Sunday, 20 November 2011

A little off topic.. But still almost worth talking about

Sorry, it's been a while. I'll make up for my negligent behaviour by having a little moral chat with you, instead of telling you the many things that have come between me and my blog and my personal statement (although that might make a more interesting read).

So far, the only two posts I've made haven't really centred on UCAS or applying... hopefully nobody really minds and so I'll carry on in the same fashion. In a nutshell, I was watching a little newsclip about us students, and drugs. Unheard of, I know! But this is all new, I promise. So instead of Paxman banging on about the protesters camping out in London, even though they should've gone by now, it was actually about the uber-nerds who are getting their fix of something called Modafanil before revising through the night before turning up to their exams.

Let me enlighten those of you also hadn't heard of this before. Broadly speaking, this is steroids for mathematicians. It increases cognitive skills and makes it easier for you to stay up late studying and perform better in exams. It's roughly the same kind of chemicals you'd find in ritalin, but you can only buy it online. So although it's not 'illegal' it's definitely more difficult to get ahold of than Proplus, and certainly unethical. Higher education has already been separated out into different tiers, and is being further split by drug-dealers, sorry, pharmaceutical companies, too? Surely not!

In my mind, and you're welcome to disagree with me, it's the same dilemma that athletes face : there's a massive difference between drinking a protein shake, and taking banned steroids. Loads of people take their vitamin C or cod liver oil etc, but this seems a step way too far to be tolerated. Although it wouldn't be fair to have universities make every above-average student take a drugs test just in case they are taking Modafinil (or anything more recreational) they should definitely be discouraging students from doing so officially. 

Think that's that rant over and done with. Maybe next time I'll post something nice and sweet and focussed on applying to university... but only maybe...

( P.S. Still no closer to fine-tuning my statement. Now where do I get that Modafinil ?  joke )

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