Allegedly Smart Students Not That Smart At All

The idea that performance enhancing drugs are necessary for good performance at a mediocre global university in New Zealand is laughable. In fact, it’s a good indication that allegedly smart students aren’t that smart at all.

A core component of the zeitgeist is the idea that academic performance is a really good predictor of life outcomes, or something. Controlling for the raw product (social and cultural capital are a prime example here) academics are working with doesn’t seem to happen very often, particularly in things like the Education Counts reports that track graduate earnings over time.

Taking performance enhancing drugs, to do better on something that doesn’t really matter if you’re building valuable skills, is a bit short-sighted. Also, if you need a pharmaceutical boost to help you regurgitate academic content, how will you cope in a cognitively demanding role that requires you to problem solve with new information you didn’t have at hand to study for weeks before “the test”?