Why Berkeley squirrels and freshmen are actually exactly the same

Jessica Rogness/Staff

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If you’ve ever walked on campus, you’ve most likely had a personal encounter with a squirrel. After extensive research, we at the Clog have realized that with their uncanny ability to gather excessive amounts of free food, gain a yearly freshman 15 and unabashedly approach all new students, squirrels are actually exactly the same as new freshmen.

1. They are the ultimate moochers — managing to consistently steal from college students the thing they value most: food. Our campus squirrels, much like freshmen, seem to live off whatever Crossroads garlic fries and FSM sandwiches they can find. Without knowing it, you’ve used your meal points to take a squirrel on a nice lunch date.

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2. Most campus squirrels are hefty. We imagine they might sympathy-eat with stressed-out students during midterms. We probably don’t eat the healthiest when we’re studying for exams — frozen yogurt is acceptable everyday, right? — and because the squirrels eat our leftovers, they must eat pretty poorly, too.

3. Berkeley squirrels are far from shy. They love making new friends, especially when those human friends are offering food! Much like young freshmen lured into clubs by the promise of free pizza and drinks, squirrels are enticed by leftovers and will aggressively follow the scent of food across campus. And like freshmen, squirrels are not food snobs. Remember when Crossroads was actually good?

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4. They’re pretty innocent until they show their true colors. At the beginning of the school year, you might think a furry-faced, tree-scurrying squirrel demanding food and looking into your eyes is cute. But once you realize that when you pursue a squirrel — without food — it starts to thrash its tail and make threatening noises at you, it’s a little too similar to the stressed-out way your floormates might snap at you when you bug them while they’re studying.

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5. When researchers studied squirrels, they found that humans and squirrels might make decisions in similar ways. UC Berkeley researchers observe that squirrels store food for later use. Does that sound a bit like students hoarding supplies from Caltopia?

Contact Jessica Rogness at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jessarogness.