Being Kyle Wang: an impossible task

May 9, 2018 — by Elaine Toh

“I’m having an existential crisis.”

I probably said that phrase more than 30 times in one day to friends and classmates alike, but don’t worry — it’s not me who has an endless stream of life problems. It’s my Falcon editor-in-chief senior Kyle Wang.

In the J-room, Kyle graces us with with his sassy presence as he distracts his classmates from writing stories with the Facebook game “8 Ball Pool.” Yet, even with his top positions and achievements in newspaper, Leadership (ASB head commissioner) and speech and debate (captain of individual events and previous state champion in US Extemporaneous Speaking), he still manages to be the subject of many jokes, his face and name appearing on many of the computers’ wallpapers alongside messages such as “the intellectually curious.”

So, when given an option to be someone we admire for a day, I chose Kyle not because I look up to him, but rather because of a slight curiosity of how he lives his everyday life and how he managed to live through the stressful years of high school.

With some prodding, spamming of dragon stickers on Facebook Messenger and saying “it’s for the good of the newspaper,” he revealed to me the basic rundown of how to be Kyle Wang, which I tried to follow for my experiment.  

So, with a list of Kyle’s routinely activities in tow, I began my best “emulation” or “parroting” of him for a day.

I had to first wake up earlier by alarm. Opposed to getting out of bed at 7:20 a.m. due to my mother’s yelling, I “woke up” at 7 a.m. and forced myself to press the snooze button on my phone’s alarm on multiple occasions. I swear I never want to listen to another “Strum” or “Xylophone” alarm again, or else I will actually yank my phone off its power cord and throw it against the wall. Hearing just one second of those alarms has now permanently scarred me.

Here’s another thing about Kyle — he eats his breakfast before brushing his teeth. On the other hand, I am accustomed to eating after I brush my teeth, so considering his lifestyle, one question popped up in my mind: Why would someone willingly place food into their mouth along with any germs or plaque he or she had gained while sleeping?

Determined to maintain my Kyle Wang facade, I forced myself to take one bite of my food before spitting it out and walking into the bathroom to clean my teeth.

At school, I did the one thing Kyle put emphasis on — having various existential crises.

Yet, with barely any problems to qualify as “existential crises,” I compromised by fixating on my minor problems.

Every conversation was about how I flunked a supposedly simple math quiz and failed to perfect the perfect “baby pink” color for a titration lab in chemistry. By the time I ran out of things to question about my life and complain about, I ended up making “I’m having an existential crisis” a catchphrase.  

By the time school was over, Kyle is said to avoid taking naps, do homework and waste precious time scrolling through Reddit and watching TV shows. So, instead of jumping onto my bed the moment I got home, I opened up my textbooks and pulled out plenty of binder paper, finishing a majority of it.

The time I spent reading people’s various issues on Reddit felt extremely wasteful, but, at the same time, I was more relaxed knowing that a majority of my homework was finished.

However, perhaps the most irritating thing that Kyle does is running at night.  

So, I ran.

But, instead of outdoors, I ran inside my house, circling around my living room couch as Amazon Alexa set a timer for seven minutes. Luckily, I dodged any potential embarrassment and judgment from my family by waiting for that perfect period of time in which I was home alone.

Attempting to be Kyle Wang for a day, while not a success by all means, was actually quite entertaining. It made me realize a sort of work ethic that I should try to adapt to more if I want to live through high school with more than three hours of sleep per day. Kyle is as successful as he is by probably not taking four hour naps after school and procrastinating another five hours before any school work.

I don’t think I ever would like to live exactly like Kyle again. His life may seem normal, yet it’s hard to emulate his unique personality and behaviour, which are like that of “a 60-year-old retired man who lives in Iowa City,” according to him.

However, I guess I gained one thing from being Kyle.

I now have too many existential crises.

 

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