The freshman 15: fifteen moments that defined our freshman year

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Looking back on the 2013-14 academic year at UC Berkeley, there were some highs and some lows. For freshmen in particular, transitioning to college life meant a lot of studying, a lot of budgeting and, oh yeah, a shitload of fun. Did we make some mistakes? Definitely. Do we regret any of it? Absolutely not. In the words of Drake, YOLO. Here are the top 15 moments from the past year:

date:modify: 2011-06-30T23:23:20-05:00

1. Our first Welcome Week frat party

If only we could relive that youthful excitement. We were likely wearing heels, a bodycon dress and a key-card lanyard around our neck. Hoping to meet our one true love, we marched in, sober as a nun and got a cold, hard shot of reality — fraternities are exactly as they are portrayed to be in the movies, maybe even a little dirtier. A few shots and far too many games of beer pong later, we lost track of the CalSO friends we arrived with and ended up lying about our extensive knowledge of marijuana to some upperclassman.


2. Meeting Missy Franklin

Trying to be as coy as possible, we nervously approached all 6’1″ of the swimming goddess, made a bit of small talk and then asked to take a selfie with her.  Five minutes later, we had posted the photo on Instagram with a caption that read “OMG MISSY AND I ARE BFF’S!!! #bffls”


3. The first football game of the season

With our bright yellow spirit shirt plastered to our torso, we cheered and fist-pumped our way through all four hours of the Northwestern game. We didn’t even pay attention to what was going on down in the field — we were too busy exchanging phone numbers with other freshmen.



Explosion in Berkeley, California

4. The explosion

The campus “Alert Me” texts got our nerves going. Then we saw the fire, heard the sirens and refreshed our Facebook page. In a state of panic, we impulsively texted everyone we knew and were soon convinced the world was ending. We called our mother to tell her we loved her and prepared for the inevitable doom. Thankfully, the explosion turned out to have been the result of faulty electrical circuiting.


5. The first time we skipped class

After a late night in Main Stacks, we felt too fatigued to attend that 8 a.m. lecture. Our early-morning alarm went off. Heart pumping and adrenaline racing, we made the bold choice to turn off the alarm and slip back under the covers. We had heard stories about cool upperclassmen doing it, and now it was our chance to officially shed our innocence and skip school. We felt more bad-ass than James Dean. Little did we know, this would soon become a weekly routine.


6. Talking to Yoshua about the end of the world

When we reluctantly accepted Yoshua’s pamphlet, we expected a ludicrous discourse on God, doomsday and our sins. We were right. “The world is going to end this Friday,” he told us. Friday came and went. Sorry, Yosh, not this time.



7. The first time we went to CREAM 

Pure bliss and extreme disgust came together in the form of ice cream tacos. Pride dashed to the floor, we dug into the concoction with our friends (or alone) and promised to hit the gym the next morning (that didn’t happen).


8. Losing our Cal1  Card

We prayed that our face wouldn’t end up on the class of 2017 Facebook page. We panicked, we looked up our ID number and we waited. A day later, we realized life at UC Berkeley is impossible without a Cal 1 Card, so we navigated to the hidden card office and paid the replacement fee.

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9. Professor Coward’s email

It was one of the proudest moments in UC Berkeley’s history. With wit and charm, Coward captivated the entire student body and gave us hope that Math 1A might not be so bad.


10. Laughing at all our East Coast friends when it hit 80 degrees in February

Berkeley’s winter, or lack thereof, reaffirmed our choice of college. We got a sick amount of satisfaction from Snapchatting our friends in Michigan and Chicago.


11. Climbing to Panoramic Bench

After conquering the Big C, we were up for a heftier challenge. Thunder thighs burning, we reached the top and experienced the most breathtaking views in all the Bay. Never again, though. Never again.

2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival - Day 3

12. Cal Day with Real Estate

It was almost Coachella, except free and a lot less crowded. We basked in all our indie glory, reflecting on all we had accomplished in the past year and feeling wildly superior to the prospective student sitting with his parents beside us.


13. A really chill Easter

420 was a day filled with Easter egg hunts, phone conversations with our family and a very special type of grass.


14. Scrambling to spend meal points at the end of the semester

Stocked on Cal Dining credits, we searched for ways to get rid of our meal points before the semester came to an end. We reluctantly purchased a coffee press, a yoga mat and that giant Rice Krispie Treat sheet.


15. Signing our first apartment lease

Look at us already preparing for fall and signing a real, legal document. In spite of the stained carpets and lack of storage space, we were #hella psyched about our apartment for next semester. Sophomore status, here we come.


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Contact Daniela Grinblatt at [email protected].