Things prospective freshmen should do when visiting Berkeley

Brenna Alexander/File
Brenna Alexander/File

As a prospective UC Berkeley freshman, there are only so many places you can visit in a day to get a taste of the Berkeley experience. Although current high school seniors will no doubt be visiting multiple schools to decide which is their perfect fit, we’re convinced that no other school rivals the well-rounded environment Berkeley provides its students, from its devoted sports fans to its hardworking Computer Science majors to its crunchy, granola-eating backpackers.

Still not sure if Berkeley’s for you? Here are some activities to do during your visit that’ll give you the abridged Berkeley experience (and that will hopefully convince you that you belong here):

9 am: Walk around the UC Botanical Garden while its plants are in full bloom. The beautiful flowers and greenery will surely convince you that UC Berkeley is the perfect university for you to attend.

10 am: Grab coffee at a local coffee shop like Caffe Strada or Philz and get far too caffeinated on a strong latte or mocha. Or, visit the original Peet’s Coffee & Tea on the corner of Walnut and Vine Streets. The only way to fully feel like a college student is to be wired on coffee, and you’ll find the best coffee in Berkeley.

11 am: Climb up the Campanile to check out how the bells work. Although most students haven’t even done this, the Campanile is an integral part of campus as it rings on the hour every hour. It’s also an iconic feature of the university.

12 noon: Go to Sproul Plaza at noon during the week. You’ll be hounded by various clubs inviting you to their movie nights or convincing you to buy brownies or donate blood. Sproul is overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time — it’s easy to tell that these students are passionate about their organizations. You can also check out some a capella groups near Sather Gate while you’re in the area.

12:30 pm: Instagram a picture of yourself under Sather Tower while wearing UC Berkeley attire, because we all know that once you step one foot onto campus, you won’t want to attend any other school. UC Berkeley is the place for you.

1 pm: Hike up the Big C to get an unparalleled view of the San Francisco Bay. Looking out over the Bay and into San Francisco will make you want to call Berkeley home for the next four years.

3 pm: Go to CREAM to treat yourself to an ice cream sandwich that, let’s face it, is even more delicious after waiting in the long line you’ll inevitably find yourself in. Or if it’s too cold outside, opt for their warm cookies, which are just as tasty as the ice cream sandwiches.

4 pm: Plop down in a chair in the Morrison Reading Room in Doe Library for a nice break from walking around all day. The plushy couches and armchairs will have you snoozing in minutes, but college visits are so tiring that a midday nap is essential. After a quick catnap, check out where students actually study, so you know where you’ll be cramming for midterms and finals in the future.

7 pm: Eat Cheeseboard pizza in the Gourmet Ghetto, which is one of the highest-ranked pizza places in the entire country. You won’t regret one bite of that delicious cheesy dough.

Welcome to UC Berkeley.

Contact Chloe Tarrasch at [email protected].

The original Peet’s Coffee & Tea is at the corner of Walnut and Vine St., not on Telegraph Ave., and the Morrison Reading Room closes at 5 pm.