I rode my bike home today after my last final exam in something of a mental haze. For the last 13 days, I’ve spent between 10-14 hours a day studying for finals…at the number one public university…IN THE WORLD.
I still don’t quite believe I go here despite evidence to the contrary.
To say that my first semester here has been challenging is to state the obvious.
There have been negatives:
- Being constantly mistaken for a parent, faculty member, or worst of all…professor.
- A financial aid system that makes the IRS look like a beacon of compassion and customer service.
- A housing facility that has paper thin ceilings and provides power to the units on an “as needed” basis.
- A crippling pervasion of the imposter syndrome.
- Freshman that are smarter than any other human life forms I have ever met.
- There’s a murder or robbery in our proximity about once a week.
There have been positives:
- Being constantly mistaken for a non-student allows me to navigate the tables at Sproul Plaza in record time.
- I am currently unemployed and surviving THANKS to the financial aid system at Cal.
- We live in an awesome one bedroom, family housing unit that is much less expensive than anything else we could afford in the east bay.
- The incredibly brilliant and intellectually imposing faculty and support staff here have gone out of their way to remind us that we belong here. I’ll corroborate this after receiving my grades, but so far so good.
- There are no positives to smart freshman.
- We haven’t been murdered or robbed yet.
All in all, it’s been a ride. But a day has yet to pass when I haven’t taken a moment out of this frenetic pace and thanked my higher power for the fortune of being allowed to study at such an austere institution. It’s not BS…this place is the real deal and to be a part of something so incredibly vital to our country’s history and development is something I will never take for granted.
I love Cal.