Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.



A recent study from BYU used Twitter to understand the cultural use of Adderall for non-prescribed purposes.  Researchers gathered tweets with the keyword, "adderall", and found over 200,000 tweets in a 6 month period. Granted, they only searched with this keyword so there may be some tweets missing from the study.

Yet, is it surprising that there was an increase in tweets about the drug around finals time?

Before trying adderall as a "study drug" (instead of as prescribed), consider the effects that misusing it can have on people.  It can lead to drug dependence/addiction, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, and even overdose which can include anything from death to lasting mental effects/defects.  Not to mention that misusing it is illegal.

So instead of relying on the non-prescription use of adderall to get through the intense study sessions, consider trying one of more of these to have a successful finals studying session:

1. Drink Green Tea: It has caffeine and provides health benefits to keep your body awake and functioning properly for the time you need.

2. Bring healthy snacks to eat while you study: Eating brain foods like almonds, dark leafy greens, or even dark chocolate keep you from being distracted by a rumbling stomach and power you through for even longer.

3.  Take breaks:  Your body isn't meant to sit in one spot for hours at a time.  Stand up. Stretch your legs. Take a walk, even if it's just around the library.   Get a breath of fresh air to awaken your senses before diving back into the books.

4. Be social: See your friends.  Make sure you all are doing okay.  Grab lunch or dinner together-- you all have to eat anyway, right?  Enjoy downtime together and then get back to the books.

5. Form a study group: After you've done some studying on your own, try meeting up with others in your class to test one another.  Help each other to help yourself.  Being responsible for helping others to do well can motivate you to be at your best, too.

6. Don't wait until the last minute: Manage your time and say no to certain things if you need to make time to study in advance.   Your brain will not hold onto everything you try to cram into it if you do it all 4 hours the night before the final.  Instead, give yourself time to learn the material and go over it again as needed.

7. Take a Social Media Hiatus:  Find a way to avoid your go-to procrastination methods.  Do you tend to go down a rabbit-hole when on youtube?  Avoid going on youtube for now.  Instead, keep a list of all the videos you want to check out once you have time.

Can't stop yourself from checking Facebook, even though you just did 3 minutes ago?  There's an app for that.  Try the "Self Control" app which has a timer that blocks a user from a specific website for a set time.

8. Move your body: Lift some weights, go for a walk, or take a fitness class.  Try moving your body for an added boost of energy.  Even if you feel tired at the start, you may be surprised by how awake and energetic you feel after a good workout.

9.  Sleep:  Don't skimp on it.  Your brain needs it to function at it's optimal levels.  No one wants to be that person who falls asleep DURING a final. But without sleep, it may happen.  Sleep well for a better memory and less embarrassing moments.

10.  Breathe.   You will get through finals and then- it's winter break.  Just breathe. Study. Repeat.


Lyrical advice

"I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want."

Spice Girls lyrics may not have always made the most sense (what is zigazig ah?), but they got a few things right.  The lyrics above from "Wannabe" serve as a reminder to communicate before and during sexual activities.  (It may not have been the intention, but that's how we see it, at least).  Tell your partner what you want and ask your partner what they want, as well. So how does that happen?

Keep lines of communication open.  
Avoid judging your partner for what they are interested in.
Be clear about your own boundaries.
Respect your partner's boundaries (and your own).
Do what you can both agree on and consent to doing together.
Talk it out.
If something uncomfortable starts happening, address it rather than letting it sit and stir below the surface.
Tell your partner what's happening and listen to your partner in return.


SEE soothing food


SEE Tip:  Stress eating can happen to the best of us, and as we head into the last stressful stretch of the semester, it's something to keep in mind.  Eating to soothe stress rather than feed into it would include increasing our intake of water, vegetables, fruit, and fish-- all the healthier choices that keep the body and mind running at it's optimal levels.

Additionally, the hormones associated with stress can cause or bodies to crave more carbs and sugary foods than we may need.  Instead of overeating those items, consider a varied diet to bust stress.  Give your body the fuel it needs to keep moving and pack healthy snacks to munch or sip on while studying.  Some stress busting options include green tea, carrots and hummus, a banana, or frozen grapes.  Even better news?  Dark chocolate has some stress relieving abilities- so have a piece!  Enjoy it and try to avoid devouring a whole bag of them, as the stress relieving properies will be lost and new stress might be added to your list of concerns.

Want to try some stress busting food samples?  Stop by SEE today to get a sample from the PEEPs in Levering outside of the Levering dining entrance from 11am-1pm.  SEE how a little stress relief can go a long way!

HKB Quit Tip:  Former smokers can have a tough time when stress comes into the picture.  Instead of lighting up, consider other things that help relieve stress like eating stress relieving foods, going to the gym, or touching base with a friend.  Often the stress will pass, as will the craving.

Mellow Out Monday Tip:  It seems like we (humans) can stress about almost anything.  We can stress over finals, family issues, and food.  When it comes to food, eating "healthier" foods can produce a less stressed self.  Foods like fruit, vegetables, chicken, fish, and even dark chocolate can provide a balance of nutrients to counteract stress.  While the often readily available vending machine foods are not so helpful, especially during finals week.  Give your body what it needs to be less stressed and function at it's best when you are counting on it the most.

In addition to feeding your body give it a break.  Being  hunched over a desk for hours on end isn't good for it.  Take a break- go for a walk...and mosey over to Q level in the MSE for a free 5-7 minute back rub from Stressbusters.  Take a study break with Stressbusters as they bust your stress tonight starting at 8pm.