The Dingbat: What your UBC campus tour guide is really thinking

Do they just want to hear me talk about what Maclean’s has to say? File Cherihan Hassun

The Dingbat is The Ubyssey’s new humour column. You can submit completed pieces or pitches to

I’m sweating through my “ask me about UBC” shirt. It turns out that going hard at Pit Night, hitting college night at Republic and then doing an early morning campus tour was not a good idea.

The fluorescent lights of Brock Hall are making me nauseous.

Today’s tour group is all eager-faced kids and their even more eager-faced parents. Their ambitious, beaming smiles blind me, but not as much as their shiny, opulent watch faces.

As we start moving I hear keen whispers and chitters about the school. I think I felt like that once, excited to walk around in the rain for an hour, huddled on narrow cement walkways while I watched real university students hustle through dirt pathways carved by years of academic feet. But now, in my rain-soaked shoes and seven years into my degree, I can barely remember my parents.

As we walk, I start my spiel about campus.

“Founded in 1915, the university started as McGill University College of British Columbia.” Do people care about what I’m saying, or do they just want to hear me talk about what Maclean’s has to say?

We walk past IKB and I tell the group about our excellent library and plentiful resources. I have never used the library or the great resources but I’m sure someone will if I tell them about it.

A parent asks me about class sizes. How do I tell them that I didn’t have a professor acknowledge my presence for the first three years of my degree?

“Classes can be large but they even out in upper levels,” I say with a thin-lipped grimace. I feel the McDouble I had last night churning in my stomach.

“What are the most popular extra curricular activities?” Drinking and crying that you’re too poor to go out drinking, but I tell them about the wide range of activities from sports to more sports their child can do to keep the bleakness at arm’s length.

As we walk to the Rose Garden for a photogenic finish, a meek-looking teen asks me, “What’s unique about UBC?” How do I answer that? The never-ending rain that soaks your clothes and your soul, that all the arts buildings are haunted or that once you make it down to Wreck Beach your legs will give out, you’ll never make it back out and you might as well die there.

With all my remaining energy I tell them, “The lifelong friends you’ll make and the prestigious degree you’ll have.” What bullshit.