It would be an understatement to say that UC Berkeley has a diverse student body. While our undergraduate population boasts a demographic of students from all over the world, the Clog decided to focus on those undergraduates who hail from each state in the United States. The students were asked a few simple questions about their specific state, and despite the fact that each student had a different story to tell, their stories displayed a great deal of state pride matched by an unconditional love for Berkeley — the type of love that only a Golden Bear would understand. Without further ado, here are the faces of 50 UC Berkeley undergraduate students who come from each of the 50 states in the United States.
1. Roanoke, Alabama – Cedric Dozier
What do you like most about Alabama? I love being a part of a “strong Southern culture.” We really pride ourselves on being upfront and caring people, regardless of anything. I also love that our song, “Sweet Home Alabama,” is recognized anywhere!
What do you dislike about Alabama? I dislike the fact that racism was something that nearly tore my state apart. What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Hmm, biggest difference would have to be the FOOD and PEOPLE! Here, the food is OK, but back home the food is absolutely MIND-BLOWING! The people here are nice, very outgoing actually, sort of similar to home, but we’re more welcoming, well, because we just are.
2. Anchorage, Alaska – Matt Ha
What do you like most about Alaska? It’s really nice being in a city/suburb while at the same time being surrounded by nature in all directions. I’m very outdoorsy, and the seasons provide for a wide variety of activities throughout the year. Plus, it’s always bright in the summer, so you can go on a hike or play a pickup game of soccer outside at midnight. Oh, and the Northern Lights come out in winter. Those are awesome.
What do you dislike about Alaska? Winters in Alaska can get very cold — coldest I remember is minus 20 (degrees) without windchill — and the days become very short. It was never fun going to school when the sun wasn’t even up yet at 6 in the morning, and coming out to see it setting at 3 p.m. Depression and seasonal affective disorder is actually a huge problem during the winter time due to the severe lack of sunlight.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Aside from the obvious contrast in weather, the most noticeable difference between Anchorage and Berkeley has definitely been the “crowded” feel Berkeley and the Bay Area has in general. Anchorage has an extremely low population density compared to the rest of the U.S. You could probably fit three or four of Berkeley’s cafes into one of Anchorage’s cafes — and a LOT more if you’re talking about parking spaces. However, Berkeley manages to provide a lot more seats in their restaurants and cafes, which I’ve found to be very convenient when looking for study spots. Also, when coming back to Anchorage, I always have to take a few days to get used to the occasional moose walking around public areas.
3. Phoenix, Arizona — Lizzy Goldstein
What do you like most about Arizona? I love the sunsets and the hikes!
What do you dislike about Arizona? There is a lack of seasons.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? There’s a major difference in the political views that people hold here and in Phoenix. Also, the weather is a lot different.
4. Little Rock, Arkansas — Ghassan Makhoul What do you like most about Arkansas? Arkansas is lush with temperate forests and carved by a tributary of the Mississippi River: the Arkansas River. Trees canopy the streets, and the horizon is always visible from pretty much any location. It’s pretty flat. My favorite thing about Arkansas has to be the summer nights. The days are humid to the point where perspiration is less productive than sticky. But the nights are lukewarm, with a more blanketing humidity. More importantly, in lieu of any city traffic or street smells, the air is fresh and piney. Occasionally, the mesquite aroma of a next-door barbecue will waft throughout the neighborhood, and whet your appetite like no Asian Ghetto could. The cacophony of cicadas layer with the flaps of bat wing, joined by the ruffle of windblown leaves and the creeks of their trees. This sanctuary is uniquely Arkansan.
What do you dislike about Arkansas? As an immigrant, I witnessed some of the more unsavory sides of Southern living. I couldn’t help but feel left out of the culture. I never really went hunting (or) fishing, and my family never hosted crawfish boils. As an Arab, being in Arkansas got to be a little difficult at times, especially in middle school. I remember concealing my Arab heritage, just to make my day-to-day a little easier.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest culture shock had to be the walk to school. In Arkansas, if you lock eyes with someone, you wave, smile and even greet them. Most interactions with strangers felt comfortably familiar. Partly, because the Little Rock bubble is tiny compared to the Bay Area, it was rough getting used to feeling like no one saw you and accepting that not everyone will take the time to entertain your presence.
5. San Marcos, California — Nathan Penn What do you like most about California? I love the consistently warm weather in southern California. It makes our beaches way more enjoyable, since the water is warmer, and you can lay in the sun for hours. Also, our food culture is incredible. During the summer, you can spend every day at the beach and follow it up with some of the best burritos you’ll ever have.
