Sunday, May 10, 2015

Berkeley




So, how do I say this... I was recently admitted into the University of California, Berkeley and got an opportunity to spend this past weekend up there with a group of other accepted transfers! It was super exciting and useful. This weekend bombarded me with tons of information and perspective and I feel super blessed to have gotten this unique opportunity. Thank you to Berkeley and for the Bridges Organization there for providing this amazing opportunity to us transfer students! 

Sorry for the bad quality shots and Snap Chat framed pictures by the way! 

If my dear readers are unaware, Berkeley has always been a super bipolar dream for me. I want to leave my comfort zone, but I don't. I want to challenge myself and surround myself with geniuses, but I want a social life, too. I want somewhere different, but to give up UCLA's Westwood for Berkeley? Ummm... Super conflicted as you can see. After talking to other transfers who are currently attending Berkeley and other transfers in my major, I'm not as afraid of the workload anymore, but I'm quite terrified of the environment change.

My heart is in LA - I love feeling the sun on my skin, I love the beach being within a short reach, I love the glamour, I love the diversity in this city and I even love smelling the smog that surrounds us! I absolutely love everything about this contaminated and too populated city I currently reside in. You know that feeling of waking up on a big day like Christmas morning? I get that feeling every time I walk around any part of LA - It never ceases to fascinate or excite me. However, LA is home and do I want to stay home forever? Plus, LA has been super distracting for me lately... distance helps distract from heartbreak, but it doesn't help heal the heartbreak. I mean, it definitely hurts my heart to think of leaving LA. It just makes things seem so final and that's what I'm terrified of - the finality of leaving and being forgotten or of leaving and missing what I've left. But the thought of never being able to leave LA because I can't let go of the past? That's even more terrifying.

 When I left for Berkeley on Friday morning, my heart was torn evenly between UCLA and UCB. Like many prospective students who visit college campuses hoping for that epiphany that they belong there, I, too was hoping for that clarity to hit... and I think I got it. While sitting down with 50 other transfer students talking about our fears, hopes and opinions of Berkeley on the wet University lawn overlooking Downtown Berkeley at 11pm in the freezing cold, I got my epiphany. I may hate the weather, I may hate the ghetto-ness of Berkeley, the people may be different than I'm used to, but I didn't love LA originally, either. Before I went to community college in the city, I hated LA, in fact! You'll never know what's in store for you if you don't explore, so I'm making the decision to explore the unknown, once again, and since this change is much bigger than my last, I will not be doing it alone. I met a ton of So-Cal people who feel exactly the same as me, so I'm ready to face this change with others by my side. Nelson Mandela once said, "May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears." So, may my decision of Cal reflect my hopes that I will become independent, I will continue to explore the unknown, I can and that I will change, I will learn a new city - all over again, I will work damn hard to compete there and that I will become an overall more aware and intelligent person in order to help better myself and this world.



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