S.T.E.M. Syndrome

When it comes to up-to-date disease reporting, you can always count on AMP to be the most trusted source on the creepy-crawlies that are infecting you and your classmates. This month, we bring you a special report on a newly classified epidemic. While cases of this disease may have existed long before now, the American Center for Probably Real Diseases (CPRD) has released a disease profile on the recurring (and alarmingly contagious) condition that officials have begun calling S.T.E.M. Syndrome.

S.T.E.M. stands for Snobbish Tiresome Egotistical Madman Syndrome, an affliction that has infected thousands of students and college graduates all over the nation. Now, here at AMP, we realize you’re too busy to read a CPRD report to its full and detailed capacity. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty to read it for you, and break it down into a short summary of the horrors of S.T.E.M. Syndrome.


Etiology

The origins of S.T.E.M. can be traced back to the Brain Drain global pandemic of the early ‘90s, in which countries across the world competed to acquire the best scientific minds. Such endeavors came with an unforeseen cost. More and more American homes and institutions fostered environments where the S.T.E.M. bacteria thrived. Soon, along with a thirst for larger strides in science, technology, engineering, and math, it became a widespread occurrence that permeates every single university — both public and private — in the country. Why should we care? As a public research university with three separate schools dedicated to science/math-related fields, UTD is what is known as a “Red Zone” for the disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms of S.T.E.M. syndrome can manifest in children as young as eight years old. They may exhibit signs such as grade boasting, exaggerated affluent tendencies (emphasizing financial status in inappropriate contexts), and an affinity for anti-social behavior (regarding it as a status of intelligence). Symptoms tend to worsen as the afflicted patient ages, and include: allergic reactions to conversations about art, music, or theater, heavy sweating during career aptitude tests, uncontrollable impulses to talk about one’s own major at social functions, and vomiting at the mention of switching to a liberal arts degree.

Affected Population

The highest at-risk populations for S.T.E.M. syndrome can be found in the following: highly ranked universities, pharmaceutical companies, research institutes, health professional schools, disheveled high school science teachers (with dreams of getting into higher education dashed by cruel circumstance), and households that emphasize the superiority of science/math/technology-related fields to all other subjects.

Prognosis

The course of the disease may be lifelong without any treatment or intervention. Rapid deterioration of social relationships with friends, family members, and colleagues will soon be followed by crippling embitterment about the disproportionate amount of acquired company or culture. The final stage of the disease usually occurs when the patient finds themselves in a state of unnerving cognitive dissonance while enjoying a movie version of a famous musical. While it may not result in death, this dissonance persists through the entire lifetime of the patient and ruins the ability to enjoy any form of entertainment or lively conversation.

Treatment

Not to fear, AMP readers on the edge of your seats, all hope is not lost if you or a loved one have S.T.E.M. syndrome. With early detection, you can take the appropriate steps to eradicate any traces of the disease from your system. A combination of treatments is recommended: one part therapy to deal with an overwhelming superiority complex, one part prolonged exposure to different forms of art (literature, theater, art museums) to develop an appreciation, and one part meditation to chill the hell out.


Remember, Comets, you’re exposed to a vast number of terrible contagions everyday. Short of locking yourself in a seal-tight box with filtered oxygen, there’s no way to avoid them. The most enduring way to protect yourself from troubling afflictions like S.T.E.M. syndrome is to stay well-read, self-aware, and alert.