in the right direction. Popping a pill won’t make you smarter, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Jamie is a freshman in Media.

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