Written by Amy Wang (PEACE Advisor)
FRIENDS: Starting with no friends in a new city is pretty scary. But guess what? Literally everyone is in the same shoes! Freshman year of college is likely the best time in your life to make new friends. Everyone is eager to meet new people, which means they’re introducing themselves left and right. Seriously. You will likely meet more people during your first few weeks of college than ever before. It might be overwhelming at times, but relish it. One of the best things about being a new freshman is the open, friendly atmosphere. It’s not that people stop being open and friendly after freshman year, but it’s definitely a unique period of time when everyone is the new kid in town. So go out there and introduce yourself!
Besides your dorm and classes, another great way to meet new people is to hit up da clubs. I’m not talking about dance clubs - though you can always do that too - but rather campus organizations. Going to UC Berkeley means there are hundreds and hundreds of different clubs to join, which leads me to my next point…
YOUR NICHE: Even if you don’t know what you want to study or what you want to pursue as a career yet, you probably have several interests and hobbies that you developed prior to college that you’d like to explore. Because of the massive size of UC Berkeley’s student population as well as its awesome diversity, there’s probably a club on campus that focuses on whatever it is you may be interested in. Definitely check out Calapalooza to see all the different organizations you can join. One of the greatest things about Cal is how diverse and passionate the student body is. I am confident you’ll find a club that interests you, and if not, you can always start your own!
YOURSELF: This one is a bit tough, and is definitely not just a freshman year journey. It’s not even a college journey. It’s a life journey. But college is a wonderful time to explore your different interests, open your mind to new and different perspectives, and to discover what you love, what you dislike, and who you are. You can learn so much from the people you surround yourself with, the organizations that you join, the classes that you take, and even the city you live in. The next four years of your life have so much to offer you in terms of new experiences. Embrace it. You’re fortunate to be attending such an amazing university, but more importantly, this university is fortunate to have you. In the wise words of Confucius: you do you. Just kidding, he didn’t say that. Or maybe he did. But even if you don’t know who this “you” is supposed to be, you have the next four years to find out. And what a wonderful four years it will be.
Welcome to Berkeley, Class of 2019!