I never actually had the privilege of visiting UC Berkeley before I submitted my SIR. So when the time came to choose a dorm I was completely in the dark. I tried to do all the research the Internet allowed me to do but at the end of the day websites can’t really do justice when making a decision about which residence halls to choose. I thus made my decision randomly, letting the decision lie with the gods above. Then one fine day the housing algorithm spat out Unit 3- Triple as my dorm/room assignment. Immediately I was concerned. Live with two other people? That sounded daunting to say the least. Most of my summer was spent wondering whether my room situation would be overwhelming.
Fast forward to the 15th of August 2012, I first enter my room. It was definitely bigger than I imagined and it was kind of a mess because the other roommates had arrived and not exactly unpacked everything properly. I remember unpacking my suitcase when my roommate walked into the room. I did not know it then but I was meeting my best friend at this school. Looking back it is almost surreal to think that there was a point in time where we didn’t know each other, or even when we didn’t live together (we still do today, despite moving out of the dorms a while ago). My second roommate who I met later in the day turned out to be just as awesome. After a few weeks of slightly awkward settling in, the best year of my life began.
Living with these two really made my college experience so much richer. We would literally stay up till 4 in the morning eating the unhealthiest food imaginable, go on fun roommate adventures in San Francisco, and even partake in the occasional fights. At the end of the year they were my closest family in a foreign land. They helped me fit in and supported me in every possible way.
It wasn’t just my roommates who became a family to me though; it was also my whole floor. This co-ed floor had about 30 people, some that I liked and disliked, but at the end of the day I still deeply cared about them all. Even after moving out of the dorms a majority of us meet up frequently and it’s always a nice feeling catching up with them.
I think that the random decision the algorithm made that day really defined my four years at Cal. As some of the new admits are now deciding their housing, my advice is regardless of what dorm or what room assignment you get assigned, make the best of it! I would never have made this family had I held myself back or resented my situation. Your freshman year at Berkeley is important, socially and academically. It is a big transition and being open minded about the opportunities you are given will definitely make life a lot more fun for you!