What do you dislike about California? I really have nothing bad to say about California. We literally have it all. What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? There is more going on in Berkeley than there is in San Marcos. Where I’m from is a much less urban environment, and there’s far less diversity. In Berkeley, I feel like things are always happening, and it’s easy to find ways to be a part of it.
6. Westminster, Colorado — Jeffrey Dinakar What do you like most about Colorado? The thing I like most about Colorado is watching sunsets over the Rocky Mountains in the summer.
What do you dislike about Colorado? The thing I like least about Colorado is having to shovel snow off the sidewalk/driveway and defrost your car’s windows during the winter.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference between Berkeley and Colorado has to be the culture. It’s interesting to have lived in two places where the majority viewpoints on major issues can be so drastically different.
7. Darien, Connecticut — Leah Hotchkiss What do you like most about Connecticut? Sometimes Connecticut is honestly too quaint for its own good … and I love it. It’s at its prime in the wintertime when it’s freezing cold and everyone is bundled up inside. All the old houses look perfect alongside each other, and everybody seems to know to use white lights and not colored lights so when you drive through town at dusk, everything glows gold. It looks like a storybook.
What do you dislike about Connecticut? What I dislike most about Connecticut is its reputation. The stereotypes about the WASP-y, country club-ridden Connecticut are largely true, but so many of the people who come from those communities aren’t like that at all.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? That’s a hard question. Literally everything in Berkeley is different from where I’m from. What I think I’ve noticed the most, though, is the lack of sarcasm. Not to say people aren’t funny here, because they are. But people in Berkeley are often incredibly earnest. They don’t hold back the way people do at home. Real talk is abundant here, which is completely refreshing but also very intense. It’s good, though. It shows you how much people think here.
8. Newark, Delaware — Diana Advani What do you like most about Delaware? I love the tax-free shopping!
What do you dislike about Delaware? It is not as environmentally conscious as it could be.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Berkeley is definitely more alive.
9. Jupiter, Florida — Kendra Jean What do you like most about Florida? There’s a lot to love about living in Florida. It’s a cheap tropical paradise! My town, specifically, was ranked the ninth-happiest seaside town in America by Coastal Living in 2012! I’d say my top three pros are being able to wear flip-flops year round, not ever having to worry about the ocean being too cold and being a short drive away from Harry Potter World — and the real Disney.
What do you dislike about Florida? I’d say my three cons are the humidity, the elderlies and the materialistic nature of Palm Beach. The humidity ruins any attempt at looking decent, the elderlies, or whom we call snowbirds, drive extremely slowly and overpopulate the state during the winter, and Lilly Pulitzer dresses, Jack Rogers and Vineyard Vines bowties are not at all comfortable.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Berkeley’s vibe is unlike any other. I love that I can walk around campus without caring about my appearance and receive as much respect as I would if I were trying to look the part. While Florida has some great people, nothing beats a town full of well-educated, driven individuals who respect you for who you are and what you have to say.
10. Johns Creek, Georgia — Sid Naik What do you like most about Georgia? I love the Southern cooking, general football hype, humid nights and getting to experience all four seasons.
What do you dislike about Georgia? I dislike every political position my state takes, the humid summer days, the pollen.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? There’s a lot more diversity around here, whether it be the food, people or ideas.
11. Kapaa (on the island of Kauai), Hawaii — Savanah Frisk What do you like most about Hawaii? This is going to sound cliche, but the best thing about growing up in Hawaii was the sense of “aloha.” You could always count on the community to help you out in a tight spot. As Aunty Joan, one of the staff members at my high school, used to say, “Always give Mahalo (Mahalo means “thanks” but she usually meant food) to the janitors, the security guards and the teachers of the world because they are the ones who will help you out in a pinch and ask for nothing in return.”
What do you dislike about Hawaii? The hardest thing about living on Kauai is also what draws so many people to the islands — the slow pace of everything. The speed limits are 55 (miles per hour) and under, it takes a month to mail anything, and the shops are closed by 8 p.m. When you are resisting the urge to lounge at the beach all day, the calm and laidback lifestyle often feels oppositional to productivity. I appreciate it now, especially when I get the chance to go home on break.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Berkeley and the state of California have more in common with Hawaii than you might think, but the social norms and historical culture of Hawaii are what I miss most. I miss taking my shoes off before entering someone’s home and slipping into pidgin English — even though I am horrible at it. I miss tinkering with the ukulele and roasting freshly caught boar or fish in my back yard. It sounds stereotypical, I know, but the Hawaiian culture is unique, and I am very grateful to have grown up with the values that are engrained within the daily customs. My friends here often jokingly point out my colloquial usage of the words “slipper” and “mainland” as I retain some of the identity that goes along with being raised in Hawaii.
