One of the busiest spots on campus is the quad – especially during spring. I mean, hello, the gorgeous cherry blossom trees start blooming and the sun is out (a rare occurrence in Seattle). Having walked–err, stumbled (damn you, bricks) through the quad about 58,407 times, I’ve crossed paths with some pretty interesting people. Since then I’ve come to the highly scientific conclusion that UW’s quad is a people-watching dream. Watch out for these personalities as you dodge the Frisbees.
1. The Frisbee Players
Also known as the people who give zero f’s if they’re in your way as you walk to class or hit you on the head with their small device of pure evil. Usually barefoot, these unusual beings are fond of brightly colored jean shorts, sunglasses and the phrase “Heads!” because yelling that is supposed to somehow prevent you from getting hit. Be extremely cautious if you find yourself around them, which you probably will because they never ever get tired of throwing around a plastic disk. How fun.
2. The Selfie Queens
Okay, we get it – the cherry blossoms are really nice to look at and make the perfect background for at least one selfie, but 5,235? Stop. When they aren’t taking pictures they’re fixing their hair and smizing like they’re contestants on America’s Next Top Model and Tyra Banks is observing them. Don’t be surprised if you earn yourself a glare or two for walking behind them mid-selfie and ruining their tenth consecutive photo. I’d apologize but I’m too busy trying to avoid the frisbees. #sorrynotsorry
3. The Sun bathers
Only people in Seattle would consider temperatures in the mid 50s to low 60s as suitable weather to strip down to tanks and shorts and whip out the SPF 15 sunscreen. Regardless, these people will still set up their beach towels in the middle of the quad and lie flat on their backs or stomachs in hopes of getting a tan. “Look at my tan!” – literally something no one says around here. Good luck with that. You’re more likely to get a cold, but if you insist on spending ridiculous amounts of time pretending you’re on a beach in L.A. then suit yourself.
4. The Skateboarders
I thought the whole skateboarding thing was left behind in 2006 along with every teenage girl’s crush on Ryan Sheckler, but apparently I was wrong. So if you hear the highly annoying sound of wheels on 100-year-old bricks there’s a high possibility it’s one of those skateboarders gliding around like they’re oh-so-cool with their long hair. But if you ever need some midday entertainment on your way to class just stick around long enough to watch one of them trip as they try to do some complex trick. That’s always fun.
5. The “Professional” PhotographersThe only difference between these folks and the amateur photographers is the equipment and boy, do these photophiles come equipped. I’m talking tripods, $2,000 cameras, the whole shebang. Usually they focus entirely on the old lecture halls or cherry blossoms but occasionally you see them photographing “models” as they flash cheesy smiles with their hands on their hips. “Can you turn this way?” “Move your chin up.” I always feel slightly guilty when I have to walk right in front of them as I head to class. After all, they are professionals.
6. The “Do you have a minute for (insert cause)?” PeopleThese are usually pretty hard to spot because they can either be fellow students or 40-year-olds in fancy suits with fliers in hand. One dead giveaway though is the fact that they’re almost always alone and scanning the people walking by in hopes of making eye contact with you. You’re basically screwed if you lock eyes for .00001 seconds. “Hi, do you care about the environment?” “Are you 21 and somewhat friendly?” No, leave me alone. The only time I will stop is if there’s free food involved.
7. The HipstersIf there’s one thing Seattle is full of, it’s hipsters, and UW is no exception. Hipsters are pretty easy to point out – just look for the people sitting in a circle with at least one person playing guitar and everyone else nodding enthusiastically as if the music is speaking directly to their soul. Don’t expect to hear them playing any Ed Sheeran though because come on, that’s way too mainstream. Shudder. No, what you’ll hear is more along the lines of some indie band no one’s heard of or – better yet — a song the guitarist wrote himself.
8. The Gossip GirlsNo, not Blair Waldorf or Serena Van Der Woodsen – basically the only gossip girls I can stand. The ones I’m talking about like to chew gum loudly as they discuss all the details from last Saturday’s party. “Did you hear what Vanessa said about me?” “Look at this text I got! What do I say back? I don’t want to sound dumb.” These girls enjoy speaking loudly so we all have the pleasure of hearing all the intricate details of their lives. Lucky us! It’s moments like this where I wonder if these people are aware that they’re not on an MTV reality show and no one cares.
9. The Bookworm
Possibly my favorite person you’ll find in the quad because they stay out of everyone’s way and don’t draw attention to themselves. Their favorite spot is on the benches hidden near the trees because it’s quiet and far away from the aforementioned types. Sometimes everyone needs an escape and that’s exactly what Jane Austen can provide. Just don’t expect to start up a conversation with this type – they’re far away from everyone else for a reason.
10. The Little People
I think they’re called children? Anyway, I think I must have missed the part where a college campus became an acceptable place for parents to bring their kids to play because apparently that’s a thing now. I’ll be the first to say that I’ve had enough of this. I have enough trouble making it to class without tripping over my own two feet, let alone having to dodge little kids running around like a bunch of monkeys. The worst part is when parents actually stop you and ask if you can take a picture of them with their kids. What? Keep it moving, lady.