Confessions of a Pathetically Obvious Freshmanby Sydney Johnson on Oct, 02 2012
It’s been five solid weeks since I first moved to Berkeley, and I’m already considering my first tattoo. Right now, I’m torn between getting, “FRESHMAN” across my forehead, or “FIRST YEAR” around my left bicep. Then again, why spend the money? Looking back at a few of my experiences thus far, I think people could more readily tell which grade I am in than what color my hair is.
Let me start off by explaining to you the highlight of my first day of instruction. On my way to my second lecture of the day, my coffee decides to start kickin’ in. As a result, I find myself desperately searching for the ladies room. Alas, relief is in sight thanks to the many paper restroom signs posted in Morrison Hall. Business done. I open the stall door to go wash my hands, when I notice something I can’t say I am used to seeing in the women’s restroom- a guy using a urinal. Oops. As soon as it registers to me what was going on, my tomato-red face and I casually make our way out the door. By then, I was pretty sure there was no way to make the situation any less uncomfortable. So there you have it; I had just experienced the most cliché first-day horror story known to man, and survived (Urinal Boy, if you’re reading this, I hope it can explain some confusion).
Oh, you think that’s it? No, no, no. You see, that only cover’s one very small section of campus. Go about half a mile east, and there you should find Memorial Stadium. First football game of the season, and I’m going to sit in the big, bad, student section! But wait… My roommate and I realized we had entered through the wrong gate, and therefore have no wristbands. Just sneak past the student section security, right? Nope, got put right in our places for that one. Don’t worry, we had a great time screaming and cheering next to the quiet couple and their two kids, who were reading might I add.
Then there was my first attempt at public transportation alone. As I walk up to the stop, I watch the bus I had planned to take slowly drive away. Missed it by that much. Fortunately, there was another bus behind it! I ask the driver when the next bus to Hearst will be arriving, and he assures me that the bus a few feet away is headed just there. Feeling good, I climb aboard the other bus and take a seat. Thank goodness for self-doubt, for without it I might not have asked this bus driverwhere he was headed. “This is the F bus. We’re going to San Francisco.” Cool. I know we are all told to always keep trying and such, but at that point, I gave up. I was walking back.
And let’s not forget LAST week, when I walked in, sat down, and looked around only to find I was on the completely wrong floor from that of the section class I should have been in. Curse you Dwinelle! Everyone warned me that this building was a maze, however, I didn’t expect that my first time getting lost would be after four weeks of attending my classes in it. I suppose that could be why the students around me were staring. That or maybe I had a huge stain on my shirt, neither of which would be more surprising at this point.
I guess if my life were a comedy film (which sometimes I am truly convinced it is), then this would all seem to fall into place. But I would not consider any of these events to be a mistake, and lucky for me, I have learned from each of them. I am now a master at preventing any facial recognition when walking out of the opposite sex’s bathroom, acting surprised and politely moving out of someone’s seat when they arrive in Memorial Stadium, calling friends who know the bus routes, and orienteering Dwinelle. Hopefully since this is week 6, these types of occurrences will not be so frequent, however they have made for some excellent icebreakers.
Ahh, freshman year.