Micro-anxieties of UC Berkeley students

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We may look calm and collected … but don’t let that cool facade fool you. We at UC Berkeley experience multiple waves of minor anxiety attacks as we wade through each academic day. They might not seem all that panic-inducing, but trust us: our hearts always skip a beat when we find ourselves in the following situations.

1. When you pull out a chair in Main Stacks and the whole library stares at you

It was a chair, not an earthquake, people! You had to pull one out when you first arrived too!

2. When your phone starts ringing or vibrating in class

You jump up in panic and spend the next few seconds clumsily trying to turn it off. You then spend the rest of the class slumped in your seat, refusing to make eye contact with anyone.

3. When you want to go to the bathroom and have to ask a stranger to look after your stuff

You’re finally getting some studying done in the Student Learning Center, then lo and behold, nature calls! You slowly scan the room, zoom in on a target and hope he or she doesn’t find you creepy for randomly speaking to him or her.

4. When a stranger entrusts you to look after his or her stuff

Umm, what did you do to be bestowed this great responsibility? Freak out internally while spending the next five minutes staring down their laptops.

5. When you hear a bicycle coming up behind you


UC Berkeley is a very bicycle-friendly university. While that’s great for the environment, it’s not so great for the poor hearts of pedestrians. You hear wheels coming up behind you, and your heart drops. Oh my god, this is how you are going to die. Then the cyclist whizzes past, grazing the tips of your hair. That was a close one.

6. When you are offered a flier for a charitable cause


The unsettling feeling when asked if you care about animal rights or finding a cure for cancer. Of course you do. But getting to class on time just seems a whole lot more urgent at the moment.

7. When you meet someone while eating alone

We’ve all been there. We’ve all sat alone at a table for 10 in Crossroads. But sometimes, you can be unfortunate enough to meet people you know while doing so. Now they are going to think you don’t have any friends. You don’t know why this bothers you, but it really does.

8. When you go to an eatery for the first time and you don’t know the system

Perhaps it is a cafe in Elmwood or a Japanese restaurant Downtown. Regardless, every food establishment runs on its own system. Does it have table service? Where do you pick up the food? It is all too confusing, and you feel like an unworldly high-schooler.

9. When you see a friend selling Krispy Kreme or In-N-Out on Upper Sproul Plaza


The struggle to blend into the crowd to avoid spending $2 on cold food. We all know you would rather spend it in CREAM on the way back from class.

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Contact Sue Ying at [email protected].