So you got into Berkeley

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Congratulations! We encourage you to practice your version of this Cal reaction. But what if you have other offers, and your heart is torn? You might already know that UC Berkeley is the No. 1 public university in the world. You also already know that Berkeley is in sunny California with San Francisco and the Silicon Valley at arm’s reach. Still, something is missing. As you compose your Cal Day itinerary, you can’t help but wonder …

Fret not, we at the Clog have composed a short list of some off-the-record things not included in your Cal Day tour that define why Berkeley’s students are among the happiest in the country.

You’re a wizard, Harry

Born with a lightning scar on your forehead? UC Berkeley celebrates Potter culture as much as Neville Longbottom snacks on chocolate frogs. Voted “Best DeCal of 2012,” Cal’s “Wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter” lets students teach other students how to read tea leaves, make makeshift wands and compete in the Triwizard Tournament — all for college credit.

Quick, did you see the Snitch? Cal’s very own Quidditch team just finished intense an competition at the World Cup last week. If straddling a broomstick while running like mad to avoid getting tackled seems like your ballpark, Berkeley has a sport for you. And if you have always dreamed of living in Hogwarts, Bowles Hall comes pretty close. With some of the largest rooms dorm living has to offer, Bowles Hall is unique in having rich endemic traditions (see serenading Stern ladies, Haunted House) and having its own alumni class. Be warned. It’s all-male, nearly 100 years old and sitting directly on top of the Hayward fault line. Wingardium leviosa!

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate

We did a double take at the class called “Introduction to Bonding Theory.” Um, eye contact? Being friendly? Did a wave of anti-sociality hit the Cal Bears? Then we glanced at the department: chemistry. Oh, our bad …

Cal offers one of the largest communities to pursue research as an undergraduate. Sixteen chemical elements were discovered here at Berkeley labs. That is ridiculous. Too much time titrating, you say? The Chemistry Sports Club is eager to prove that bodies in motion stay in motion. Fan of Archimedes? Celebrate that Greek life at Alpha Sigma Chi, a fraternity dedicated to chemists! Hungry? “The Chemistry of Cooking” DeCal seeks to fill brains, stomachs and transcripts with edible goodness and plenty of credits.

As for bonding theory, we took a leaf from the professionals: “The name’s Bond. Ionic Bond. Taken, not shared.”

A Zerg Invasion

For Hydralisk hunters, UC Berkeley is a prominent breeding ground. Resident gaming superstar Conan Liu led Cal’s eSports team to fame last month by winning the world championship for the Collegiate StarLeague. With an ample supply of competitive gamers in League of Legends and StarCraft, Cal offers a virtual community like no other. Sound suspiciously like The Matrix? Several of Berkeley’s eminent computer researchers developed Overmind, an artificial intelligence agent for StarCraft. And for those of us who wish psionic powers could help in real life, you guessed it, there is a DeCal for that.

No Parking

There is one catch to the life of the lucky Golden Bear with a four-wheel drive. All Berkeley professors who nab a Nobel Prize also get a snazzy parking space in their honor. The fact that 71 Nobel Prizes have been won by Berkeley faculty, alumni and researchers translates to a brain aneurysm-inducing routine in finding parking during rush hour. We think the impressive professors are worth the lack of parking spaces.

Contact Alex Mabanta at [email protected]