So here I am again. Swaddled in a blanket, surrounded by used Kleenex and so drugged up on cold meds that I probably cannot even feel pain anymore. Every Winter Term I think to myself, “Ah this is it; this is the year I finally won’t get sick. I will sleep more and drink water an—” NOPE. My entire immune system does not give a single hoot about my work schedule or the amount of homework I have.
Being sick in high school for me was not too bad — sure, I walked around with a box of Kleenex to every class and people literally walked to the other side of the hallway to avoid being in my gross presence, but it was pretty tame compared to being sick at Lawrence. Which, by the way, is physically impossible.
The perfect Lawrentian is not human — and that is because the expectations this school has for its students are not actually possible for humans. They are obviously for superhumans. I am ashamed to admit it, but despite being sick every single year while here, I had not realized until now that this is actually a school for superhumans, and due to some admissions error, I accidentally got let in.
Lawrence is the kind of rigorous school where you play a sport, are in an ensemble, a few other clubs and work as well, of course. Oh, and then sprinkle in some hard classes just for fun. Mix all that together, along with the crushing pressure to get good grades so you can graduate and get a job and not live your entire life in your parents’ basement, and you get — guess! What do you get, dear readers?
Yes, that’s right! Absolutely zero free time! And what does that mean for the accidentally normal human students who were let in to this superhuman-only university? It means that when they exhibit normal human behavior like getting stressed out or getting sick because of communal living and winter and germs, they are punished for it!
A normal human student who attends this school has the two options I was presented with this morning as a self-diagnosed Sickly One:
Option one: Do not go to class and rest and sleep and take care of self. Benefit is getting well sooner, but the loss is falling behind in that class, losing valuable discussion of important topics and having to now play catch-up for eternity.
Option two: Go to class in a drugged stupor with your grand train of used Kleenex following behind you and get about 25% of the overall class discussion because you are sick and cannot pay attention. Benefit is you do not lose a participation point and are in class technically. But the loss is not only did you not really get the lecture in class, but now you are even more sick because you are forcing your body to move and think when all it should be doing is resting.
See how both of these options lead to the person feeling worse, either for stressing over missing class or physically in terms of their health? Therefore, I have decided, because this school is so obviously not for normal humans who do normal human things like get sick and injured or stressed out, two things. First of all, Lawrence needs to start frickin’ advertising that their school is for superhumans only because that would really help the normal people like me to know not to apply here and feel pressured to try and keep up with such ridiculous expectations. Second, to all the regular humans who may have also been let into this school through some mistake in admissions — they should really work on that — you are not alone! Do not try to push yourself to meet standards that are literally impossible for the regular Homo sapiens such as ourselves. There is no shame in getting sick or being too stressed out for class; those are normal human things that you should be allowed to feel without punishment or guilt. Continue being the wonderful normal humans you are, flawed immune systems and all, and hopefully Lawrence will transfer us to a non-superhuman university soon!