Study drugs are for quitters and the weak

The only lines I need are Shakespeare

Exam season has started and we’ve already got the shakes from coffee. We’ve picked up smoking again and we’re up doing all nighters. There’s a sense of companionship, but it’s desperation at it’s peak and we’re all hooked on a need to pass.

As we attempt to avoid the breakdown there are those who embrace it. Going out as much as they did in Freshers’. You see them in the library the night before the exam. They stink of booze and take away, but they don’t look panicked – they look keen.

Clutching their books like a kid on their first day, they’re set for a study sesh. Who is this person? This is not the same mess spotted in lectures all term. At school they were the stoner boy genius but at uni they’re just a cheater. And that’s not cool.


Across the table we watch, Attenborough is narrating:

“And here we have the student. Flicking between pen and screen, they have mastered their text book. They have control over what they are learning and have not left their seat in five full hours. Fuelled by the desire to succeed, they are fully absorbed by the set reading with no sign of distraction. We watch as this young fellow’s eyes dart between the screen and pen in hand. No sign of letting up yet. A true student.”

This is not the kid you’ve shared fags with and almost puked on during term. Wondering what their secret could be you see them meet one of their friends outside the library. They’re handed a little packet.

Oh. I see where your study effort came from.

They think they’ve found a loophole in the system, but just because we don’t get drug tested on the way into the exam doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it. If you’re taking study drugs and coming out with a standard grade, think about how hard you would’ve failed without it.

Cracking out the Modafinil, Ritalin and Concerta they nip to the toilet and return ready to go for another eight hours, finally getting the inspiration and motivation they’ve been waiting for. Their knowledge of all the crap you’ve got to learn is suddenly improving and they’re focused. Taking drugs to trick everyone into thinking you’re smarter than them is dumb.

Remember you’ve got to get a job after all this. If you can’t use your degree to build a career because you were too high to actually process what you “remembered”, well then, confidence will only get you so far. Your employer will realise that you’re just a burn out with an over reliance on study drugs and fire your arse. And rightly so.

The rest of us have a fear which kicks us out of bed every morning, and it’d be nice to see you put this effort in during term time. Here we are in the final week and only thanks to a little pill are you able to keep up with us, the chumps of the group. And if you’re doing a course which you’re not genuinely motivated to do then you’re wasting your time anyway.

You’re just a poser, trying to be someone you’re not. When you enter the real world, you won’t have the attention span, concentration levels or desire to do any work. Really, you’re just crashed out and in need of the motivation to get up and open a book prior to the exam date like the rest of us. If you don’t learn to work hard and motivate yourself now, when are you going to?