Awkward moments on campus that have made us all want to cry

Siyu Zheng/File

College can be summed up as one of the most uncomfortable and awkward times you will experience in your life. With UC Berkeley’s large campus and high student population, we become prime targets for these unpleasant experiences. No matter if you’re simply walking to Dwinelle or trudging to Pimentel, you are always guaranteed a few embarrassing and unavoidable moments. We at the Clog want to remind you that you’re not alone! We’ve all had our fair share of these moments that ultimately make us want to hide in a corner and never make contact with society again.

Making eye contact with someone who is trying to hand you a flyer

Right when you walk onto Sproul, you are greeted with various clubs trying to sell you Krispy Kreme donuts or asking you to come out to their info sessions. Many UC Berkeley students have mastered ways to avoid their advances with hands in their pockets, earphones in and eye contact avoided. Unfortunately, the best of us slip up and make the horrible mistake of accidentally locking eyes with someone handing out flyers. By acknowledging this person, you’ve set into effect a sort of unwritten rule that you now have to take the flyer. On the other hand, you really aren’t interested in consulting and end up running off, leaving both you and the person extremely uncomfortable. What’s worse is actually being the one flyering and being left with another flyer in your stack.  

Trying to pet a dog but not knowing if you can pet it and then being too uncomfortable to ask

Campus is literally swarmed with dogs everywhere you look. When crossing paths with a dog owner and their dog, things can get uncomfortable real quick. First, you see their dog and make that “awwww” noise — you know the one we’re talking about. Then, you start walking closer to them so you have the chance of their dog running up to you once your paths cross. You offer the owner a friendly smile and basically beg with your eyes to pet their dog. Finally, the owner gives you an uncomfortable smile, and you both just smile until someone makes the first move. Usually, no one actually makes the first move, so you just watch as your chance slips away. There really is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing the cutest dog in the world and not being able to pet it.

Those long pauses in discussion when no one wants to answer a question

Discussion sections will always be a necessary evil in a student’s life, especially when participation is mandatory and you really dread speaking. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a classmate who takes one for the team and answers all of your GSI’s questions. Unfortunately, those classmates usually end up in the same discussion sections. In reality, you and your peers all hate speaking and are faced with long, awkward pauses when the GSI asks who wants to read the section of the worksheet out loud. Sometimes the silence is even too uncomfortable for the GSI, so they announce that participation credit is based on attendance. We love those unsung heroes!

Accidentally walking in on someone using the bathroom

Let’s face it: Our buildings are incredibly old and not exactly functional. The single-stall bathrooms sometimes don’t lock properly. In conclusion, you may experience an excruciatingly embarrassing moment: walking in on someone doing their business, or even worse, being walked in on. So please do everyone and yourself a favor and knock before walking in!

Having to find a seat in lecture

Lecture halls are infamous for not having enough space in between the rows of desks. Having to scoot your butt across five to 10 people to get the empty spot in the middle can be embarrassing. You’re basically giving each person a little lap dance with every move you make to get through the obstacles of small space, backpacks and legs. Constantly saying “sorry” and knocking over someone’s stuff can make your face go bright red. Save us the embarrassment and just move towards the middle!

You’ve got to have guts to walk onto UC Berkeley’s campus every day. Whether it be for an hour or eight, you’re bound to have a few awkward run-ins that will leave you in deep thought all day. Don’t beat yourself up about it! There’s actually no way to avoid it, and, you know, it might actually enrich your college experience even more.

Contact Joyce Cam at [email protected].