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Editorial

Effort to stay awake leads to exhaustion

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May 1, 2008

Earlier this semester, one of our Student Voice staff members stayed up late to study. She tried everything in her power to keep herself awake so that she could prepare for an early-morning exam the next day.

She chewed energy gum, drank two sodas, a cup of coffee and bought a depth charge at the Kinni Lounge, which is equivalent to one cup of coffee and 3.5 shots of espresso.

That night, when she got into bed, she was unable to sleep. She put so much effort into keep herself awake that, once she finally tried to get some rest, she couldn’t. She figured that she got roughly half an hour of sleep. The other hours were spent in bed being paranoid about the things going on around her.

The next day, following her exam, she realized that she had psyched herself up and that she hadn’t really needed to study that much.

This young student is not one who normally consumes caffeine, so the reaction she experienced to the substance is understandable.

A lot of evidence supports the idea that staying up and cramming doesn’t make that much of a difference anyway. If you don’t know it the night before, you’re not going to retain much information if you try to study while keeping yourself artificially awake.

With finals week less than two weeks away, it’s important for students to use safe and productive study habits to do their best work.

It is possible to overdose on caffeine, like our Voice staffer. So don’t use caffeine to get that quick fix you may want.

Caffeine isn’t just an innocent additive that helps us keep our eyes open. It’s a dangerous drug that can have serious side effects on your body. Some people experience headaches, nausea, shakes and more. Most caffeine/energy drinks also cause some sort of “crash.”

Students are resorting to other drugs to stay awake, too. Adderall, a prescription medicine for ADD and ADHD, is becoming widely used by college students to stay awake and keep focus while studying.

Besides being illegal to use for anything besides what is prescribed for, it is dangerous to take medicine that you don’t actually need.

Try not to worry about everything so much. Worrying is stressful and exhausting. Students today spend too much time worrying about problems instead of actually handling them.

Take time this finals week to plan out your schedule so you don’t have to cram; figure out what is a priority and also take time to relax.