I finished college yesterday. Every so often that realization hits me and I heave a long sigh (“oooh… my… gaaaaawedsgsd”) until the jumble of emotions fades back into numbness. It’s hard not to be melodramatic when I’m leaving behind an entire phase of my life, the formal education that spanned from my nervous entrance into the kindergarten classroom to the moment I turned in my last exam yesterday.
It’s easy to look back on my college years and think of all the things I could have done differently. If I had known I would finish my degree requirements in 3 years, I would have double majored or done the 5 years master program. Conversely, I could have taken things easier and had what the cool kids call ‘a life’. (But then I remember that I’m not too great with a social life anyway – it’s better to keep these levels of awkwardness contained in my room.)
Honestly, though, my time at Cal couldn’t have been much better (except perhaps for that sophomore slump, but I feel like working to the point of mental breakdown helped me grow, and now I’m finally able to cry easily. Thanks, Hilfinger!).
I made a few close friends and a flurry of acquaintances, joined several volunteer organizations and an honor society, took salsa dance lessons and beginning Taekwondo, attended my fair share of football games and frat parties and campus performances, tried out meditation and vegetarianism in true Berkeley style, made many expeditions to beautiful SF, napped and read for blissful hours on the sun-warmed grasses of Memorial Glade and Willard Park, got free lunches every Friday just for being a minority in my major… These are not years I’ll remember with regret, but with rose-tinted nostalgia.
I feel like a little acknowledgements section is appropriate, considering I owe surviving college to others. So thanks to UC Berkeley, particularly the EECS program and everyone involved therein, for teaching me heaps and providing the key to getting so many incredible job offers in this less-than-ideal economy. Thanks to my family for more unconditional love and support than I will ever deserve. Thanks to my friends for every single minute of laughter and conversation over 7 semesters, and for being understanding all those times I plead “busy”. Thanks to my project partners for putting up with my frequent spiralling descents into madness. Finally, thanks to anyone who has ever geeked out with me in any capacity, because unbridled enthusiasm is one of life’s greatest joys.