This Friday marks Spring Sing, one of UCLA’s most celebrated traditions and a yearly reminder that you are inadequate and won’t go far in life. As Pauley Pavilion fills with Bruins for the massive singing, dancing, and all-around performance competition, you are kindly made aware of the fact that you possess no talents, and in contrast to your peers, you are abysmally unskilled.
As any UCLA student who has ever walked by a campus tour group knows, Spring Sing is where famous singers such as Sara Bareilles and Maroon 5 got their first tastes of fame and recognition. Think of this as you sit in the audience, about to graduate, with no job and no prospects.
But not everyone can sing, right? That’s what you keep telling yourself to brush off the initial feelings of failure that have begun to set in as the first few performers awe the audience with their artistry.
Sure they can sing, but are they funny? Can they fill a lull in conversation at a party like you can? Can they make a dinner with the roommates’ parents a knee slapper for all? You sit back in your seat a little, smugly thinking about your brunch last week with JoJo’s parents at Napa Valley Grille.
Then you watch the first Company skit.
Suddenly your ability to make JoJo’s mom – a self-described middle-aged yoga addict from Arizona – laugh doesn’t seem to stack up. These guys are the real jokesters. These are the ones who will end up writing for South Park or starring on Saturday Night Live. In comparison you’re chopped liver.
The existential dread has really settled in at this point. But remember, this event is supposed to be fun! This event is a celebrated Bruin tradition! As you sink lower into your seat, Gene Block’s voice blaring over the stereo, you try to remain calm.
The next few acts fly by, with NSU Modern reinforcing your belief that you have no place, and have never had a place, on the dance floor. This is a fact you’ve known since your Bat Mitzvah, when Bobby Gorman made fun of you for your attempt at a dougie, but somehow always gets conveniently pushed to the back of your mind when the third shot kicks in at parties.
The Greek life skit brings you hope: they seem about as talentless as you. But that bar is set too low for comfort. As they tromp around the stage, reenacting some scene from High School Musical, you can’t help but think, is this is what I’ve come to? Seeking validation in Greek life? It can’t get much more rock bottom than that. Oh wait that was most of your freshman year.
As the lights flood the stadium, and the Greeks exit the stage, you take comfort in the fact that your incompetence will never be displayed so publicly. Through eloquently written cover letters and fancy looking LinkedIn photos, you can easily mask your ineptitude from the real world. Or at least that’s what you convince yourself. You settle into your seat once more, and Gene’s voice fills your naive, innocent ears, drowning out any lingering existential dread. You love Spring Sing! Can’t wait for next year.
Written by Julia McCarthy