12. Orofino, Idaho — Anna Grimaldo What do you like most about Idaho? My favorite thing about Idaho is how close you are to nature. I live in northern Idaho, so if you ever get bored or need some reflection time, you can just go exploring.
What do you dislike about Idaho? I don’t really dislike anything in particular, but there are a lot of small towns in Idaho where not a lot happens. So it can sometimes be hard to find something to do and news — and gossip — tends to travel fast.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference between Berkeley and Orofino is how much more diverse it is. I feel like I’m always busy now since there’s a lot of new things (like food!) for me to try here at Berkeley. I don’t really have to try as hard to find an adventure.
13. Chicago, Illinois — Tara Singh
What do you like most about Illinois? Contrary to popular belief, one of the things that I love and miss about Illinois is our winters. My favorite memories were made during snowstorms when our homes and cars were so snowed in that life would slow down for a bit. People were forced to forget about work and school for a day or so because the weather did not allow it.
What do you dislike about Illinois? One of the things I dislike most about Chicago is its deeply rooted history of segregation that continues to plague the city. This was extremely visible to me even as a kid. These boundaries that keep people separated need to be alleviated.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference between Northern California and the Midwest is the hills. The topography of the Bay Area was definitely hard to get used to, but the views are absolutely incredible.
14. Carmel, Indiana — Rossie Nho What do you like most about Indiana? I love how my state has a lot of quirky facts about itself and the people who live there that really make us unique from the rest of the states — like the fact that people who live in Indiana are called Hoosiers.
What do you dislike most about your state? Most of my state is pretty suburban, meaning there’s nothing really new to do most of the time.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The atmosphere and the vibe that the people give is very different. Berkeley is really open and diverse and emphasizes being different, but everything is a little more blended in where I’m from.
15. Johnston, Iowa — Vaibhav Srikaran What do you like most about Iowa? I love the sense of homey-ness and unknowingness at once. Everything has a sense of familiarity, and you get to see people you know every time you go out. Tied to that homey-ness is a sense of unknowingness. You always find something different when you roam around. There are just a lot of quirky things Iowa has that people outside of the state just don’t know about.
What do you dislike about Iowa? I really dislike the stereotypes Iowa has accrued as a boring state. The assumption there is nothing to do just because Iowa doesn’t have a sprawling metropolis like a lot of states doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. People in Iowa end up doing much of the same things people everywhere do without losing out on too much. I might be biased since I lived close to Des Moines, which is a relatively large city — but from an outside perspective is viewed as small.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? By far, the weather is the biggest difference. Berkeley is at this beautiful 50 to 70 degree happy medium a good portion of the year with the occasional sprinkle and shower. Coming from Iowa, I face -30 to 110 degrees annually with snow and sleet thrown in there. I don’t know if I prefer the extremes or Berkeley’s moderation, but I do know that it is snowing back home right now and that is something I do miss.
16. Overland Park, Kansas — Goldia Kiteck What do you like most about Kansas? The barbecue!! KC is known for its barbecue, and there’s nothing like it here. Also, the people. I mean, most of my friends stayed in the Midwest, so they visit home much more than I do. One other thing is that there are actually seasons there, and I miss the changing weather. There’s not really any snow here.
What do you dislike about Kansas? Maybe my biggest dislike is how conservative Kansas is, both socially and politically. Berkeley is so much more progressive in the way people think and act. Here, I can be more expressive with my clothes/ideas/beliefs, while at home, everything is just a little more reserved. There’s more universal respect for different types of people here, which I love. There’s a sense of greater equality. On a less serious note: I also dislike the Kansas weather. It’s a love/hate relationship. It changes more often than here and usually to a greater extreme.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The culture plus the greater diversity. The Bay Area is so much more diverse than KC just because it brings people together from around the world. Kansas isn’t the same international hub. Again, too, is the weather. It’s actually perfect here. Kansas? Not so much.
17. Pewee Valley, Kentucky — Torin Kalberg What do you like most about Kentucky? What I like most is a three-way tie between college basketball, the seasons and topnotch barbecue.
