Thanksgiving around California.

Living close to Berkeley has its perks, including having family close by, free laundry, and a nice home-cooked meal every now and then. It also makes traveling home for short breaks such as Thanksgiving much more feasible.

This year was extra special, because my sister – who just started her freshman year at school in Boston – came home, and it was incredibly exciting to see her after 3 months apart. We got to catch up with some family friends, and then spent Wednesday night with our NorCal family.

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I spent Thursday and Friday in Los Angeles visiting my dad’s side of the family, and we had a delicious meal on Thursday night, complete with plenty of turkey and stuffing, great conversation, and only a small sweet potato mishap. The weather was a bit warmer than it was in the Bay Area, which made our outdoor explorations much more enjoyable.  It was a nice change of scenery to spend some time in Southern California.

This year, unlike years past, I returned to Berkeley on Friday evening, in order to attend Cal’s final regular season football game, my final home game as a student. I donned my Cal gear, and many layers of warm clothing, and trekked up to California Memorial Stadium for the final time as a student, which was incredibly surreal.

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My goal for the game was to be as spirited and involved as I could, and to create some happy memories to finish out the season. I paraded up to the stadium in the pregame rally, I ran out onto the field to start the game with one of the Cal flags, and I got to help guard the California banner that rests atop the student section. The game was filled with so many emotions: excitement, anguish, hope, and then, victory! The final-second field goal to secure our victory over Arizona State did so much more than simply win the game: it brought us to a winning record for the season, bettered our chances for being invited to a good bowl game, and represented a total change in the way the previous 3 seasons have ended. It was such a thrill to experience this triumph, and to have my last college gameday end in true Cal fashion. Watching the team pour onto the field was an incredible final mental picture that I got to capture from the game.

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Though Thanksgiving break was brief, it was great to be able to do so much and see so many people, and provided me with great inspiration to finish the semester strong!

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Author: Alyssa

Hi! My name is Alyssa and I am a junior here at UC Berkeley studying English and Peace and Conflict Studies. Within English, I’m very interested in 19th and 20th American and British literature, though I’ve been known to quote Shakespeare from time to time. Within Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS as it’s usually called), I’m very interested in food security and human rights relating to food and wellbeing. I have been a Campus Ambassador for about 7 months now and absolutely love it – I get to talk about Cal all day long! In addition to being a tour guide, I’m involved with a couple of other awesome groups on campus. I am the Director of Publicity for the UC Rally Committee, which is a spirit organization that puts on spirit events and rallies for the campus and attends lots of sporting events. I also sing in the UC Women’s Chorale and tutor writing a couple times a month at Berkeley High School. In my free time here at Cal, I love to hang out with my friends, sing and play piano, and try new food places around Berkeley (there are so many delicious options!). I’m so happy to be a Golden Bear!