This post is going to be relatively casual – talking about the life as a student at Cal, and the different activities one can get up to.
Luckily for me, the earliest class I have is at 10AM on a Monday, and other days, class usually begins at 2PM. Although this may sound like I get to sleep in a lot, but that is not the case: I’m usually up in the morning trying to finish off assignments and catch up on work. Also, side note, some classes will end well past 8PM.
Because I live in on-campus housing, my fees include a meal plan; you get a certain amount of meals per week, which you can use with your Cal1 Card (student ID card). The meal plan also comes with a certain amount of Flex Dollars loaded onto your card. Flex dollars function like cash and can be used as payment at campus convenience stores, restaurants, concession stands, and for guest meals in dining halls. The Cal1 Card can also be used for doing your laundry. In other words, never lose your Cal1 Card.
So college sports is a HUGE part of university life, especially football. Coming from a rugby nation, there was bound to be some confusion. But basically, the aim is to move the ball towards and ultimately into the opposition’s end zone to score a touchdown. This can be done by either running with the ball until tackled, or throwing the ball down field. Obviously, there’s a lot more rules, but that’s the point. As I might have mentioned earlier, school spirit is taken very seriously: marching band, cheerleaders, dancers, you name it, it’s all there.
They’re actually preparing for the 121st Big Game against Stanford next week, so I’m definitely excited to watch that one.
You can’t go to university in the US and leave out a frat party, right? Here there is a frat row, which pretty much means a row of frat houses. To get into a frat party, you need bids. How do you get bids? You can either be in a sorority – as frats give a certain number of bids to sororities – or get a bid directly from a brother.
I went to a party at Theta Chi through a brother, and I will say it’s definitely something worth experiencing. But do keep in mind, it gets super hot.
Sororities are not allowed to have parties of their own, and it was interesting to find out that every sorority and fraternity have their own philanthropy.
Protests and Rallys
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley is the place where the Free Speech Movement began. During the past few months, I have seen a few protests begin at Sproul Plaza, the most significant of which was the protest against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the US Supreme Court; he had been accused of sexual assault, which he denied. Although the basis of the protest was shocking, it was inspiring to see so many people gather to fight for justice, to see matters taken so seriously.
As you may or may not know, it was the midterm elections recently, and a voting drive took place at Sproul Plaza to encourage students to vote. Even cafés were offering complimentary snacks or drinks if you had the ‘I Voted’ sticker. If I could, I would have voted.
The campus is truly starting feel like fall, with the trees turning gold. Daylight saving has ended so it’s sad that the sun sets early, but instead you get to see the beautiful golden hour of the sun setting after classes.
To everyone at home that has finished their exams: Congratulations, wish me luck as I enter the final stretch of this semester at Berkeley!