Congrats! You got into UC Berkeley — the real No. 1 public university in the country. This is your first time in college, so naturally, you’re probably wondering how to make friends in an unfamiliar environment. Like a true UC Berkeley student, you’re determined to succeed — so much so that you consulted a guide. But these are desperate times, and returning in person means everyone needs a little help getting back to socializing. So you should trust me, because, from your first step on an abandoned boba cup to your last step across our historic amphitheater’s uneven stage, my tips will serve you well in making friendships that will last at least until you get a new phone or move to another part of campus.
UC Berkeley can be scary at times. I confess the shadowy trees and convoluted bureaucracy have startled me before, but there is something truly unsettling about campus at night. One evening you may find yourself walking on Southside. Suddenly you hear the thumping of drums in the deep recesses of Sproul Plaza. You step past discarded petitions. Oski the Bear winks at you from the bushes. The unmistakable patter of footsteps makes you turn in anxious sweat. You’ve stumbled on a great opportunity to make friends: one of the UC Berkeley dance crews! Be excited, these students meet on Sproul and dance together to shoo away bad GPA vibes. It’s not common knowledge but every session is actually a tryout, and you are encouraged to bring your own live band and drum kit. These dance circles rank among the most exclusive friend groups: You can only mingle once you’ve been accepted. If you forgot your drum and positive energy at the yoga studio, don’t worry, you also forgot to develop a sense of rhythm. The dance crews are still working on that too, but it’s not as disappointing in a group.
After stumbling in your choreography, you should hit the campus gym to calm your nerves. Luckily for you, this is where the most outgoing students congregate to either answer phone calls or grunt superfluously. Though the Recreational Sports Facility gets great reception, the atmosphere also makes all of us a little more candid. We are at our most honest when we push ourselves to our limit, mentally or physically, and your fellow gym-goers will express that same sincerity while piling up an impressive amount of weights they’ll proudly leave for the staff to put away.
You may want to distract the people around you with conversation, but concentrate on your dubious internet workout routine to accustom yourself to the regulars. When someone’s sculpted muscle fibers take your interest, get your legal pad. Now note deficiencies in their program and rehearse a three- to five-minute presentation, complete with Excel charts and data points, explaining how they can improve their workout. If you can’t think of anything, make it up! No one knows quite what they’re doing at RSF, and your interjections on fitness will be received warmly.
My last suggestion is tried and tested. If you’re imitating a good student, you’ll find yourself attending lectures regularly. Just like my other examples, this is a prime spot to meet new people, and classmates have the added benefit of being able to study with you for the infamous UC Berkeley exams. If you’re nervous about appearing vulnerable showcasing your shaky knowledge in a course, don’t fret. Your classmates will stop responding to your emails long before you achieve that level of trust, and simultaneously take the selective internship you accidentally told them about.
You’ll need to introduce yourself to as many people as possible to maximize your chances of finding a good study partner, so get to lecture early and only sit at the ends of rows close to the front. People will have to walk by and might even talk to you to find a seat. When this happens, don’t get up; nod affirmatively and then lean back to open the aisle up an astounding couple of nanometers. The intimate space will make the two of you feel closer as their backpack gently scrapes your nose.
I hope these tips will help in the upcoming semester, finally in person after over a year of remote learning (my favorite oxymoron). Follow my instructions closely and, just like me, you too may make a single friend.
This is a satirical article written purely for entertainment purposes.