“There is no place like Berkeley.” Indeed, this was one of the many amusing lines on the admissions packet I received in May of the year I got in to Cal. It is a transformative community where one not only “joins the stars”, but one sits, speaks, listens to, and learns from those stars themselves. These stars include students, professors, instructors, and the Berkeley community as well.
The city thrives with innovation, as Silicon Valley works its tech magic into every bit of the already progressive and liberal Berkeley atmosphere. Employers literally wait for their future employees/interns to graduate, in order to hire them for their unique skills. Of course, one of the best aspects about Berkeley is the student body. They are diverse, edifying, and an amazingly positive influence. Read on for just 10 of the many types of folk one may always run into at UC Berkeley!
P.S. One may also jog, walk, stumble on, fall into, trip onto, traipse into, meet, collide with, crash into, smash into, impact, ram, plow into, come across, run across, chance upon, stumble upon, chance on, happen on, happen upon, or bump into any and every 10 of the following types of people. This list of individuals is not, by any means, an all-inclusive list, and thus misses out on many of the diverse and humble wonderful folk one may run into at UC Berkeley.
1. The Procastinators
More common than I would like to admit, those who delay their various academic and extracurricular career commitments to the last weekend, week, day, hour, minute or – gasp! – second – for whatever reason, whether that be due to personal predicaments, sheer human laziness, lack of time management, insurmountable hangovers from unforgivable partying, or poor academic planning – and still pull off perfect grades and GPAs are those who I admire in my dreams.
How do they manage the stress? How do they cope if they don’t make it – if their essay doesn’t get submitted online on time due to network issues, computer problems, or the trillions of things that can make tick marks on to-do lists turn into terribly traumatic crosses? I know for a fact that at Cal, procrastinators may be ubiquitous. But the population size of this amazing cortisol-laden citizenry differs daily; no one wants that tension to burden their already vexed minds and brains. I certainly don’t.
2. The Java Addicts
Only after vacationing abroad in third-world countries did I realize that the sight of thousands of college students carrying around some form of coffee through some brand of Peet’s/Starbucks/Other Cafe in some form of a cup/mug/flask/thermal glass/container/holder/pitcher/jug on a virtually daily basis was second nature to me at Cal. How do their bodies and brains function on so much caffeine? Any dehydration? Any frequent bathroom breaks?
Constant payments and waiting in line at those java joints? Precious time lost in the pursuit of some recreational stimulant? I’m not against coffee-drinkers, or the coffee itself. I’m just curious about coffee since it makes my head ache whenever I drink it black, or without my kind of creamer (sweetened condensed evaporated milk, or fat-free cream powder only). There are herds of these at Cal, and mounds of the java substance on desks, in libraries, in cafes, at restaurants, etc. almost 24/7. I wish I could pull it off, too. Wait, I don’t.
3. The Boba Addicts
These are essentially the same people as the java addicts, except that they use boba instead of caffeine as their drink of preference. I drank boba once, and immediately fell into the “don’t love boba, and may possibly despise it” category. Hey, there’s no need to get all pushy or partisan about it. I respect your tastes; please follow suit.
4. The Alcohol/Adderall/Marijuana/Drug Addicts
I had to look up how to spell “Adderall” in order to write this; I don’t know what to make of such an ineptitude, but I’m letting it pass out of my memory – for now.
A popular study drug, Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) is used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD. It should NOT be used to treat tiredness or to help you stay awake deliberately – especially if you have neither ADHD or narcolepsy. Because side effects – ones I’m too scared to read about in detail – do exist. But, at Cal, some deem the drug’s benefits as worthy of its risks/costs and thus think it necessary to take before midterms and finals. Many actually medically require the stimulant, but there will always be someone out there using it for “educational purposes.” I don’t know what to say to that, but it’s nice to know.
5. The Syllabi Memorizers
These students never cease to amaze me. I know the class syllabus is usually available to be viewed long before classes start but to have them memorized from cover to cover – including professor/GSI contact information and phone numbers – is a feat I cannot manage to start or finish in the summer. However, these students are awesome to have as friends (not that this should be the only reason to become their pals) – they will remind you of deadlines, and act as perfect human syllabi holders, provided that you have a question to ask about the syllabi in the first place. One can always invent one; no question is ever stupid to ask, even the dumb ones.
6. The Triple/Quadruple Majors
Commitment. Dedication. Impeccable Time Management. Erudite. Thirst for Knowledge. These are only a facet of the qualities that the triple/quadruple majors embody at UC Berkeley. They are fast, furious and fabulous. I am unaware of how many there are at Cal, but those who do fit into such a category are extra – extra ordinary students to speak, dine, and breathe with. You might never meet them in a single lifetime ever again. I might not, at least.
