The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives courtesy of Project Open Voices, a coalition of students providing a platform for open dialogue on campus. Today’s essay is titled “An Even Playing Field” and was authored anonymously. If you want to share your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can submit by signing into a second email account: email@example.com (password: kenyoncollege).
*The Thrill previously published this post in April, 2013, but we felt it was worth re-posting.*
Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, Concerta, you know, “study aids.” I can almost guarantee that come finals, midterms, or any other significant period of academic stress you will encounter at least one, if not more students abusing these medications without a prescription. The widespread use of such stimulant medications is no secret on this campus. I mean I know my friends do. I know you don’t see it as a big deal and that you mean no harm.
But as a student with a learning disability that requires me to take such medications, I wish I had the courage to tell you that every time you just “pop an Adderall” or whatever you make my life ten times harder and you trivialize something I’ve struggled with my entire life. I want to tell you that these pills make me feel numb and empty inside. That I would give anything not to take them, or more precisely not to need them. I wish you knew that when you sit down and, in two hours or less, crank out that final paper I’ve been working on for over two weeks, you raise the bar and set the expectations of professors to an impossibly high standard that no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to reach. I don’t have any magic pills or study aids. What turns you bionic, I need to reach normal.