50 Things You Learn After Graduating from Cal

As football season begins ramping up, I’m getting more and more homesick for Cal. I still can’t believe that three months ago I graduated from the #1 public university in the world. While post-grad life is fun, nothing compares to four magical years at the best university in the world.

But the learning doesn’t stop when you pack away your course readers or walk out of Wheeler for the last time. Since becoming an alumni, I’ve realized a couple things about being a student at UC Berkeley that it took a move across the country and goodbye the Campanille and Memorial Stadium to understand.


  1. Student debt is painful and real.
  2. Finding a good job is a job in and of itself, but eventually having a paycheck is pretty cool.
  3. Life isn’t the same with your best friends down the hallway.
  4. Or within a 20 minute walk from your house.
  5. Or on the same continent.
  6. Nothing makes you smile bigger than hearing “Fight!” or “Big C” when your ringtone goes off.
  7. Or seeing someone wearing a shirt with your school on it on the other side of the country.
  8. Either way you can’t help but sing the lyrics in your head.
  9. And you are so so proud to have been in Cal Band.
  10. Game days were the best days of the year no matter how early you had to wake up for practice.FullSizeRender (1)
  11. Or Bid Day.
  12. Sororities really do build sisterhood and give you some of the best friends.
  13. And you will utterly miss your chef.
  14. You owe your freshman year dorm mates the world for getting you through your first year.
  15. You miss the carillon serenading you on the way to class.
  16. And all the acapella groups in front of Sather Gate.
  17. Studying abroad was totally worth it.
  18. Traveling on any occasion with your friends was worth every penny.
  19. And away trips with band were golden.
  20. You actually miss taking classes in fun subjects like Astronomy or Italian.
  21. And learning from the top scientists, economists, political theorists, historians, etc IN THE WORLD.DSC_0132
  22. But you will never miss the sleepless nights in the Stacks.
  23. Morrison and North Reading Rooms truly were architectural wonders.
  24. You should have taken advantage of your free gym membership (and having friends to work out it)
  25. And having endless friends to eat dinner with at all the amazing food places in Berkeley.
  26. The best part about Invites and Date Parties was getting dressed up beforehand with your best friends.
  27. You actually miss going to exchanges on the weekends.
  28. Recruitment wasn’t all that bad because at least you got to see all your friends.
  29. And band camp was actually pretty fun despite the sunburn and exhaustion.
  30. Now that you’re not in band you actually have to work out…
  31. … and buy tickets to football and basketball games??
  32. Thinking of the fog rolling over the hills onto San Francisco makes you incredibly homesick.
  33. So does thinking of hiking the fire trails or through the redwoods in Marin.
  34. SF hills are killer but always worth it for Taqueria burritos at Dolores park.
  35. Watching concerts on the hill behind the Greek was a budget-saving pastime.
  36. Memorial Stadium truly is the most beautiful football stadium in the entire world and you’ll stand by your Bears no matter how much money that damn stadium cost.
  37. Oski is creepy. But somehow… comforting???
  38. Nothing beats watching the sunset from Big C.FullSizeRender
  39. Except maybe from the window of your sorority house with your friends.
  40. Or from the student section of the stadium when there’s a night game.
  41. Or from the Berkeley Marina with some Cheeseboard or Sliver and good company.
  42. Anytime the sun is out, you automatically think of going to the Glade.
  43. Anytime you hear, “When the lights go down in the city,” you must reply with “and the sun shines on the baaayyy!!!”
  44. You get all warm and tingly thinking about the next time you’ll see the Campanille again.
  45. And seeing all your sisters at Friday brunch.
  46. And dressing up in all blue and gold to cheer on your favorite team with your favorite people in your favorite place.
  47. Big Game and Homecoming can’t come soon enough.IMG_7709
  48. And it doesn’t matter how much it costs because you know you have to go home to visit everyone and everything you love.
  49. Nothing makes you more proud than getting your degree from the NUMBER ONE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN THE WORLD.
  50. And your four years at Berkeley truly were the best four years of your life.

What have you learned since graduating from your alma mater? For the luckiest ones still in college, what will you miss the most?IMG_1285 (1)


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