April is here. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the day we wave this semester goodbye draws excitingly close. We find ourselves daydreaming about the coming months — months to be spent doing the complete opposite of what our daily regimens here at UC Berkeley demand of us. Whether that be sleeping until noon every day, or perhaps waking early with our newfound stress-free existence not keeping us up into the wee hours of every night, we don’t care! However we choose to spend our summers, one thing goes without saying: We must end the semester with a bang. You can do this! Try a few of our favorite Bay Area experiences to get the most out of your final weeks of the semester.
1. Board a boat.
Did you know that the ominous body lying to the west of the Golden Gate Bridge is, in fact, the Pacific Ocean? We kid you not. While we are terrestrial beings, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make like a fish and take full advantage of the various bodies of water in our area! Especially with the California drought’s growing influence on campus life, we find it important to pay homage to Mother Nature’s greatest gift to us: water! Check out Cal Adventures’ rental sailboats, paddle boards, windsurfs and kayaks to explore the bay from a different perspective.
2. Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Swallow your pride and join the hoards of tourists making the daily exodus from San Francisco to the lovely Marin County. Bikes are easy to rent in San Francisco — or you could even bring your own! But really, any transportation will suffice for examining this emblem of San Francisco and marvelous feat of engineering. Awaken early to catch a Golden Gate sunrise, snap a classic bridge selfie from the lovely Baker Beach or view this “international orange” beauty while hiking through the Marin Headlands.
3. Go go-kart racing.
The perfect way to pump up your adrenaline and raise your spirit is to drive as fast as you can while go-kart racing in San Francisco. It will give you the chance to bond with your best friends in a competitive and engaging racing atmosphere. Check out the K1 Speed at 160 Beacon St., South San Francisco.
4. Fuel your inner foodie.
As we are already well aware here at the Clog, Berkeley is home to some of the best food in the country. But what with the monotony of classes and work, and the 101 different activities we seem to always be doing at any given moment, we rarely find the time to get out and take advantage of Berkeley’s thriving foodie culture. Treat yourself to an artisanal meal at Chez Panisse and learn about owner Alice Waters, as well as the city of Berkeley’s historic presence in the organic- and local-food movements.
5. Sing karaoke.
MBOX and Jaguar Karaoke are both options for gathering your best friends and having a great time singing and dancing through the night. These places are perfect for releasing your post-midterm anxiety, making fun of your out-of-tune singing abilities and energizing yourself for the summer.
6. Go to the zoo.
If karaoke isn’t your thing, you might want to try something more peaceful to alleviate your post-spring break anxiety. The Oakland Zoo is a great location to visit all of your favorite animals in one place. If you are the adventurous type, then you can also try the zoo’s Serengeti Safari, which gives you and your best friends a tour of the zoo on a jeep (think Indiana Jones, but cooler). But if you are not too adventurous, you are always free to walk around and enjoy the scenery. Just make sure to visit the giraffes because — let’s be honest — who doesn’t want a selfie with a giraffe?
7. Pull a prank.
We all need to indulge our inner child every once in a while. Especially for those of us graduating and officially leaving our youth behind, now is the time to pull some college shenanigans. There are, of course, the classic roommate prank wars — zip-tying his or her scissors closed, pennying a door shut, tampering with her food hoardings or otherwise instigating tomfoolery in the name of fun and games. There are also less prank-y pranks that should make anyone’s Berkeley bucket list: Consider checking out the bay view from the roof of Doe Library or sneaking into catered campus events at which you are unwelcome.
*Disclaimer: The Clog does not condone any of these activities.
8. Snag a selfie with Oski.
Ah, our beloved mascot and, quite frankly, one of the most disturbing creatures we’ve ever laid eyes on. Oski the Bear has terrorized children and UC Berkeley students alike since his debut in 1941. Considering we used to use actual bears, however, we really don’t have it that bad when it comes to school mascots. We could be the Anteaters or the Banana Slugs … or a Tree, for crying out loud! So let’s not only thank our lucky stars that UC Berkeley is represented by as ferocious a creature as Oski — let’s also commemorate our time here with him by tracking him down and requesting a photograph with him, the strangest Golden Bear we ever did see.
9. Take part in “self expression.”
Well, it wouldn’t be college if we didn’t go through various strange and cringeworthy “phases,” now would it? So go ahead and rebel. Dye your hair blue. Dye your hair green. Heck, dye your hair both blue and green. If you want to get crazy, we recommend a cartilage piercing or some tiny artsy tattoos of arrows — that’ll show the world how edgy you are! While we may be in college — the transition to the real world where we start building real contacts and experiencing the consequences of our outward image for perhaps the first time — we’re still just kids. If you don’t “rebel” now, you never will.
10. Explore our vibrant past.
Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to study at such an amazing place. It doesn’t hurt to stop and look around every now and again. We challenge you to get to know someone who was a part of UC Berkeley’s infamous history. This someone isn’t hard to find. UC Berkeley is full of amazing people who have done amazing things and would love to share their stories with us. Maybe then, next time we find ourselves angrily dodging the ASUC election sign-holders on Sproul Plaza, we’d have a little different of a perspective on how incredibly influential we — even as students — can be.