Amidst the thousands of students at the ANU, there remain a select few who command an eclectic combination of awe and pity. These are the Big Names on Campus (acronym: BNOC), the people whom everyone kind of knows. Many will run away at the first sighting of a BNOC (in fear of them asking you to join yet another student organisation); others, however, are intrigued by them, baffled by how somebody can have achieved so much infamy in the trifling absurdities of student life.
Would you like to become a BNOC? The choice is not an easy one, and it comes with it a host of perils (mostly in the form of reactions: see the above paragraph). But if you are certain of your purpose, then read on, because this is the guide for you:
Step 1: Find the BNOC Type For You.
Recognise that there are a number of different types of BNOC that you can be. Not everybody who is famous is involved in student politics. For example, many ex-Woroni editors have been BNOCs, despite no involvement with ANUSA whatsoever. Find the niche you want to build infamy in. Some suggestions (apart from Woroni) include being made a senior member of a hall or residence, becoming part of the Student Housing Co-Op, joining debating/Model UN, becoming involved in theatre, or trolling Stalkerspace.
Step 2: Suck Up or Bulk Up (Your Resume).
To find true BNOC status, you must first gain the acceptance of the other BNOCs. But to gain the acceptance of other BNOCs, you need to stand out to them at some level; after all, why should they pass their BNOC status on to you, of all the thousands of ANU undergrads? A classic way of getting BNOC status, therefore, is to put yourself out there, and to be keen to get involved in anything and everything, no matter how degrading. Alternatively, if you suck at packing up and cleaning, just attend anything and everything. For some reason, people confuse ubiquity with competence; trust me, I can speak from personal experience.
Step 3: Build a Cult Around You.
If you are the kind of person who wants to become a BNOC, this is probably not a particularly challenging or difficult thing to do. Basically, once you’ve started to make it into the BNOC circles, you want to find ways of inflating your profile. Get your friends to start writing about you in Woroni articles. Make viral videos and photos, and get friends to post them on Stalkerspace. Tell your friends to like things that you upload and post. The beauty of Facebook Comment/Like Culture is that people are massive bandwagoners: as soon as they perceive others seeing you as a “thing”, they’ll all join in on believing. (I told you this was a guide to “How To Sell Your Soul”)
Step 4: Make Fun Of Yourself.
This is probably counter-intuitive, but it kind of feeds into step 3. Basically, the more in-jokes you have about yourself, or the more you seem to have the confidence to draw attention to your past silliness, the more people seem to find you endearing and prominent. This tactic is particularly favoured by older BNOCs, who (in the process of fading away) will continually make desperate jokes about how they are still relevant.
Step 5: Never Graduate.
Want to know how somebody has so many “friends”? It’s because they’ve just stuck around for so long that, combined with steps 1-4, there’s no way of not knowing them. Also, taking seven years to complete an Arts/Science degree will create more jokes for you to make about yourself, feeding directly into Step 4 again. Talk about efficiency.
There are obviously more components to the mystical BNOC formula, but for the young Padawans out there, this is a clear way to start. Godspeed; and remember, if you never become a BNOC, it’s still okay. At least you’ll still have self-respect.