Summer is coming to a close, and it’s likely that you’ve been spending more time savoring the last few weeks of happiness than mentally preparing yourself for the approaching fall semester.
We at the Clog have come to realize that your outlook is just as important, if not more important, than your actual situation in determining the path your semester takes. You may be dreading the upcoming semester, but there are always aspects of it to look forward to. And maybe if you find enough plausible reasons to want the semester to start, you’ll start to believe you’re actually excited for it.
So here, arranged by year, are some reasons for each of you to look forward to the semester ahead. Because that’s just how much we care about y’all.
It’s your first year here and the only year that you have the cushion of your youth and inexperience to excuse your naiveté and your adorable enthusiasm. It’s the only time it’s totally acceptable to travel in large packs and to accept every flier you’re fed.
So be excited to meet every person on your floor and experience those awkward ice breakers, board game nights, late night dessert runs or study sessions in the lounge. Be excited about trying the diverse array of restaurants around campus that everyone always talks about — the fusion foods, the trendy dessert spots, the classy brunch options.
Be excited to get acquainted to the city’s unique character and the school’s quirky, diverse, passionate student body. Be excited for the touristy trips to SF, the hikes to the Big C, and the shopping trips to Emeryville. Be excited to throw yourself into 20 clubs whose tables you couldn’t resist stopping at or to explore the RSF classes and DeCals you thought sounded the most bizarre.
You’ll be surrounded by a new environment, new opportunities, and new experiences that you can’t say no to. It’s essentially your year of getting endless free samples of college life. Be excited to try out everything — classes, majors, clubs, friends — with little to no penalty, and to have that cliché freshman year experience you’ve been waiting for.
It may not be your first year anymore, but it is your first year not being a freshman and that’s enough to be excited about on its own. It’s probably your first time living completely independently with people you’ve chosen to live with in an apartment you’ve chosen to live in. Be excited to go on your first comprehensive grocery shopping trip and to test out recipes you’ve compiled from every Tasty video this summer.
Be excited to get infinitely closer to your new apartment family, to plan classy dinner parties or cozy movie nights. Be excited to escape the limits of the college bubble we live in for the first time; follow your urge to go beyond Berkeley and take a road trip to Santa Cruz, Monterey, Lake Tahoe or even LA.
This time around you can start the year with a clean slate but twice as much knowledge and experience as last year. Be excited to take advantage of your second chances. Try something you regret not trying last year — you may still be able to pass as a freshman anyway. It’s not too late to have the same hopeful mindset as you did last year, except this time you can go into it with a focus and a strategy and slightly less Cal gear. This is your time to decide how you want to shape the rest of your college career, and we’d say that’s just as exciting, if not more exciting than entering college for the first time.
The reality that you’re now more than halfway done with your college career may sting a little at first. But before you melt down and claim you’re having some kind of mid-college crisis, think about all the positives of finally being an upperclassman. Be excited to be able to say with confidence that you’ve declared your major. Be excited to take upper division classes that are actually specific to that major and are admittedly pretty interesting, or useful at the very least.
Be excited to finally update your resume and actually have something of substance in it; to finally be qualified for jobs and internships you’ve dreamed of securing. Be excited to be an authority figure to other undergraduates in that activity or organization that you’ve spent so much of your time in. You just may have found your niche in this place.
You’re at the point where you’ve officially stopped wasting time in activities and commitments you realized don’t matter to you anymore, you’ve outgrown the social excesses of your early undergraduate years, you know the campus and student body better than you know your own hometown, and you’ve learned your positive and negative habits as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses.
So be excited to show off your expertise in your field and in all things UC Berkeley and Bay Area, and be excited to get a sense of the kind of person you want to be. It may not seem like it yet, but you might even start feeling like you finally kind of have your life together.
So you made it to your last year. It feels like it was only last semester that you were moving into the dorms and saying goodbye to your parents for the first time, and now somehow you’re here, at the beginning of the end of your college career. Rather than getting too sentimental too soon, think about how exciting it is to be starting what will probably be the best year of college. Be excited to cross those last few things off your college bucket list, or create one for the first time and get started on trying to complete everything on it.
Be excited to casually establish your superiority every time you offer your wisdom to freshmen and sophomores who look to you for guidance. Be excited to become best friends with your professors and GSIs because you’ve finally realized that they’re actually pretty chill people to talk to.
Be excited to walk around campus and be able to greet at least five people on your way to class everyday because of the miscellaneous connections you’ve made over all these years. Be excited to finally earn your degree and walk across the stage knowing you graduated from the number one public school in the country, if you haven’t heard it enough times already.
Be excited imagine yourself as a “real” adult and to start that next chapter of your life. And be excited to get all reflective and nostalgic as you look back at the last four years and realize that despite all of your complaints and doubts before each of those semesters, the whole thing was actually pretty exciting after all.
Have a good year, Bears.
Contact Jasmine Tatah at [email protected].