Winter commencement is coming up. For many seniors graduating this fall, it’s finally their time to shine. For some of us, we’re not yet ready to leave Oski and the squirrels behind. Others can’t wait to put Sather Gate in the rearview mirror as they drive far, far away.
Wherever you are on the nostalgia meter, Berkeley has had an impact on us all. So let’s take some time to reflect on the iconic parts of our undergraduate careers at UC Berkeley before it’s all over.
You’re finishing a long day at school and on your way back home, you pass by Eshleman. Boba. No, you’re stronger than that. You walk through without buying anything and look across the street. More boba. You start making your way Downtown, walking fast and you’re homebound. Then you see it — another boba shop.
It calls to you, tempting you with its tapioca-balled goodness. You cave and wash another $4 down the drain. It feels wrong to be mad at something that tastes so right. Since it’s unlikely you’ll ever be in a place that has as many boba shops per square block as Berkeley, make the most of it while you still have the chance.
When you finally start working your dream job at Google, remember that Berkeley time doesn’t exist. 10 minutes after 9 a.m. is 10 minutes late. You’re going to have to start setting your alarm for earlier than you usually would in order to not get fired. You can start mentally preparing yourself for that now, or cross that bridge when you get to it. But we wouldn’t sweat it; you’ve still got time.
Your favorite professors
For those of us not going to grad school, we’ll never again be in a situation where we get to dedicate our lives solely to learning. That may sound like the dream now, when you’re up to your ears in midterms, but it’s easy to forget how privileged we are to get to go to a university like UC Berkeley and study anything from Victorian literature to astrophysics. So take the time to appreciate your professors this semester, however cruel and sadistic they may seem. You never know what you got till it’s gone.
The real Berkeley mascots
Ah, the real Golden Bears on campus — squirrels. We’re not likely to run into such aggressively friendly squirrels outside of Berkeley. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you. Our other unofficial mascots are the KiwiBots. If we leave Berkeley after graduation, it’s unlikely that we’ll see our favorite adopted robo-toddlers anytime soon. Their meme-worthiness aside, it’s easy to take our little furry friends and the heart-eyed guys for granted. Especially when they keep stealing stuff out of your backpack or stopping in front of you on Sproul when you’re trying to get to class.
One thing we’re all not going to miss? The pressure. The why-am-I-not-working-I-should-be-doing-more-I-can’t-sleep-when-will-this-end kind of pressure that comes with going to a competitive school like UC Berkeley. For a lot of us, we were told our college years would be the best of our lives, and parts of this are true. But parts of our experiences were really, crazy stressful — we definitely won’t miss this stress. Most jobs won’t care if you managed that A+ or made it through with a P/NP. So do your mental health a favor and take care of yourself for the rest of this semester. You’ve earned it.
Whether you’re a spring admit, an extra-semester-er or are graduating early, it can feel strange to know that you’re almost done. But work through the rest of the semester and appreciate these things while they last — you might not realize how much you loved them until they’re gone!
Contact Lauren West at [email protected].