What to look forward to when the UC Berkeley campus opens

Brian Bi/File

Since classes moved entirely to virtual platforms March 10, us Bears have sorely missed the rolling hills of the UC Berkeley campus. Try as our professors might, a Zoom lecture can’t replicate the magic of Evans Hall’s architecture or the joys of being together in person. Here at The Daily Californian, we’ve been spending our shelter-in-place time daydreaming about what we’re going to do once we’re allowed to return to campus. Here’s a list of what we’re looking forward to the most.

Waiting in line at Free Speech Movement Cafe

Before California’s stay-at-home order went into effect, many of us probably saw the lunch rush at the Free Speech Movement Cafe, or FSM, as a massive pain. Who has the time to wait in a line that stretches to the Moffitt Library front desk when they’re trying to get to their next lecture? 

But, as it turns out, we took that wait for granted. Once campus opens back up again, jump at the chance to grab a caramel latte, apple cloud or panini at FSM, and then take the time to eat it outside on the café’s patio and watch huge swaths of the campus community come and go.

Studying in Doe Library’s North Reading Room

UC Berkeley’s reopening provides the perfect opportunity to check out an underrated study spot — and Doe Library’s North Reading Room might just be campus’s most slept-on locale. The arched ceilings and wall-to-wall bookshelves give off perfect Hogwarts vibes, while the room’s sizable windows allow the light from outside to filter in. It’s a formal, old-fashioned setting that will be the perfect change of pace after a long time away from campus. 

Hiking to the Big C

Making your way up to the Big C is apparently a campus tradition, but how many of us have actually done it? If you have, congratulations on being sporty or whatever. If you haven’t, now might just be the time to try!

Being cooped up inside for months — maybe in the same house as your parents — can turn even the most reluctant hikers into Bear Grylls wannabes. Make the climb and enjoy the feeling of your body relearning what exercise feels like; then, pause for a moment at the top, take a deep breath and enjoy the beautiful Berkeley view.

Getting flyered on Sproul Plaza

We’ve all dodged a flyer or 20 while trying to make our way to class — but once we get back to campus, we might start acting a little nicer toward the desperate souls inviting us to improv shows or asking us about consulting. The flyers on Sproul Plaza prove just how passionate UC Berkeley students are about an admirable range of campus organizations. And after a quarantine spent stress-baking fresh bread, avoiding online homework and rewatching reality television on Netflix, it will be exciting to see that passion in person once again and get invited to new activities.

Getting lost in Dwinelle Hall

You could have spent weeks studying a map of Dwinelle Hall while sheltering in place and you’d still be guaranteed to get lost once you step foot in this infamous building. We’re looking forward to discovering new hallways we didn’t know existed, aimlessly searching for a bathroom or accidentally stumbling into Common Grounds on Level F. Dwinelle Hall might be chaotic, but just like the rest of campus, that chaos has a certain charm that we’ve been missing.

Going to the movies

Berkeley’s movie theaters feature an enviable range of moviegoing experiences. When movies once again return to theaters, take a trip to Landmark’s California Theatre for the latest arthouse offerings, Regal UA Berkeley for blockbusters or Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas for one-of-a-kind theater interiors filled with comfy seats and faux-Egyptian regalia. There’s nothing like seeing a movie on opening weekend with a group of fellow students. After these months away, it’s that kind of communal experience with our fellow Bears that we’re looking forward to the most.

Berkeley’s campus is typically a hub of activity, filled with busy students, picturesque study spots and lots of great places to get coffee. Whatever you’re looking forward to doing on campus once we’re all allowed to return, enjoy it — and remember that the best part of Berkeley’s campus is the Bears who call it home.

Grace Orriss is the arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her at @graceorriss.