An apology letter to incoming freshmen

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Dear incoming freshmen,

As Welcome Week draws closer by the day, we urge you to prepare yourselves. This ride is a wild one, and while we can’t wait for you baby Bears to join us, we can’t help but think about the less-than-stellar (or straight-up-suckish) parts of the UC Berkeley experience of which you are soon to be a part. On behalf of all the memories you are not looking forward to, we at the Clog sincerely apologize.

One of the first unwanted and unavoidable experiences is the “Hey! What’s your name? Where are you from? What’s your major?” conversation. You will have this conversation at least 50 times, and we are so sorry. The exchange is exhausting and repetitive, and your major says nothing about the person you are. Eventually, you’ll meet people with whom you’ll get past the unoriginal introductions and have conversations that are actually interesting.

Secondly, you’ve probably already had your first encounter with Tele-BEARS. Unless you’re one of the rare few who ended up with a perfect schedule, apologies are due. Being a freshman, you get the last pick of classes. Sorry, that’s just how it is. You might have to take a bunch of 8 a.m.s., and if you think you’re OK with that, think again.

Also, we apologize for the inevitable homesickness. Living away from your loved ones and paying outrageous laundry fees are not ideal situations. Even though there are plenty of things and people you’ll miss, you’ll be OK. This likely isn’t the first or last time you’ll step out of your comfort zone.

Speaking of stepping into uncomfortable zones, you will get flyered on Sproul Plaza at some point. An over-enthused member of a campus organization will sing to you, dance toward you and aggressively hand you a printed flyer, which will soon turn into a small stack of flyers. Avoiding flyers is good practice for saying no. But be open to saying yes, too. You never know what amazing memories one “yes” can lead to.

You’ll also find yourself the victim of library and cafe overcrowding. We’re sorry, but all go-to study spaces seem to have no room when you need it most: during midterms and dead week. We’ve seen people sell seats at Main Stacks for $5 OBO on the Free & For Sale Facebook page. We recommend adventuring the less-sought-after-but-just-as-good study spots available.

We genuinely apologize for your impending identity crisis. We empathize; we’ve been there. Over the next few years, everything you believe and everything you think you know about yourself will be challenged. You might change your major, shift political views or start to doubt your place in the world. It might not sound like much right now, but challenging the way you understand your life and the world around you is emotionally taxing, and we are here to remind you that we are all going through the same thing and that you are not alone.

Lastly, you will never know the joy of the Golden Bear Cafe’s chicken strips. For this, we have no words of advice. We are just truly, truly sorry.

Our sincerest apologies,

The Clog

Contact Rayanne Piaña at [email protected].