5 things you’d understand if you live in UC Berkeley dorms

photo of Blackwell Residence Hall
Charlene Wang/Staff

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While the UC Berkeley residence halls might not be the most luxurious — unless you’re lucky enough to live in Blackwell — they do promise to add to one’s college experience in a unique way. As a current freshman, I find that living in the dorms at UC Berkeley is a mix of summer camp and a never-ending (fully masked) party. There is never a dull moment in the hallways, bathrooms, elevator or study lounge which creates the inevitable love-hate relationship between students and dorm life. One might complain about the many struggles involving dorm living, but at the end of the day, these experiences unite us. So, here at the Clog, we gathered some common experiences that only people who live in the UC Berkeley dorms can understand.

Waiting an eternity for the elevator

The view from many of the dorm rooms is absolutely breathtaking, especially if you live on one of the higher floors. However, I guess one must pay a price outside of the tragic housing fees for a beautiful look at the Bay Bridge. That additional price is one elevator that stands a good likelihood of breaking down. A single elevator just doesn’t work for a building that houses hundreds of students who are always on the move, but the wait is usually better than hiking up those flights of stairs. 

Observing the absurd sticky-note art and messages on the dorm windows

I guess UC Berkeley students have moved beyond writing “hi” with sticky notes on their windows. If you live in the UC Berkeley residence halls, you see all the creative and funny sticky-note art. From sticky notes that illustrate penises to the many windows that read “MILF,” these windows always make you stop on your way out and just think.

Cherishing the short and rare quietness

One of my favorite parts of the UC Berkeley dorms is that they are so close to everything. Unlike most college dorms, which are secluded from the local city, UC Berkeley residence halls are integrated into the city and situated near so many restaurants and stores. This is amazing until you realize that NYC is not the only city that never sleeps. Paired with students that lack a proper sleep schedule, there is always noise sneaking into your room. However, the occasional moments when it’s silent feel like heaven.

Calling your family and friends from back home in the courtyard

With roommates and halls that are never quiet, UC Berkeley dorms will often have you heading outside when it’s time to make calls. Every time I go to the courtyard, whether on my way out or to meet up with friends, I can count at least five different people sitting on benches talking on their phones. Even I sit all alone in the courtyard at least once a week, so I can talk to my friends and family in peace.

Going onto the study lounge balcony to get a breath of fresh air

Sometime during the first week of September, the study lounges reopened which meant our balconies were back as well. I don’t think anybody knew how much they’d appreciate a balcony until it was there. University can get stressful, but stepping onto the balcony immediately gives one peace and serenity. Whether you are down in the courtyard or in the study lounge, it’s not uncommon to spot at least one person finding tranquility as they people-watch from that balcony — which even I have done a good handful of times.

I can’t deny the perpetual homesickness that occurs while living in the UC Berkeley residence halls, but it is comforting to know that there are thousands of students who are sharing a similar experience with you. These common experiences will soon lead to unforgettable college memories!

Contact Zara Koroma at [email protected].