It’s officially been over a month since the start of UC Berkeley’s fall 2021 semester. A month since starry-eyed freshmen, like myself, first gathered around the dorms, lugging our suitcases up eight flights of stairs because you guessed it — the elevators were broken. To celebrate this anniversary, here’s the Clog’s official list of the iconic, timeless freshman quirks to help you identify a freshman from a mile away.
GBO bracelet wearers
You probably recognize the Golden Bear Orientation bracelets — the sleek, shiny, blue and gold (not to mention impossible to take off) bracelets that live on the arms of thousands of freshmen who didn’t actually go to half the GBO Events (sorry GBO leaders, we love you!). The mass GBO Bracelet pandemic was definitely more of a first-week situation. If you’re still wearing yours, please invest in some new jewelry.
The iconic UC Berkeley Lanyard
You know they’re a freshman when they cling onto their free Berkeley lanyard as if their life depended on it. Dorm key? Put it on the lanyard. Cal student ID? Put it on the lanyard. Anything? Put it on the lanyard. Hordes of first-years walk through campus confidently wearing their Berkeley lanyards around their necks like a badge of freshman pride.
Not going to lie though, those lanyards are useful. I don’t understand why upperclassmen don’t wear them. Where do they put their keys? Do they even have keys? Do they unlock their apartments with their minds? The world will never know.
The kids staring at Google Maps
Picture this — you’re trying to get to your next class but you’re surrounded by a bunch of hunched over shoulders, droopy heads and eyes glued to the phone. Some are looking around in confusion trying to figure out where Dwinelle is, while others turn around in horror and break into a run as they realize they were holding their phone backward the whole time. You get to class and hear a chorus of automated Siri voices saying, “you’ve arrived.” Google Maps has served its purpose once again.
Our resident campus tourists
That one girl taking photos of the Campanile and posting it on her Instagram story? The sunset photos taken from the lovely dorm windows? The guy craning his head to get a photo of Doe Library’s sleek white columns? Definitely all freshmen. Is this a self-call-out? Perhaps. Will we all keep doing it anyway? Definitely.
Overall, while some may make fun of freshmen for these little quirks, you only get one freshman year — so savor the little moments that make it iconic. It only happens once, so we have to celebrate our freshman status and live it up while we have the chance. So post those Sather Gate photos on your Instagram and wear your lanyard with pride! The four years will go by in a flash.