New study break: UCLA students turn to memes
A Facebook page created on Nov. 22 has become a platform for students to post memes about everything from Chancellor Gene Block to Bruin Plate culture. (UCLA Memes for Sick AF Tweens)
By Lindsay Weinberg
Dec. 4, 2016 5:34 p.m.
Students’ latest method of procrastinating for finals is sharing UCLA-related memes.
The “UCLA Memes for Sick AF Tweens” Facebook page has gained about 8,000 group members since its creation on Nov. 22. Students have posted comedic memes about finals, dining hall culture, the UCLA hills, Chancellor Gene Block and Lonzo Ball’s shushing gesture. Other posts reference the “UC Berkeley Memes for Edgy Teens” page.
Eric Qu created the page after his friend and now co-administrator Allen Wu showed him the UC Berkeley meme page. Qu, a third-year aerospace engineering student, said he realized the original “UCLA Memes” Facebook page was not as active as Berkeley’s pages, so he formed the new UCLA Memes for Sick AF Tweens page. Qu saved up some memes and was planning to post one meme each day, so he shared one about Block and invited his friends to the page.
“I had no idea when I made it that it would just explode,” Qu said.
One of two page moderators, Alvin Vuong’s friends made up about half of the group’s membership for the first three days, said Vuong, a fourth-year computer science student.
Gradually more people joined, and membership and activity spiked Thursday when second-year political science and economics student Ethan Dodd posted to express his frustration with South Campus students bashing North Campus students through memes. While running a fever at 5 a.m., Dodd vented his annoyance at the page, which he said he initially didn’t find very funny.
Students then created memes about Dodd’s long-winded post, Qu and Vuong said. Dodd excluded punctuation from his post to fit the culture of the page, Dodd said.
“I purposefully did write it in kind of a way to sort of make it a little more over-the-top eccentric,” Dodd said.
The teasing memes seemed a little mean-spirited at first, Dodd said, but got kinder as it became more popular. He said the post will be something funny to look back on.
“I’m not really that bothered by it,” Dodd said. “It just became a buzzword itself … and then it just caught fire and everyone was just posting it everywhere to be part of the trend.”
Qu and Vuong said their favorite meme is also the page’s most-liked meme, which claims the Husky dogs that frequently visit Bruin Walk are a more iconic duo than Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
Nazaneen Banayan posted six memes to the page as of Sunday afternoon, including one about an essay on white privilege. The fourth-year gender studies student began posting memes she found online to the UCLA Transfer Students page in 2015, and her hobby spread to sharing more memes on other pages like UCLA Memes for Sick AF Tweens.
“I have pretty much my whole phone filled with memes,” Banayan said. “I’ve been trying to find a way to procrastinate on finals. I know it’s not a good idea.”
Memes allow students to see similarities that their peers are going through, and the jokes are both a distraction and a stress reliever during finals, Banayan said.
The meme page is an outlet for students’ problems with college life, Vuong said.
Qu said he did not intend to lower students’ GPAs by coinciding the page’s creation with finals, adding he hopes students still do well on their exams.
“It was both a blessing and a curse,” Qu said. “Can’t stop it now.”