So before I start on a semi-diatribe about how two years of my college experience has somehow sneaked by like garden gnomes making off with my favorite dessert, I'll first introduce myself. My name is Linda, and I am a business and econ double major (the latter is pending acceptance) and a computer science minor.
I haven't always wanted to go to Cal; I was originally set on University of Chicago for their Economics program but was convinced otherwise by my Dad. I was remarkably under-impressed on my first visit to Berkeley and figured that I would simply just "get by" for the next four years. But Berkeley is one of those places with the ability to worm its way into your heart and settle into a corner with a warm cup of tea.
I don't remember when exactly I fell in love with the campus and the surrounding area. It could be the first time I looked out from my dorm window at the amazing Bay view; my first football game and the endless amount of school spirit; the times when I discovered Ici, Thai Noodle II, Bakesale Betty, Marica Seafood Restaurant, Zachary's Pizza.... And when I realized that no matter how unusual someone's interest was, there will always be at least another person who shared that same interest.
1. Get familiar with public transit. Oh, the places that you'll go!
2. Get an RSF (Recreational Sports Facility) membership. Never again in your life will you pay $10 for 4 months of gym membership.
3. Live in the dorms. If you don't bond with your roommate(s), there is always your floor/suite/dorm/unitmates.
4. Hike up to the Big C in time for sunset. Stunning!
5. Take advantage of free admission to Cal's museums, Triceratops skulls, art made from human hair, and purchase plants from a world-class botanical garden.
6. Take part in undergrad research.
7. Check out the local farmers market. Props if you go to all three of the markets!
8. Wander around North side (north of campus) and marvel at all the quirky and cute houses there.
9. Attend the Ashby (at the Ashby BART station) flea market. It's open on weekends and makes for good shopping.
10. Take a freshmen/sophomore seminar. Faculty will seen a lot less intimidating in a room of 15 other people than in a lecture hall of 500.
College: It's short and possibly the best four years of your life. Explore, have fun, and savor it. I know I will be with be doing so with my last two years.