A week ago was Cal Day, one of the craziest days of the quiet month of April. It’s the time to visit the legendary school of University of California, Berkeley. In Cal Day, almost everything within the campus is free: parking, going up the bell tower, the library, talks, crafts, performances.
When we arrived at Cal, there was no parking. At all. We drove around for 20 minutes, until we finally found a parking lot reserved especially for “visitors at Cal Day”. It seemed that nobody had come across this place, as only about 20 of the 70 parking spaces were occupied. The streets were…loud. There was music blasting from every other fraternity/sorority house lined up all in a row. The college students were showing lots of school spirit; they all had on Cal gear, some even marked their faces with blue and gold or had tattoos of bears.
First thought: they are almost exactly like Archbishop Mitty (High School). Mitty’s Seventh Grade Day was energetic, noisy, overflowing with school spirit. Second thought: this place is wild. I saw people running around holding speakers and dancing on the streets. I saw police standing at the corner of every block, and there was an ambulance parked outside one sorority, carrying an empty stretcher out of the house. Third thought: it’s beautiful. The skies are blue. The grass is green. The buildings are stylish. The tower just adds to the look of an excellent college campus.
All in all, it was a great visit, and really added to my understanding of one of the best public colleges in the United States. I mean, all colleges have their downsides. Seeing the university on Cal Day gave me a look into life after moving out of your parents’ house. There were choices that students made, and the students I saw partying made the choice to have fun that day, and the students I didn’t see made the choice to stay in and do homework, or study for the next test. It also taught me a valuable lesson: just because you go to college and get a degree, doesn’t mean your life is all good from now on. Even as an adult, you constantly have to make decisions that can affect your health, lifestyle, and future.
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