06 May 2014

Are Finals Fair?

It's finals time. That means late nights, study groups, and... prescription drugs are abundant on college campuses. It wasn't until this past weekend that I really started to think about just how crazy (and unfair) the Adderall trade can be. It hadn't been a big deal, because I know that I'm perfectly capable of performing on my exams without drugs. It was always a "those who need it to focus or learn, go ahead" type of mentality.

... Until I realized just how many people use these drugs in school. All the sudden it wasn't about whether or not I can learn on my own, but if I can compete with the scores of students who spend hours glued to their books and set the curve. The use by others may be a disadvantage to my score, and that's where I started to think more about whether or not this is fair at all?

Okay, obviously it isn't fair. But should it be necessary? Is it the expectations of the professors or the social atmosphere that is requiring students to resort to Adderall? In other words, it all depends on why students are using the drugs. If the material being tested is just too hard and in too high of quantity to be learned, then that's one thing. I find that hard to believe, though, as my parents, cousins, and aunts and uncles all survived finals on their own merit. It can be deduced that it comes down to the social aspect, which I can't deny is tempting.

To be able to "fly by" the semester, then pop some pills a week before to learn the course and ace the exam is tempting. Especially in the general education classes that really don't matter... it sounds nice. It makes getting involved and being social more manageable throughout the semester, something that I think we all need. 

I'm torn on this issue. If you're wondering, no I haven't ever taken Adderall and I don't plan to. But I can't deny that it's an interesting issue. I've had friends use it, and they've been pleased with how their grades have turned out. I know I'd feel dishonest, but I feel disadvantaged without. 

What are your thoughts?