Some of you may have walked past those bulletin boards covered in red and white notices in search of participants to ingest this, or attach themselves to that. Perhaps you’ve gone so far as to take one of the tear-off tabs home with you. It always comes down to one question: “Can it really be that bad?”
Medical research for academic studies has so many variations and degrees of invasiveness. All of it comes down to one thing: a way to make money that requires no previous skills, education, or experience.
I’ve found myself scanning those flyers and considering the possibilities. Sometime before the winter of 2012, I decided science could have its way with me. I found out that it wasn’t free money, but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever been through, either. Presented now are my experiences and reflections. Hopefully, this can help guide you in the future, when you’re standing in front of those bulletin boards wondering, “What if I did this?”
“Statute Forbidding Any One to Annoy or Unduly Injure the Freshmen. Each and every one attached to this university is forbidden to offend with insult, torment, harass, drench with water or urine, throw on or defile with dust or any filth, mock by whistling, cry at them with a terrifying voice, or dare to molest in any way whatsoever physically or severely, any, who are called freshmen, in the market, streets, courts, colleges and living houses, or any place whatsoever, and particularly in the present college, when they have entered in order to matriculate or are leaving after matriculation.” — Leipzig University Statute (1495) [via]
UVA English professor Mark Edmundson’s argues that, despite employability concerns, all college students should consider the English major, as it “means pursuing the most important subject of all—being a human being.” Reading books is a pretty fun way to learn! But also: It sure would be nice to have a marketable skill after you rack up a billion dollars in debt. If I could go back, I’d have chosen either Spanish (don’t speak a word!) or nursing. Skills.