If any of you, like me, have most of your friends on the East Coast then you will be familiar with the constant barrage of grumbly Facebook statuses, Instagram posts, and Snapchats about the historically freezing weather there. It’s almost surreal seeing them enjoy snow days and layer up in all sorts of bulky sweaters. Sitting here in temperate Berkeley, I just cannot seem to relate to the winter experience I keep hearing about from my friends on the other side of the country.
Yet, I don’t lose sleep over it. At all. It isn’t even the end of February and I have already forgone my usual jacket and pants for the all-too-comfortable t-shirt and shorts. Berkeley residents often describe the weather here as erratic, and while it does fluctuate, the limits (forgive me for using that term, after Math 53 I never want to see it again) are very pleasant. It rarely gets too cold and rarely gets too hot. It’s always relatively pleasant. Granted we have our fare share of foggy days here as we are in the San Francisco Bay Area, after all. However, the fog only lasts for a few hours on average, enough to get your Lana Del Rey fix in before your 8:00 AM lecture. It seems that winter here is almost nonexistent. For example, this week the toasty sunshine on Memorial Glade beckoned the sunbathers and frisbee enthusiasts back to campus.
As a result of this cooperative weather, I feel the freedom to do so much more with my time here. I love to walk around campus and just enjoy the myriad of (very) interesting people who surround me. I prefer studying out on the picnic benches out behind Faculty Glade as opposed to inside any of the 22 libraries on campus. The weather is just too nice to warrant sitting inside.
Another thing I have recently begun to enjoy is late night walks around the city and campus, especially when the sky is clear and fogless. After finishing all my work and Netflix binges, I find it to be a cathartic experience to simply walk around the same campus that was teeming with life only a few hours ago in a completely different light. If it weren’t for these walks I would never have captured one of my favorite pictures of my favorite spot on campus, the Campanile. This Tuesday, the moon was perfectly aligned with the top of the tower and it all seemed… perfect. The motto of the University, “Fiat Lux” or “Let There be Light,” resonated with me in a thousand different ways. I love Cal. I love Berkeley. I love being here.