Scrambling for my 8:00 AM alarm, I woke up early only because I couldn’t bear to miss breakfast! As everyone made their way into the dining hall, I watched the weary expressions of the upperclassmen and the bright-eyed first-years (just like me) sitting down to consume mountains of eggs, sausages, and pancakes.
So as the eventful first two weeks of welcome activities went by, I fell more and more in love with college and newfound freedom! 828832 lively conversations, a billion lectures, and three discussions later, I found myself with a filled planner, an inhumane amount of reading, study buddies, and countless scheduled meetings and socials to attend.
And ever heard of Freshman 15? It’s Freshman -15 for me so far – I’ve lost 6 lb in two weeks from walking even though I still eat plenty at every meal! Already, I lack the energy to even go to the gym on the weekends like I had previously planned – I walk more than four miles every day just going to classes and back to the dorms.
As for people – everyone else is in the same boat, so get out there and make new friends and do crazy things! 1 am ice cream run? Go for it!! Just remember to stay safe and have a solid, large group of friends, especially since college campuses definitely have many more potential real-world dangers as compared to that of high school. In fact, it wasn’t until I had to walk a mile home by myself at 10 pm one night, that I finally realized I wasn’t invincible and that anything could happen if I wasn’t careful.
All in all, the first few days of college feel like a longer-than-usual hangout (or sleepover), and it takes time to get accustomed to the fact that it’s actually school and not vacation anymore. After surviving a few hectic weekends and experiencing some super crazy late-night situations, I must honestly say that I’m thriving largely because of my parents’ support (a phone call almost every night and especially during laundry day) and the care of my closest friends/floormates.
So far, I’ve done everything from going to dance auditions, academic workshops, club meetings, pizza socials, concerts, game nights and more! College is literally everything you make of it, and I’m planning on doing exactly just that.
Most of all, I’m thankful for the bountiful club opportunities and the really eye-opening experiences I’ve been having ever since I left the more sheltered high school life behind. I’ve been feeling like I was born to be a college kid, and born to be at Cal! It’s an amazing school filled with fantastic people, and I 100% agree with everyone in the past who told me that I’d love college.
Although it definitely is a colossal and dramatic change moving away from home, it’s most important to form a solid network of support and remember to have fun (but not too much fun) in order to keep up with the academic rigor and stay grounded. And I’m super loving the additional health regimen that college provides! Gradually getting a Berkeley butt and stronger legs everyday 💪