The semester has already come full force with assignments, club meetings, study groups and more. Luckily, I have gotten the chance to temporarily get away from it all and go to Point Reyes National Seashore this past weekend. The trip actually happened to be part of a retreat for a club, but any chance to get away from it all is always welcomed.
I had the opportunity to hike the Chimney Rock Trail. The trek was barely a couple of miles long, but the “hike” part of the experience came from the incline of the path. As I traveled farther up the cliff, the atmosphere became more and more windy. Seeing the long grass around me move in waves was surreal. I was truly immersed in nature. The closest infrastructure was completely out of site, and I wasn’t reminded of any due dates or assignments.
We strolled on a thin sandy path, and all we saw on either side was deep blue water. As far as one could see, the horizon was clearly visible. I don’t remember the last time I saw a sight as breathtaking as the one I saw on the edge of the peak. The cliffs were a chalky ochre color, and the sandy shore was dotted with snoozing elephant seals. There was a chance for all of us to have a moment for our own, even though we were all together.
I feel as though at UC Berkeley, it can be a challenge to attain those moments. However, I would like to think that if all 35,000 of us went to Point Reyes, we would be able to have that chance. Context really matters. Taking a hike on the Fire Trails or to the Big C is just not the same. Sometimes you need to travel somewhere you have no expectation of. Next time you plan on visiting somewhere new, try to limit your research beforehand. Let the unfamiliarity fill your senses, and let your mind wander without expectation for yourself or from anyone else for once.
My trip to Point Reyes made me realize how important it is to take breaks from studying and how necessary it is to acknowledge your own efforts throughout the semester. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, it’s only fair to yourself to be peaceful with your own growth and pace. Assessments are only a fraction of our time at UC Berkeley, so it makes sense to not let those moments or the anticipation of them define all of our college experience.
Contact Malvika Singhal at [email protected].