It’s a new semester and a fresh start. Here are pieces of entirely unsolicited advice.
Here are five things that you can do to ease your way into school and 2016. Transition from the babysitting bubble and the comfort of free laundry by:
1. Starting slowly
Transitioning back to UC Berkeley must be treated like training for a long blister-inducing, “Iron Man” marathon. Trying to do several school-related tasks all at once will cause cramps, and nobody likes cramps. (Please note that this article was written by someone who has never run a marathon and does not even like walking to the gym).
Do all necessary tasks in stages. If you buy your readers, find your classes, try to reconnect with sweet college friends, swipe through new Tinder matches, look into URAP projects, finally do more laundry, wash your disgusting sink-mugs, water your plant, repot your succulent, replenish your weed and buy eggs from Walgreens all in one day — well, you’ll be very productive and probably exhausted. Maybe, take a nap first. Your family was probably tiresome. You deserve a nap, a drink and probably a bubble bath.
2. Revamping your wardrobe
Start the semester off right by critically examining your closet. If you’re like me, now would be a good time to organize all your things into actual drawers. It’s a new year and a new you! It’s the second week of school and the dirty underwear deserves to be picked up off the floor! Those bed sheets should have been washed last November, and it’s high time you bought a new pair of sweatpants. It’s time you donate the Calapalooza T-shirts from the student organizations you never joined and only keep the articles of clothing which make you smile. If you don’t love it, you probably won’t wear it.
3. Making the most of your time here
Each semester is a new season of a reality TV show; you only have approximately eight seasons. But, like, UC Berkeley is a really stressful reality TV show. The funny thing about this campus is that I forget how beautiful it is. So, it’s good to take a break. Appreciate the now-green grass. Take a selfie with a squirrel. Perhaps, go sit on the red brick stairs by the Campanile and admire the view of the Golden Gate Bridge — or the fog.
4. Having a frank talk with your roommate
So, you hate your roommate. It’s okay — it happens to the best of us. Perhaps, now is a good time to revisit (or make) a set of community agreements. Clearly laid-out behavioral expectations can help us avoid conflict. It is important to be respectful of one another and respect the common space. Set realistic expectations; perhaps you won’t be the best of friends but you can learn to successfully cohabitate. When dealing with a problematic housemate, it’s important to have a quality set of third-party venting buddies. Life is kinda beautiful, but your roommate has room to grow. Identifying and finding this community is integral to your successful mediation of roommate conflicts. Try to assume a positive intent and embrace conflict as a good thing. From conflict, we learn more about our communication styles and gain some really good stories for our venting buddies.
5. Being okay with being flexible
Way back in October, you probably had some sort of idea of what your class schedule was going to look like. Then, the mother Tele-BEAR fucked you over. Take a deep breath, exhale and acknowledge the fact you won’t have to graduate a semester late — probably. So, you wanted to take Math 54 with one professor who has five-star ratings and whose previous students still come back and bring him or her cookies in office hours. Instead, you got the first-year graduate student who smells weird. That’s okay. It’s important to be flexible, especially when you don’t have a choice.
In the end, recognize that most things work out. You are beautiful, brilliant and whole. You deserve to be here at UC Berkeley. Recognize your place in this community and take heart in what you have to offer. Happy 2016, everybody, and remember to always take naps and avoid babysitting devil-spawn children.
Study hard and go bears!
Contact Jasmine Leiser at [email protected].