What do you dislike about Kentucky? The small amount of intolerant and uninformed people that give Kentucky a bad name.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference would be the disposition of the people. Kentuckians make eye contact and say hello when you pass by. It always seems like everyone has time for you and random conversations are welcomed. Here, at Berkeley, people seem more rushed and focused.
18. New Orleans, Louisiana — Casey Harch What do you like most about Louisiana? There are more festivals than days in the year, so I’m exposed to an array of multicultural food and music.
What do you dislike most about Louisiana? I can’t go on a hike to watch the sunset.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? In Berkeley, I change clothes several times a day because of the large temperature range.
19. Cumberland, Maine — Gwynn Zambello What do you like most about Maine? My favorite part about my state is how beautiful and unspoiled it is. Even in the urban and suburban areas, you don’t have to go more than 10 minutes to get to a forest or river, so there are basically unlimited options for outdoor activities.
What do you dislike about Maine? One thing I don’t like about it is that, other than outdoor activities, there is not a lot to do. There aren’t great food options, other than seafood. There aren’t many concerts, and in general, there are just less options for things to do.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference between Berkeley and Maine is that while Maine is relaxing, Berkeley is exciting! There is much more going on here, and career and intern opportunities are seemingly limitless compared to Maine. So, in general, I would say Berkeley just has a lot more opportunities.
20. Bethesda, Maryland — Juelia Fong What do you like most about Maryland? What I enjoy most is Maryland Blue Crabs, being within driving distance of five different states and yearlong lacrosse. We also get to experience every season during the year. And being so close to DC, Maryland is also known for being very progressive and educated on issues.
What do you dislike about Maryland? I don’t like Maryland’s beaches. Ocean City, Maryland, doesn’t compare to California’s beaches. Also, traffic on the DC beltway is insane.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? In Maryland, we put Old Bay on everything! And also, a lot of us like country music. Since I moved to California, I miss Christmas in Maryland and the snowy winters the most.
21. Winchester, Massachusetts — Saavan Patel What do you like most about Massachusetts? I like the history and culture associated with the old Northeast. It’s pretty cool being around some of the oldest houses and monuments in the country and where our nation was born.
What do you dislike most about Massachusetts? I’d say I probably dislike the weather the most. It’s either cold and snowing or hot and humid, with a few periods of brief nice weather in between. Although I do miss the seasons. We don’t really have seasons here.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? I think the biggest difference is probably the people I meet. Everyone there is in a rush to go somewhere, do something and people here are a lot more relaxed. I had an interviewer make fun of me for dressing up too much for my interview!
22. Kalamazoo, Michigan — Adam Mayer What do you like most about Michigan? I love that it’s a tight-knit community where everyone knows each other — and each other’s parents. When I’m not home, I really miss all of my family-friends.
What do you dislike about Michigan? There’s no In-N-Out!
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The majority of West Michigan is of German/Dutch descent. The diversity of the community in Berkeley is refreshing and welcoming of differences in a way I hadn’t experienced before.
23. Rochester, Minnesota — Molly Barlow What do you like most about Minnesota? There are so many things that I love about my state — it’s hard to pick just one! I think what really stands out to me, though, is how content Minnesotans are with life. There’s a feeling of happiness amongst people there, like they’ve got a sense of fulfillment and are really grateful and happy with what they have. There’s less complaining as in other states and less of a sense of competition and need to always be one-upping others. People seem to find joy in simpler things — in staying home with the family or mowing their sprawling lawns or taking the boat out on the lake. I love going home to that feeling, and it always reminds me to be content with and grateful for all that is in my life.
What do you dislike about Minnesota? What I don’t like about my state is the sense of isolation. This isolation can be physical. I sometimes dislike being so landlocked, far from the ocean or a mountain range. And it can be more abstract. Sometimes you feel like you’re in a bubble, and the interests, concerns and news of other parts of the country are slow to arrive or affect the state.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? I think the biggest difference is the people. People in Berkeley are a little more wild, more outspoken and get far more worked up about things than Minnesotans. Besides that, there’s the fact that Berkeley is seriously lacking in its offering of deep-fat-fried foods!
24. Greenville, Mississippi — Austin Li What do you like most about Mississippi? I like the peace and quiet and Southern food the most.
What do you dislike about Mississippi? I dislike when conservatives become unreasonable and don’t listen to other opinions, but that’s just part of the culture.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Berkeley has so many more Asians than I am used to.
