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3 signs you might be a Shadow Carl (and what to do if you are one)

Shadow Carls: We all know them (or not, as the case may be), but do we really know if we are them?

If you are concerned that you may be a Shadow Carl, here are some questions to consider:

Have you spent time in your room recently?

 Like, at all. As in, have you entered it? Shadow Carls often find themselves in their dorms. To avoid being a Shadow Carl, make sure you never go into your dorm room. 

Are you ever by yourself? 

Scheduling time to hang out with your friends is essential to avoiding becoming a Shadow Carl. If you fail to make sure a friend is in your dorm room to greet you when you wake up, spend the whole day with you, and wait until you’re asleep to leave, you’re probably spending too much time by yourself and are becoming a Shadow Carl.  

Do you have time to attend all your clubs? 

That probably means you didn’t join enough clubs. Shadow Carls are known for not being seen outside of class. If you’re not going to multiple club meetings and leaving each one early so you’re not late for the next one while looking at your calendar and loudly noticing that you’re sooo overbooked and you just have to go and you’re so sorry to leave early after arriving late, you’re at dangerous risk of becoming a Shadow Carl. After all, do you really exist outside of class if you’re not rushing from club to club?

If you said yes to any or all of these questions, it is possible that you have become a Shadow Carl. But fret not! This is a problem you can solve! Try these helpful tips to get involved on campus and meet some new people: 

Keep your window open and loudly screech at all passersby.* This is the mating call of a true Carl, and potential friends will screech in response to you. Once your screech has been answered, you and the passerby are now best friends and will spend every moment together.

Club meetings often occur in classrooms. Make sure you don’t miss any club meetings by wandering from classroom to classroom every possible chance you have when you’re not in class. When you see people in a classroom, tell them how excited you are to have been elected President of the Board of this club—this makes you seem like you fit in and have been there the whole time, and it shows your commitment.**

Avoid your room at all costs. Sleep on the Bald Spot instead to show that you are truly committed to being a part of campus. Move all your stuff to the Bald Spot too.*** If anyone even mentions that you have a dorm room (or that dorms exist at all, if you want to be extra cautious), cover your ears and scream to show that you wouldn’t even consider spending time there.

When you are asleep, you are disengaged from campus life. Do not sleep. Ever. Or, if needed, aim to take 1 to 2 hour naps once a week or so (at most, and only if absolutely unavoidable).

To minimize time spent travelling (since that’s time you could otherwise be in club meetings), instead of walking around campus, sprint everywhere.****

And that’s it! With those 5 easy, doable steps, you can guarantee that your days as a Shadow Carl are over!

*For optimal screeching results, keep in mind that the vibe most likely to have positive results is that of nails on a chalkboard.

**In the case that it is a class you’ve walked into and not a club, that’s okay, it just means you’re the professor now, and professors can’t be Shadow Carls.

***Be sure to spread your belongings out across the entire Bald Spot rather than making a neat pile because people with friends and/or social lives don’t have time to be neat, now do they?

****For added effect, loudly play music relevant to your hurrying – The Carletonian suggests “The Letter” from A Year with Frog and Toad (this is also a generally an excellent song that non Shadow Carls frequently play at socials).

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About the Contributor
Becky Reinhold
Becky Reinhold, Editor in Chief
I'm a junior Philosophy major, and I can usually be found in the basement of Anderson or wandering around Northfield. I like thunderstorms and writing articles around 2am. Becky was previously Managing Editor, Viewpoint Editor, and Design Editor.

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