By Brittany Spangler
I’ve joked for the longest time that I have a “very slim margin
Meaning that, only under very minute optimal conditions am I
able to perform and excel.
But if those conditions are not met, well, sorry you’re out of
I started saying it in high school, probably when my dad would
ask me to come help him work in the yard, which usually included
helping him build our deck, shovel things around or pulling
“But it’s HOTTTT,” I would say, “I just whither in the
And since my dad is smarter than I am, he would say, his voice
dripping in honey, “Oh yes, I know that sweety.
That’s why you’re going to go pull weeds over there in the
“But I’m allergic,” I would complain. But since you just DON’T
disobey my dad, I would trudge outside anyway.
Unfortunately for him, his menacing “I’m putting my foot down
look” does not surpass my level of laziness when it comes to manual
labor and about 20 minutes into the job he’d turn around, sweat
dripping off his nose, only to find me laying down in the shade
petting the dogs.
And that’s when I’d throw out my homeostasis line.
I’m sure if it hadn’t worked wonders to diffuse his anger, I
never would have gotten away with using it all these years.
Unfortunately for me, however, this cute little scapegoat is now
a full-blown reality.
Perhaps I’m just a walking personification of the
self-actualization theory, or a closet hypochondriac, but now I
have a physical reaction to most things outside my little bubble of
If I don’t take my vitamins with food, I’m puking.
If I drink water on an empty stomach, I’m puking.
My skin is so sensitive to the sun, I’ve gotten sunburned merely
driving around in my car.
If I go longer than four hours without eating, my brain shuts
down and I start talking like a 90-year-old with dementia ” and the
list goes on.
I’ve become accustomed to these quirks over the years and have
learned to accommodate them.
Well, I practically had to, since it’s hard to function as a
puking, skin cancer riddled student with mush for brains.
It’s almost as if my body and my self are separate entities,
operating independently with my body clearly wearing the pants in
this twisted relationship.
I’ve learned to perfect a little routine to keep my little
dictator of a body happy.
I try to stick to this routine as much as possible, even if it
means passing up on things I think might be fun in the
It sounds OCD-ish I’m sure, but trust me, if not eating 30 grams
of fiber a day sent your small intestine into a tailspin, you would
eat it too.
Ironically, every aspect of my routine, along with that of every
other graduating senior, stands to change here in the next
We’re about to get thrown out into, gasp, the real world and
there’s nothing we can do to slow the hands of time and allow more
Within a matter of weeks after graduation and our departure from
the cushy confines of Cal Poly, I will get the boot from my equally
comfortable on-campus job and accompanying steady paycheck.
I would kick rocks all the way home, but my lease will be up
around the same time so who knows at this point where that will
And no, I’m not idly waiting for these looming deadlines to
wreak havoc on my precious routine. I do have some plans in the
mix, but they are all as variable as finding parking on campus 10
minutes before U-hour on a Tuesday.
Who knows what the future will bring.
I just hope my digestive system can hang on.Reach Brittany
Spangler at firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduation: wreaking havoc on my life
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