Graduation 2014: Guest Columns

Forced to forge a new path

SafeenaMost people don’t know that when I arrived at UC Berkeley, frizzy-haired and bright-eyed, I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. I didn’t want to be the first female president, an organizer, an advocate, a political news junkie or an actress — I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. I love baseball, and to me, UC Berkeley was a stepping stone to being the next Erin Andrews. Within the first couple weeks of school, I auditioned to be a part of CalTV, and they very politely said “no thanks.” I was heartbroken, because I was 100 percent sure my dreams and passions had been crushed.

Berkeley in haikus

Nacouzi,-MichelleFour years at Berkeley means so many things to me. I couldn’t possibly describe how I’ve changed or how much every relationship and experience has contributed to my development, so instead of writing a serious piece, I decided to encapsulate my memories in haikus. Be nice; I’m a science major.

Finding community at Cal

bastoneShared vulnerability. This has always fueled me. Academia tells us to distance ourselves from our vulnerabilities, to never study what makes us angry or scream and sadden to tears, but this vulnerability and this passion has always been the only reason for my involvement in academia. Academics have rarely felt sustainable in isolation from activism and extracurricular activities.

One last cymbal crash

Kevin“Pick up your heels! Turn your corners square! And drive, drive, drive!” This preperformance battle cry, screamed in proud unison by the entirety of the 200-plus member Cal Band in the north tunnel of Memorial Stadium, routinely marks the beginning of our pregame show. With that last scream of “drive,” everyone takes a deep breath, hopes for the best and begins stampeding out of the tunnel and onto the field.

Those eight student ID numbers

presley-nelsonWhen I came to Cal, I was 50 pounds overweight and had an unhealthy dependence on phone calls back home and the fashion sense of an EECS professor. Needless to say, like most freshmen, I had my fair share of concerns. Chief among them was the worry that I would soon become nothing but that student identification number that I had to scribble on every page — EVERY PAGE — of all those exams … You would think staples were more reliable, right?