How to react to a tour group: a UC Berkeley student’s guide

Kelsi Krandel/File

At UC Berkeley, the tell-tale sign of spring isn’t blossoms in bloom or newborn squirrels frolicking around campus. It’s shell-shocked high school seniors and their parents, roaming the campus in hordes behind a college student walking backward. Once again, college-admissions season is upon us — a fact made all too apparent by the sheer volume of tour groups on campus. Passing by a tour group can feel awkward, we know: Often, you feel like you should acknowledge the prospective students somehow, but you’re not really sure how to. We at the Clog feel there are three appropriate reactions you could adopt should you encounter a wild tour guides and their prey.

Show your spirit.

Parents love this. Screaming out a “Go, Bears!” as you pass by makes UC Berkeley seem extra awesome. It demonstrates camaraderie, enthusiasm and, of course, school spirit. And besides, it makes you look awesome. You become the cool, friendly, spirited student filled with school pride and excitement to welcome new faces to campus … even if none of those things are true. But it’s the easiest way to make strangers love you in only two words.

Tag along.

Maybe you have some time to kill between classes and you don’t really feel like doing your reading. As you pass the tour group, perhaps you wonder, “Did I actually learn anything from that? What did they show us of campus? How much of what they said is actually true?” If you’re bored and want to see from a prospective student’s perspective, just join the tour group. We personally recommend keeping a tally of how many times the tour guide makes something up when he or she doesn’t know the answer to a question, because we’re pretty sure that happens — it’s not like we wouldn’t do that, too.

Troll the tour guides.

If you’re feeling brave, we challenge you to do this. Just think of it as testing the tour guides. They should be prepared for anything, right? Get creative. Do an Ellen DeGeneres-style dance dare behind them as they walk backward. Walk beside them and stare obnoxiously at them until they notice. Run up to them and give them a high five, then run away. Better yet, give them a fierce hug before running away. Pull out all the stops — we can guarantee that no matter what, you’ll at least entertain yourself.

Contact Kelsi Krandel at [email protected].