UC Berkeley will provide you with one of the most exceptional educations in the world. But some of the greatest lessons you learn will be not from textbooks but from people. A place is only as good as the people in it, and we must admit, UC Berkeley is a pretty amazing place to be. The people you meet here will have an impact on the time you spend here, as well on the life you live after graduation. Here’s a list of the five people you meet at UC Berkeley:
1. The roommate
One of the first people you meet at the beginning of your college career is your roommate. It’s impossible to know what to expect. Is it going to be awkward? Probably. Will you be the weird one? Not impossible. Will they be really into that one music genre you just can’t stand? Let’s hope not. But really, there’s no point in stressing out about all that! They are probably as nervous as you are. Sometimes, it works out really well, and your roommate becomes your best friend. But sometimes, your relationship with this person will end on move-out day — and that’s OK. Sharing your living space with someone will teach you how to take care of yourself, how to communicate and how to understand people who might see things differently than you do.
2. The life-changing professor/GSI
At the world’s No. 1 public university, with an impressive amount of Nobel laureates and internationally acclaimed scholars, you better expect to meet some of the most brilliant minds ever. The professors you are going to remember are the ones who were able to teach you something beyond the scope of the syllabus. Somewhere along the way, you will meet someone who will make you see your education as not an obligation but a passion. You might meet an amazing GSI who will believe in you more than you believe in yourself and who will show you that you are capable of so much more than you think. Maybe your professor will deliver an inspiring lecture that will do more than just make you think — he or she will make you feel and will instill in your heart a desire to go into the world and make a difference.
3. The contrarian
Contrarian (noun): a person who takes a contrary position or attitude. UC Berkeley students have a reputation for being very vocal and opinionated. Don’t let it come as a surprise to you when you meet someone who just doesn’t see the world the way you do. Whether it’s having different stances on a political issue or choosing different ways to spend Friday nights, you are going to meet people who don’t live life the way you do. Don’t shut people out if they have a perspective you don’t immediately resonate with. Have an open mind. Listen. Empathize. Take this as an opportunity to grow by expanding your horizons.
4. The best friend
The person you are at the beginning of freshman year is very different from the person you are when you walk across the stage at graduation. The best friend you find in college will be the person you grow with, and he or she will accept and love you for who you are, no matter how many changes you go through. You’ll meet this person and wonder, “How did I even make it this far without you?!” He or she will be there to support you and cheer for you during both those dead-week study grinds and those intoxicated Saturday nights. The best friend is your home away from home.
5. The legacy
Think about all the people who have changed your life with something they said or did. Think about all the people who ever made you think harder or feel deeper. Think about all the people who have kept you going, who inspired you and who made you want to do better and be better. You are going to be that person for someone else. Through the things you do and say, you are going to have a positive influence on someone else. The way this person understands the world and understands themselves is impacted by your presence in his or her life. In this way, he or she is your legacy. You are going to influence what he or she thinks about and does, and your legacy is going to accomplish great things because you helped him or her believe they could.
Everyone at UC Berkeley has made it here for a reason, and as your life intersects with so many others’, you never know when you will meet someone who will become part of your destiny.