25. Carthage, Missouri — Anne Flanigan What do you like most about Missouri? I love getting all four seasons, the small-town feel of the state and the fact that when people ask how you are, they genuinely want you to tell them.
What do you dislike about Missouri? It’s a long way to either coast.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? I’m from a very small, conservative town, so I’d have to say the voicing of opinions that are all so drastically different from each other is new.
26. Missoula, Montana — Chloe Autio What do you like most about Montana? What I like most is the feeling of community and the people. Because we have a relatively smaller population, it seems like there is always someone you know. You feel pretty connected and supported by a lot of people. I feel like Montanans truly understand the simplicity of just being kind.
What do you dislike about Montana? The small population is both a blessing and a curse! Maybe the fact that Montana is not well known enough to be distinguishable from a province in Canada.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? I could mention a lot of things, but I think the biggest difference between Berkeley and Montana would be the ethnic diversity —where people are from and their stories!
27. Omaha, Nebraska — Eva Phillips What do you like most about Nebraska? What I love most about Nebraska is how strange it is. It’s a state mostly composed of beautiful rolling fields and small farming towns, and it’s famous for its steak and football, yet you have a city like Omaha, which is a really cool pocket of culture. There’s a thriving art scene and a really active music scene — communities you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in the middle of the Midwest.
What do you dislike about Nebraska? What I dislike most about Nebraska is how conservative and behind it is in terms of political and social change. After going home for Thanksgiving, I’ve realized how much we take for granted regarding how progressive Berkeley is.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference, like I said, is the progressive culture you find in Berkeley. Here, it feels like everyone is doing their own thing. They’re more open to new possibilities and ideas, and people seem to have a heightened sense of awareness. Back home, it feels very different, more static.
28. Las Vegas, Nevada — Ben Clemens
What do you like most about Nevada? My favorite thing about my home is the proximity to very beautiful nature sites like Red Rock and the Grand Canyon. They aren’t Yosemite or Yellowstone, but they’re unique and awesome to me. I love running outdoors and once spent over five hours in the winter running 30 miles across the desert.
What do you dislike about Nevada? My least favorite thing is the lack of sustainable development of the land that holds no ecological significance. Something like 70 percent of Nevada is just empty federally owned land that could be used for energy production or something useful.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? I’d say the biggest difference between Berkeley and home — aside from the lack of neon signs and “performers” — is the immense creative drive and entrepreneurial spirit fostered by the campus. Everyone is trying to do something, and almost everyone is interested or willing to contribute. I’ve never seen such an attitude on this scale, but Northern California certainly holds true to its reputation, and I love being up here.
29. Bedford, New Hampshire — Zack Grimmett What do you like most about New Hampshire? The best thing about New England is the skiing, outside of the wide variety of shrubbery.
What do you dislike about New Hampshire? The tropical weather patterns. Nah, it’s pretty damn cold. That’s why I’m here.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Ethnic diversity, honestly. It’s cliche, but it’s also refreshing to meet people from so many different backgrounds.
30. Boonton Township, New Jersey — Mallory Foster What do you like most about New Jersey? I love New Jersey because it has everything — cities and suburbs, amazing beaches, huge farm areas — and it is so close to the greatest city in the world.
What do you dislike about New Jersey? The thing I dislike most about New Jersey is actually the way other states view us. I love to tell people that the “Jersey Shore” actually only shows one specific town — and all the stars aren’t from NJ! The real Jersey Shore actually consists of many gorgeous and classy towns! People should not make generalizations about a whole state based on stereotypes or reality TV.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? My hometown was extremely small and secluded — we called it “a bubble.” I think the biggest difference between Berkeley and my small town in New Jersey is the focus on sustainability. At home, everyone uses nonreusable plastic water bottles daily and has no clue what composting is. At Berkeley, if you are seen buying a Poland Spring at GBC, you are basically shamed!
31. Santa Fe, New Mexico — Naomi Movshovich What do you like most about New Mexico? Hatch green chile! It’s the greatest food ever! You can put it in anything — green chile mashed potatoes, green chile apple pie, green chile brownies, green chile cheese burgers. It makes everything taste amazing!
What do you dislike about New Mexico? There’s kind of nothing to do, unless you really like the outdoors.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? There’s always something going on in Berkeley. I love how on any given night, you can find a million things to do and meet so many interesting, exciting people!
