The Berkeley Experience

Grant Hao-Wei Lin/Staff

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Whether you’re an 18-year-old freshman or a more seasoned transfer student, college is a life-changing experience, and at Cal it is infinitely more so: decades of tradition, excellent academics and some of the brightest minds all crammed together in a region that already has several claims to fame. The first year at Cal can be a sensory overload, so we’ve compiled a campus ‘bucket list’ of essential campus experiences. Let the golden years begin!

Bonfire Rally, Football Games & The Big “C”

Although the bonfire rally will not be taking place at the Greek Theatre the night before the Big Game this year, a pre-game rally with pyrotechnics will take place at Edwards Stadium, and a make-up bonfire has been scheduled for Nov. 9 at the theater.

Sather Tower

Another campus location many students visit only once, the Campanile can be a welcome respite from a busy day of classes or a place to collect your thoughts and enjoy the gorgeous, panoramic views. It’s also a great place to bring visiting family and friends, so just remember to check the schedule for opening hours.

Walking on Telegraph Avenue

Take a leisurely stroll with friends on a warm day and experience the eclectic mix of restaurants, markets and people.

Exploring Northside: Cheeseboard

North Berkeley contains the Gourmet Ghetto, a series of specialty food restaurants. One of the most popular is Cheeseboard, a bakery owned by a worker co-op that specializes in serving the very best vegetarian pizzas.

Tilden Park

Enjoy a picnic, or hike a range of trails. For a more leisurely, visually stimulating experience, visit the botanical gardens where local and exotic plants thrive.

Naked Run in Main Stacks

Every semester toward the end of RRR week, several co-ops get together and basically decide on a specific time for participants to drop trou and run through the crowded library. The degree of nudity varies but the sight is bound to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. It’s a welcome, or to some, an unwelcome, break from cramming for finals.

Lawrence National Laboratory

Located in the Berkeley Hills above the main campus, the research facility is home to leaders in scientific fields.