Doping for Good Grades

Do you think only athletes use chemicals to enhance their performance? Read about substance abuse and education.

Do you think only athletes use chemicals to enhance their performance? Even if it is frowned upon, many still continue using these banned substances because of the results they can achieve. 

College and research activities are very similar to sports in many ways. 

What you remember in the long run, what is truly useful is sometimes placed on the backburner, while passing this and that examination, getting that scholarship you’ve been gunning for, getting into a medical residency, passing the bar exam, or whatever other such milestone becomes more important. 

This is one reason why review books have become more and more popular. It’s not because they can help you review, because only a handful of students really use them for that. Most use them to get the exact information they need to score high on an exam. 

“The pressure is enormous”

Studying is often worse than sports. At least in sports, you are there because it is what you want, it is your life’s passion. But with studying, sometimes you simply MUST pass some exams. The pressure is enormous. When you do pass/get the grade the satisfaction isn’t that great. Deep down you know it is just one more step you took towards something else. 

While it is true that such a step-by-step approach gives your sudies a certain consistency, it also promotes a fierce competition. Unfortunately, this is a competition that is not necessarily won by the best students, but by those who perform best on the day of the exam.

“The amount of information is huge”

Another thing that can pose a problem is the fact that the amount of information that needs to be internalized is immense in some areas. Take medicine for example: many respected medical books have thousands of pages. The amount of information is huge.

“many people in academia have turned to doping”

If you’re a researcher, one of the things you need to have is focused attention to detail. Most research activities involve a lot of routine. There is a lot of data processing involved. You spend countless hours in front of a computer screen. This simply means that you get tired very quickly and if you sleep whenever you’re tired you never finish your work. It’s a vicious circle.

For these reasons, many people in academia have turned to doping. 


Stimulants are widely abused in all intellectual professions, this being often done just too keep up. In sports, people usually use enhancers to gain an edge, but for people who are studying for an exam, it is just a means to keep up. If you want to do even better than the average, you just use more and more. 

The most widely abused substance is of course caffeine. We all use caffeine even though our bodies don’t actually need it. We just got addicted to it. We use it to get up in the morning, we use it to keep up with paperwork, we use it to stay up at parties. It is by far the most widely used drug in the world. 

If caffeine is not enough, people turn to more powerful(and dangerous) substances. There are more and more reports coming in about reputed scientists who write papers in just a few days while high on amphetamines. Few of course will admit to this, but there are more and more cases every day. I actually had a university professor who admitted he used amphetamines to finish his doctoral thesis on time. 

There is a wide range of substances people use. Ritalin, the drug used to treat attention deficit disorder has been quoted in many cases. Piracetam, B vitamins, green tea, black tea, caffeine pills, lecitin, all of them have been used by people trying to get an edge. 

Studying is slowly starting to turn into a competion sport. The sad fact is that for personal studies, there is no common governing body. Nobody will test your blood randomly to see if you’ve been using something. People can therefore dope all they want, sometimes with deletrious effects to their well being. Surely, passing an exam is important, but like in sports, careful planning and consistent training definetly pays off. A well balanced schedule, including not only studying and working, but also leisure, taking walks, having a group of friends, sleeping 7-8 hours every night will definetly improve performance in the long run. There will be deadlines, there will be times when you need to work harder, but if you are good to your body, it will also be good to you.

Read more about consistency and how to get organized: Consistency is key

Liked it
RSSPost a Comment
comments powered by Disqus