32. Ossining, New York — Maria Walsh-Regotti What do you like most about New York? What I like most about my state is the versatility in the environments that exist. One day you can go kayaking down the Hudson River, the next go for a walk along a nature preserve and yet another day spend the day walking down the crowded, brightly lit streets of Times Square.
What do you dislike about New York? What I dislike most about my state is the inequality that exists. New York is home to some of the wealthiest companies and private families, but still many residents are living in poverty.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? One of the biggest differences between Berkeley and New York is probably the weather. In Berkeley it has barely gotten below the mid-60s, while back at home has already had days in the mid-20s.
33. Charlotte, North Carolina — Andrew Lindh What do you like most about North Carolina? Bojangles and Waffle House everywhere!
What do you dislike about North Carolina? It’s super boring, and nothing is ever going on.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The political incorrectness you find in North Carolina would absolutely horrify the average Berkeley resident.
34. Fargo, North Dakota — Andy Ficek What do you like most about North Dakota? Definitely the people! You will be hard-pressed to find friendlier people anywhere in the world. We don’t have much to do in North Dakota, as many would probably guess, so we really have to seek out others and be social to make things fun.
What do you dislike about North Dakota? While I do love grass, wheat and plains as much as the next guy, a little more variety in our scenery wouldn’t hurt. Coming to California, I can’t help but feel a little jealous that most people are only a few hours from the Pacific or the mountains.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The political culture here is really different. In North Dakota, once our election season is over, tension over state political issues really dies down. In Berkeley, there’s no off season. People are always fighting to change things.
35. Cincinnati, Ohio — Ginger Engel What do you like most about Ohio? Cincinnati is interesting because it’s a pretty urban area, but if you drive 45 minutes north or south, you end up in long stretches of farmland. The mixture of urban and rural is what I like most about where I live. Growing up, I got to experience outdoorsy activities like camping and fishing, but I also got to go to eclectic restaurants and music festivals. The city itself has a lot of quirky characteristics because of all of the different types of people.
What do you dislike about Ohio? There aren’t many things that I dislike about Ohio. I have only ever lived in Cincinnati, but I think that there are other areas of Ohio that are way more secluded and, therefore, quite boring. Luckily, Ohio isn’t that big, and it’s pretty centrally located, so if you live in a more rural area, you can drive to a major city in no time, and you can get to other places — such as Chicago or Tennessee — in just a couple of hours.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The people in Ohio are way different from the people in Berkeley. People in Ohio are more traditional. Many families have been in the same place for generations. This leads to regions with deep-rooted traditions and characteristics. For example, my high school has been around for over 200 years, and since the very beginning the senior class has always worn white dresses and suits to graduation, and the girls have always carried a red rose. In Berkeley, most of the people that I meet are from somewhere else, or their families have only been in California for maybe a couple generations. That creates a diversity that doesn’t really exist in Ohio.
36. Norman, Oklahoma — Clayton Kinsey What do you like most about Oklahoma? I love the fact that when I go home, I get to see my family and friends. I personally believe that the people in your life are extremely important, and Oklahoma happens to be where the majority of mine are.
What do you dislike about Oklahoma? The weather. Oklahoma is well known for tornadoes, which are insanely scary things, but the weather is pretty brutal there. Honestly, you never know if it’s going to be a nice sunny day or an extremely cold day with wind that cuts to the bone. One day during winter, you could get a few inches of snow, and the next it could be 50 degrees with the sun shining. Point being made, people that live in Oklahoma get to experience a little bit of everything, weather-wise.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? There are plenty of differences between Oklahoma and Berkeley, California. First off, Oklahoma has no public transportation system even comparable to the BART or bus systems around Berkeley/San Francisco. A BART system in the Oklahoma City metro area would be an incredible thing and make transportation cheaper for a great amount of people. That being said, Oklahoma traffic is nothing compared to California traffic. Another notable difference is how diverse the people and cultures are here in the Berkeley area. On a lighter note, Oklahoma doesn’t really have boba, and fast food chains are everywhere. I definitely eat healthier here in Berkeley compared to back home. Lastly, Oklahoma has a much cheaper standard of living than Berkeley or California in general.
37. La Pine, Oregon — Ashlee Horn What do you like most about Oregon? I love that my state is so beautiful. My favorite thing about Oregon is the fresh air. There are so many places to surround oneself in nature. We have some of the most beautiful and green places to go hiking, biking, camping, rafting, fishing, skiing and so much more.
