Op-Ed: College Is Hard, So My Abs Are Not

Had I gone to my statistics class more regularly, I’d have a clearer grasp of that golden principle which guides academics across disciplines: correlation does not imply causation. But control groups notwithstanding, I’m prepared to assert that I’ve found the root cause of my flabby physique. School is hard, so my abs are not.

Before coming to Columbia, I thrived in school and my body rivaled that of Adonis. But, when I came here, I had to give up exercise to study, and instead of eating carrots and kale chips while doing a problem set, I started to shove Hostess Ding Dongs in my gaping mouth until preservative-soaked cream dribbled down my greasy cheek. This pattern marked the beginning of the rapid disintegration of my Hellenic physique.  

Now, every day, I slump into JJ’s Place for some much-needed brain food. Mozzarella sticks provide the healthy fats and protein I need to keep my mind nimble enough to read Shmoop at 4 AM. Sometimes, while I’m sitting there, procrastinating five assignments with six cups of Jamba Juice around me, the thought of going to the gym crosses my mind. But then I realize that they don’t have five problem sets due tomorrow, so fuck it.

I tried, I really did, to fit exercise into my busy schedule. In my first semester I did sit-ups while reviewing flashcards for Mowsh bio, but I stopped after getting a 32% on the first exam. I used to do a ten second plank every morning, but I had to cut that in half so I could have enough time to sleep for eleven hours to avoid the harrowing march to oblivion that is leaving my room and being a real person. How am I supposed to spend ten minutes on the elliptical when I have to make time to cry silently into my pillow? How am I supposed to lift weights when I can barely lift myself out of bed to face that smug, unemployable grad student in Lit Hum? How am I supposed to skulk around the track like some geriatric mall walker when the dorm elevator moves a floor an hour, so I’d have to hobble down the stairs?

Four months into college, I’ve become a soft piece of shit with mediocre grades to boot.