What a rush: finding your niche on campus

Calapalooza 2011
Michael Gethers/File

We all want to be liked, we’ve all thrown ourselves out there and felt the sting of rejection.

So when you see the parade of formally attired, perfumed and, at this point, unjaded, unlabeled, fresh-faced PNMs on Piedmont Avenue next week, try to understand what they’re going through.

With their smiles fake and their eyes glazed with oblivious optimism, they somehow manage to eagerly plow forward in the relatable pursuit of finding a home at this massive and often overwhelming university.

Respect them as they trot uphill in heels and put all of their humility on the line in the frenzied quest for institutionalized sisterhood.

This annual carnival gets us thinking: What if we applied the same principles to other hard-to-get elements of our campus community?

Imagine a world where the recruitment never ends and you’re faced with navigating campus life in a perpetual rush to find a niche …

Haas School of Business

“Yo, Applicant: You certainly made an impression by rolling in with your resume sticking out of your leather briefcase on wheels. Though your look is somewhat consistent with that of a potential ‘Haashole,’ we did feel that your white Lacoste polo was too California casual. A blue oxford button-up and khaki pants would have been more appropriate for our social strata. Thank you for applying, but we strongly feel that the econ major would be a better fit for you.”

Cal Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams

“Though your times for the 100-meter backstroke are world-class and you seem to be worthy of Cal’s high academic standards, your personality profile indicates that you may have a propensity toward, say, vandalizing a mini mart bathroom at 6 a.m. You may have Olympic-caliber times, but Cal’s Olympians don’t piss off the world — we just rule the pool.”

Wealth and Poverty

“Though you’re an avid ‘liker’ of Robert Reich’s savage Facebook posts, it took you until February (gasp) to Feel the Bern. On top of that, you brought a lawn chair into Wheeler Hall in response to your accusation of inequitable seat distribution and you didn’t even share your boba with your cash-deprived buddy during finals week, thus demonstrating a lack of sensitivity to the income gap.”

Main Stacks Dance Team

“We love your enthusiasm and your butt really shakes, but your undisciplined twerking is better suited for, let’s say, Lollapalooza. Your massive charm would be better displayed on the big stage. Just watch out for the misogynistic media coverage of your innocent self-expression, and you’ll be fine!”

Seats Behind Bill Walton at Haas Pavilion

“We did take note that you showed up three hours early and in blue and gold tie-dye. You didn’t, however, express explicit enthusiasm for the upcoming Dead and Company tour, and your well-groomed, put-together getup is a little too clean and conventional for a Pac-12 Networks camera-heavy spot. Your current stiff-arm is no match for the Red Rover line of security guards during court-rushing opportunities, and somehow we can’t see you being on the FlexCam without whipping out your iPhone to document the moment for yourself. Most importantly, we’re not quite sure that when you say ‘Keep Berkeley Weird,’ your heart is really in it. But we’re sure there’s a special seat behind the north basket with your name on it.”

Naked Run

“We admire your musculature, but we feel as though your especially tan and recently waxed bod might be more comfortable at the Marquee Dayclub in Vegas.”

Well friends, we hope you’ve enjoyed this look at our unique campus. And at this point, we’re sure you’re looking at the Daily Clog and thinking to yourselves, ‘Wow, these guys get it. What a great group of young enterprising minds. We’d really love to be a part of this scene and do cool stuff like avoiding the use of the first-person singular and strictly limiting all rants to 700 words.’

Alas, I — er, we — are afraid we have some bad news:

Though you’re undoubtedly a fine writer with some interesting takes on campus life, we feel as though your talents could be better utilized somewhere else.

Thanks for putting it all on the line, and remember — there’s no right choice, there’s only the best choice for you. Please, don’t get discouraged. The best things in life are really hard — but don’t just take it from us. Ask your (house) mom.

Contact Natalie Silver at [email protected].