What do you dislike about Oregon? Some years, it snows almost every month.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference between Berkeley and La Pine is the size. La Pine — including outlying areas — only has about 6,000 people. It was a really interesting adjustment moving from a small town to a city.
38. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — Ashwin Iyengar What do you like most about Pennsylvania? I like Pennsylvania because it’s situated in the Northeast, which I’m a big fan of because it’s close to very exciting and big cities like New York, Philly, Boston, etc. Also, Pennsylvania has very beautiful state parks, and lots of nice forestry. It’s also a safe haven for the Amish, who live peacefully in Pennsylvania and make exceptional furniture.
What do you dislike about Pennsylvania? I dislike the fact that most of Pennsylvania is pretty monotone and boring, save the two big cities — Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Most of Pennsylvania is rural farmland or drab suburbia, which isn’t inherenly bad, but I think the state could benefit in many ways from a bit more urban concentration. Also, I really hate the fracking situation in Marcellus Shale, and I think the state is doing itself a huge disservice by continuing to frack. I’m legitimately scared of drinking frack water when I go home!
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Honestly Pittsburgh and Berkeley feel very similar in many ways, especially with regards to size, diversity and general atmosphere. The biggest difference, besides the lack of cold weather here — which, cliched as it is, is strikingly different — is probably the type of people you encounter. Pittsburgh has an archetypal “yinzer“, which is just a certain kind of person who’s from Pittsburgh and proud of it, in every sense of the word. You don’t get that many die-hard Berkeley loyalists here. Click here and skip to 2:20 for the perfect Pittsburgh accent!
39. Barrington, Rhode Island — Julia Jackson What do you like most about Rhode Island? Rhode Island has real seasons!
What do you dislike about Rhode Island? People expect me to be on time.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? People are a lot more laid back here.
40. Greenville, South Carolina — MK Whelan What do you like most about South Carolina? South Carolina is absolutely beautiful. It was an incredible place to grow up. I don’t think I can name just one thing that I love most about it. I love the people. They are so welcoming and friendly. All of my friends and family friends are so supportive of me even as I am across the nation. It’s wonderful having that kind of community support. And of course, I love the food. Southern food is so comforting and definitely horrible for you, but worth it every time. I think I just love the simplicity of living in the South. It’s tight-knit, quaint and old fashioned. There’s beautiful thunderstorms and hot, humid summers with fireflies at night. It’s like living in a movie.
What do you dislike about South Carolina? I think I appreciate South Carolina more now that I no longer live there year-round, so I’m not sure that I can think of something tangible that I dislike. If I had to choose something, South Carolina lacks any huge metropolitan areas, and I think this can cause for a lack of the excitement, allure or diversity that large cities can bring. As a result, there’s definitely not the high-paced lifestyle in South Carolina, and you have to travel to Charlotte or Atlanta — both two hours — for the closest “city feel.”
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? There are a million differences between Berkeley and South Carolina, big and small. In my experience, I have found that the environment in Berkeley is more diverse and exciting. Berkeley has really given me a new perspective on life, and I have found the change from South Carolina to Berkeley to be truly enriching!
41. Mitchell, South Dakota — Austen Iverson What do you like most about South Dakota? The thing I like most about my state is you never have to wait for people. Here is a constant struggle in traffic, lines and “hurry-up-and-wait” scenarios.
What do you dislike about South Dakota? The thing I most dislike is the months between January and March. It’s a barren, frozen desert. The winter is tough.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? No one wants to go deer hunting this weekend!
42. Memphis, Tennessee — Will Thinnes What do you like most about Tennessee? Tennessee — or really Memphis, rather — is a hub of culture and diversity. From the great music industry to the history of the civil rights movement, Tennessee has seen it all!
What do you dislike about Tennessee? I dislike the fact that some aspects of Tennessee are stuck in the early 20th century in terms of racial “segregation.” There are huge socioeconomic gaps, and, from the most recent election, it is now extremely hard to get an abortion in Tennessee, and there are still restrictions being added to make it even harder.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Berkeley is MUCH more liberal than Tennessee. Also, Berkeley is much more open-minded. It’s comforting to know that I can hold hands with another male here and it’s considered normal, while in Tennessee, children and their parents will glare at you for the same.
43. Dallas, Texas — Karis Dodd What do you like most about Texas? Probably the food, if I’m being quite honest. There’s no queso here, which I think is a shame. Also, back home you can find old fashioned Dr Pepper and really good sweet tea pretty much anywhere. Also, there’s really good fried chicken. The food is literally what I look forward to most when going home.
