I’ll preface this by saying that I really won’t be posting too much of this kind of sentimental writing on here.. but you know. As a 4th year, doling out small doses of this is surely a prerogative. Just this, a few top ten lists, and two mini series of posts.. and then I’ll be signing out. Best of luck this semester!
Freshman year at Cal had a distinct feel from all subsequent semesters, which kind of ended up blending together just a bit. Being new can be unsettling, but there are some perks to being a freshman that you might miss later. You don’t have to worry about everything just yet, so feel free to experiment by going after opportunities and taking classes that capture your interest. After the first year, you’ll actually have to figure out what you’re majoring in and how to satisfy requirements along with how to build up your resume. But for now– enjoy being just one of the many new kids at school.
One of those perks: as a freshman, everyone was open to meeting new people. Maybe this is how college is supposed to be and I just got stuck in the same circles, but I met the greatest number of people as a first year student. I’ll pick the empty table to an occupied one, but meal points often forced me to share tables at GBC, Pat Brown’s and Ramona’s and strike up a conversation with whoever was there. I’ll relate one of these encounters just because it’s kind of a picture of what freshman year ended up being all about.
It was GBC in the fall, and I ended up sharing a table in front with a man who was on campus for an interview, or something like that. I believe he was a Cal alumnus but the details are fuzzy. Not to be too cheesy about this, with the story being about being a wise old man giving seasoned advice, but I still remember two particular chunks of the exchange.
“What classes are you taking this semester?”
“General chemistry, introduction to nutrition, comparative politics, and minority struggles. It’s all kind of random, I know.”
“Random? I don’t think so at all. Maybe they used to be random courses, but the link is you. Those classes are in your schedule, so they make up a unique part of your experience.”
“Well, the best of luck to you this semester.”
“Thanks. I’m just hoping I get through everything okay.”
“Oh you don’t have to worry about that. If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that people live through everything. So no matter what happens, you’ll definitely get through it. I already know.”
Wouldn’t it be great to be old and wise so you can go off sprinkling pieces of wisdom everywhere? I guess I’ll aspire to this in the future. But it rings so true to me, and like I said, I haven’t forgotten. I already know that test is going to come, that paper is going to be due, and that I’ll be there when it happens. So what can I do about it? Prepare myself and do the best I can, so I have no regrets in the aftermath. Time keeps passing… you’ll be out of Cal before you know it, having lived through many challenges and all the stronger for it. And I also believe that whatever happens, they become part of your unique experience and are no longer a sequence of random events.
So… welcome aboard. We’ll see where this year takes us.