Spinning out of control: Sophomore spends summer collecting fidget spinners

October 12, 2017 — by Jeffrey Xu

Sophomore reflects on the development of his passion for fidget spinners.

Ever since fidget spinners became popular about half a year ago, I’ve wanted one.

Of course, fidget spinners are three-lobed toys with circular rings that spin along its axis. Twirling them supposedly helps with anxiety and boredom. However, since my parents were overly pragmatic and frugal, my dreams were shattered for the time being.

Luckily for me, my little brother also began to develop a similar interest in these spinners, and he begged my parents to get him one so that he could show them off to his sixth-grade friends.

Wanting to keep my hyper brother’s hands occupied with something other than a cell phone for once, my parents agreed to buy him one. To be fair to both kids, they got me one as well.

My very first fidget spinner was simple, with a black frame and silver and red rings that spun around. At first, I couldn’t keep my hands and fingers off of my new contraption. I would play with it day and night and would even spin myself to sleep.

However, as the novelty began to wear off, I decided an ordinary spinner was not enough for me. After comparing the spin duration to that of other fidget spinners on YouTube, I began to doubt that my fidget spinner was “real.” Unlike many other spinners that consistently spun for more than 3 minutes with one flick, mine did not even last 2 minutes. It was then that I knew I needed a new spinner.

Eventually, my dad gave me a flashy, all-white fidget spinner from a company called Chillax.

The new fidget spinner brought me much satisfaction, clocking in at three and a half minutes from a strong flick. After about two weeks of trial and error and watching YouTube videos, I learned all the fancy tricks of fidget spinner culture. I could spin one fidget spinner in each hand and balance one on my nose for a few seconds. I could even stack two fidget spinners on my desk and spin them simultaneously.

When I went to Boy Scout camp in the summer, I bought a glow-in-the-dark fidget spinner for $8. To put that into perspective, my parents had given me $50 to last the entire week away from home. Since there was no Wi-Fi, my friends and I would shine our flashlights at our spinners and see whose would glow the brightest afterwards.

My fidget spinner adventures continued later on in the summer when I brought my white Chillax fidget spinner to the COSMOS program at UC Santa Cruz. Everyone in my cluster of 20 students wanted to try my fidget spinner. I felt like the coolest kid there.

Though I was quite furious at first when they dropped it on multiple occasions, I gradually became less concerned about the spin speed and more about sharing in the fun of spinning with my friends.

However, as summer came to a close and my sophomore year loomed ahead, I decided it was time to grow up and leave the spinners behind. Being the great older brother I am, I gave all of my fidget spinners to my little brother and attempted to move on.

From time to time, however, I still sneak into his room to play with his fidget spinners and reminisce about my summer, when I was obsessed with fidget spinners.


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