What do you dislike about Texas? The majority culture is a very conservative and religious one that I don’t subscribe to. Also, it gets to be 110 degrees in the summer, and I’m not about it.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Definitely the culture, as I mentioned in the last question. Berkeley is known for being liberal and promoting free thinking, which is essentially why I came here — to experience a culture that I identify with more. Also, the lack of queso.
44. Salt Lake City, Utah — Mack Langvardt What do you like most about Utah? The mountains! I live 20 minutes from some of the best skiing in the country, and the mountains make for gorgeous hiking and views even when it’s not ski season.
What do you dislike about Utah? The religious influence. Most stores are closed all day Sunday, the alcohol laws are extremely strict, and there is a lot of social division caused by religion.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Besides the weather — Utah actually has seasons — there is definitely a pretty big difference in the social and political views. Salt Lake City is pretty varied, but Utah as a whole is mostly conservative, so coming to Berkeley and experiencing the opposite mass of views has been interesting.
45. Williston, Vermont — Kate Meyer What do you like most about Vermont? My favorite thing about my state is the down-to-earth people and all the nature I get to live around. Flying back home is awesome because when you look out the windows as you land you just see sprawling green and farmlands and the huge beautiful lake that separates Vermont and New York called Lake Champlain.
What do you dislike about Vermont? I really don’t have a lot of bad things to say about Vermont. I’m really grateful for my upbringing there, but the one thing Vermont certainly lacks is diversity. I sometimes wish I had been exposed to a greater variety of backgrounds and people from all walks of life as I grew up in Vermont.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference between Berkeley and Vermont — other than the weather — has to be the population density. I’m really not used to living in an urban setting, and it’s always a breath of fresh air when I get to go home and fly out of the busy crowded city back to my home in the forest! And while Berkeley is a great break from long, frigid winters, I really do miss snow.
46. Stafford, Virginia — Lucas Artze What do you like most about Virginia? I guess what I like the most would be the natural environment. There are rivers, lakes (and) forests and you can find all kinds of animals and it’s all really beautiful.
What do you dislike about Virginia? What I dislike the most would probably be the gang violence.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference between there and Berkeley is probably the food. We have Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s and Taco Bell in Stafford and pretty much nothing else.
47. Bellevue, Washington — Ben Smith What do you like most about Washington? The best part of Washington is definitely the summers. It’s always sunny (and) warm, and everything’s green.
What do you dislike about Washington? The worst thing is once summer is over, it gets dark and cloudy most days. The sun sets close to 4 (p.m.) some days, and it’s cloudy constantly.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference is the people. Everyone here is so intense, whether it be the people that are super passionate about what they’re studying and working on or, lately, the people protesting for human rights.
48. Morgantown, West Virginia — Hansen Chang What do you like most about West Virginia? The culture. You’ll never find a place where everyone is so passionate about the little things that make life happy.
What do you dislike about West Virginia? Bad weather and rugged mountains don’t mix well. If you live away from the center of town, you’ll get hit by constant power outages due to the annual floods and snowstorms.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? Berkeley is such a diverse campus. As much as I love West Virginia, I really appreciate this opportunity to meet people from all kinds of backgrounds and origins. Also, I have yet to see a celebratory couch burning, but that’s probably a good thing.
49. Middleton, Wisconsin — Madeline Zdeblick What do you like most about Wisconsin? I love the small-town feel. Life is very simple — as long as we have cheese and beer, no one’s really complaining!
What do you dislike about Wisconsin? The small-town feel, though, is a double edged sword. I was one of few people I knew that left the Midwest. It’s really easy to live in a bubble and have no curiosity about what’s outside of your state. People kind of have a small worldview back home.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference is the weather — 100 percent. We might not have earthquakes, but we have cold days at -40 degrees.
50. Laramie, Wyoming — Chris Huang What do you like most about Wyoming? There aren’t a lot of people, so the thing I like most about it is the people and how close we are to each other.
What do you dislike about Wyoming? There isn’t too much to dislike about Wyoming, except for the cold weather, which can sometimes get to -20 degrees.
What is the biggest difference between where you’re from and Berkeley? The biggest difference between Berkeley and Laramie is the amount of people and the level of diversity. You definitely can’t get this level of diversity just because there aren’t as many people.
Image Sources: Layla Mazdyansi/Staff, Kevin Hutchinson under Creative Commons.
Contact Summer Langton at [email protected].