Big Game Week: House Divided Edition

Whenever I do the laundry at home, part of me cringes slightly every time I see my blue and gold Cal apparel go into the same space as my sister’s red Stanford gear. I guess that’s what happens when your house is divided and your sister goes to your colleges rival. And while I joke around with her all of the time about who goes to the better school (me, duh!), I feel pretty lucky to not only be rivals with another great institution but for all of the fun that both Elle, my sister and I have gained by being able to actively participate in each other’s college experience.


Last weekend was the Cal- Stanford Football game, commonly known as the “Big Game”. This game; however, is not just a short activity, but a week long celebration of school pride and preparation to take on our rivals across the bay. The Big Game is actually the oldest football college rivalry in the West and was suspended during the World Wars. It was at the 1910 Big Game that Berkeley performed the first card stunt.

I was so excited to go to the Big Game at Stanford. I am from Palo Alto and live a mile from campus so my whole family was able to join in on the fun and support my sister and I. Our younger sister even wore a red shirt with blue shorts and gold accessories to support both teams.

Once arriving to campus, I was able to meet up with one of my best friends from home. I believe that this is another positive to having Stanford as our rival, many of us have friends at the opposite school and the Big Game always allows us to catch up with one another and meet their friends. As it was dinner time after seeing my friend, I met up with my sister at the dining hall where she swiped me in (yay for meal points!) and off we went with one of her floor-mates to the game!!

Elle’s floor-mate also has a sister attending Berkeley! #housesdivided

We both went our separate ways to our respective student sections and during the first quarter met up. Highlights of the game included when I brought Elle into our student section and people started chanting, “take of that red shirt”! I had to explain that she was my sister and the other highlight was meeting another house divided pair of sisters. Elle’s floor-mate, the one that walked with us to the game also has a sister my year at Berkeley! It was so fun to meet another family with a house divided.

While we may have technically lost this years Big Game, I’m so proud of how far our golden bears have come and honestly felt like I won the game; it was so fun to celebrate higher education and athletics with my little sister!!

Author: Sara

Hello! My name is Sara Billman. I am a junior studying public health with hopes of having a career in sports medicine. Since I have been figure skating since the age of three, I have a vested interested in working with athletes to maximize their potential through preventative measures such as proper weight lifting education, nutrition and recovery. At Berkeley, I am on the Cal Figure Skating Team , the assistant philanthropy chairman of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority, a research assistant for a Berkeley psychology lab, and I serve as a part of the Catholic Student Ministry Team. In my free time, I enjoy studying to become a group fitness instructor or just hanging out with friends (often while hiking or drinking coffee). After Berkeley, I plan on filling my gap year before grad school by working for Disney on Ice or as a Catholic Missionary. Cal has offered me the best undergraduate career I could have asked for. It allows me to be a part of a diverse family that encourages each individual to reach his or her highest potential by exposing them to a range of interests. Berkeley allows me to reach my highest potential not only in my passion for figure skating but also in my academic goals. Go Bears!