7. The Double Majors with Triple/Quadruple Minors
Or vice versa. They’re there, alright. They’re also extremely extra-hardworking, ambitious and awesome. I would love to be them, though I’m well aware of the sacrifices, responsibilities and commitments that come with the longer resume line description. Totally worth it…..? To each, his own.
8. The Pre-Med Pundits
Okay, this may just be an excuse to use the word “pundits”, but I still seriously think that UC Berkeley has an insane number of pre-medical students. It’s absolutely beautiful. Their majors can be just about anything; I’ve seen the expected Biology/Chemistry/Physics majors as well as the a-bit-different-for-me-majors like Architecture, Legal Studies and English (because when could it ever hurt to write essays FOR your major?) for those intended to become cancer-kicking physicians. Most are well aware of the specific pre-requisite course requirements for the medical school they dream to attend in four years, while I’m still stuck on which graduate school is best for my still undecided/undeclared major. Talk about decisiveness (or the lack thereof, in my subtle case).
9. The Pre-Law Attorney Generals
Because I definitely believe that Berkeley law grads are our future Attorney Generals – the ones capable of bringing more true justice to our country’s (sometimes) capricious courts. Some choose to major in Legal Studies, while others pursue whatever pleases their fancies. They too may have already memorized the admission criteria for their future law schools. Yup, UC Berkeley Boalt School of Law is often one of them. I considered law once as a career option, and was left hanging on the webpage of the law books law school students would be commanded to commit to memory. Talk about my career commitment.
10. The Miracles (Everyone Else)
Every once in a while, one may run into an international student who has published twenty or more novels in thirty or more languages. Or Maybe a local resident who has earned a perfect score on the SAT AND ACT twice, or gotten admitted to all the Ivy League schools, or gotten rejected from some other “lower-tier” UC while getting simultaneously admitted to UC Berkeley and/or Stanford University. Possibly a fellow graduate student instructor (GSI) who speaks ten different languages (ranging from all over the globe) who works for a Nobel Laureate professor gifted in a skilled but rare craft/discipline, or an immigrant professor who switched their career thrice, joined the military/medical school/law school, did cheerleading and heavy athletics in both college and high school, who was also the first generation to attend college in their family, who then went on to earn a J.D. or Ph.D. degree from a prestigious university, while juggling multiple peer-reviewed journal publications, research projects, and honorary theses on their already-full life plates at the same time.
These miracle individuals are very much worth emulating. As they not only serve as a magical source of inspiration, as a beacon of hope of progress and success, as an example to follow, but also act as well-rounded human beings who have recognized their own potentials, harnessed them, and channeled them through education – despite various challenges – to new levels that spread the greatest good to the greatest number.
Who else will you meet at UC Berkeley? Let us know down below!
Featured image source: Pinterest.com
AN INTENDED ECONOMICS MAJOR, ALIZA IS A SOPHOMORE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY LOOKING FORWARD TO ALL THAT LIFE AND SOCIETY19 HAS TO OFFER. SHE HAS STUDIED IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT SCHOOLS IN OVER SIX DIFFERENT COUNTRIES SINCE BIRTH, AND HAS THUS SUFFERED SEVERAL INFORMAL 'LAWSUITS' OVER FABRICATING A NEW RESPONSE TO THE “WHERE ARE YOU FROM?” QUESTION EVERY TIME IT IS ASKED; THE ANSWER DIFFERS DEPENDING ON THE CURRENT LOCATION AND, OCCASIONALLY, THE ASKER. ALIZA, PERHAPS THE ONLY EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD WHO LOVES BROCCOLI AND LOATHES WHITE CHOCOLATE, ENJOYS WATCHING ROMANCE MOVIES, SLEEPING - BUT ONLY DURING THE DAYTIME - WITH THREE DIFFERENT LAYERS OF CLOTHING ON, AND LAUGHING HER SILVERY SOCKS OFF WHILE BINGING ON SOME GOOD QUALITY BOLLYWOOD COMEDY SHOWS. IT IS ALSO TRUE THAT WHILE WRITING POETRY IN HER LEISURE TIME, ALIZA ALSO WATCHES COUNTLESS SOAP OPERAS ON HER DUSTY LAPTOP AND MUNCHES ON HARIBO BEARS (GO BEARS! - IT'S HER COLLEGE MASCOT!)