The moment you opened up your portals in nervous anticipation and read the words, “Congratulations and Welcome to the University of California at Berkeley,” your life changed in ways you couldn’t imagine.
College life at UC Berkeley is inexplicable and has to be experienced for it to be comprehensible. For one thing, it’s so uniquely quirky. You’re bound by fate to see enough protests for all sorts of movements to eventually not even be surprised by loud megaphone calls anymore. You are going to race across Sproul Plaza to pass several people doing their thing – from a person swimming in the air or a group of young gentlemen offering serenades to cheer people up on a rainy morning. We are such a liberal and diverse group of students; no matter what kind of individual you are, you will find your place in a student organization, if you wish to. And that’s another great thing about going to a huge school like ours – you’re going to meet different kinds of people, from different parts of the country and world, with different kinds of aspirations and dreams, who are going to connect to you in different ways. You will make many connections and friends throughout your time at UC Berkeley.
Apart from experiencing college life to the fullest, you’re going to have the opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. From the striking architecture that defines the very buildings we have our classes in to the nature that surrounds the west side of campus including Eucalyptus Grove and wooden bridges everywhere, our campus will never get too mundane for pictures or moments of awe. While most of us don’t appreciate it as much, we are blessed to be able to walk these paths and breathe among the magnificence exhibited all over. And although you’re still going to hate them after you graduate, the hills we must conquer throughout our day will make your legs more fit than ever before. Still beware of the infamous Freshman 15, though, because our college town offers some of the best foods – from both greasy and delicious late-night food options in Asian Ghetto and Crossoroads to gems across all cuisines on Telegraph Avenue, Northside, Downtown and Elmwood.
With all this being said, do not expect only rainbows and sunshine. You’re one of the thousands of competitive students huddled in one area – there’s going to be competition, stress, times of crumbling self-esteem and failures. For some of us, it might take days, weeks or months to get over it — or we might never be OK with it. But standing in the middle of a competitive pool can counteractively drive you to pushing yourself. The stress is an unavoidable by-product for most of us, but we can control how we deal with it. Build a support system with your roommates, floormates, friends you made in discussion, campus clubs or with yourself. Remember to not let your support system slip away.
Yes, college is going to be hard, but it’s also going to be great. Spending four years in a place such as UC Berkeley will change your life as you know it. No matter what happens, you are going to have a learning experience that you cannot simply explain in a few words or place a label on. You are going to leave with memories, several pieces of knowledge and hard lessons that will change you as a person.
We promise you.
Congratulations and welcome to UC Berkeley, baby bears.
Contact Sowgandhi Rayapudi at [email protected].