Taking Every Opportunity

This summer, I had a friend ask me if I wanted to go to a concert at the Greek Theater. The concert started in three hours and I didn’t listen to the bands playing very often but I had never been to a concert, so I said yes. Two weeks later, my roommate’s friend’s car broke down and I had 30 minutes to decide whether or not to buy her ticket to the concert at the Greek that night. I bought her ticket and, 30 minutes later, texted my dad a picture of one of our favorite artists singing right in front of me. His response made me think a lot about life.

I had previously asked him if he thought I should go, given that I had just dropped $50 on a ticket to the same venue two weeks earlier, but he didn’t see the text until after I had sent him the picture from inside the concert. He responded by saying “I would freaking go! This is what being young is all about!” And although that was a text written with the jealousy of someone 800 miles away from the concert they want to see, sent after my decision was already made, it still made me think.

The band Fitz and the Tantrums on stage at the concert I went to at the Greek Theater.
Fitz and the Tantrums at the Greek Theater during my second concert ever

This is what being young is all about. Sitting there next to my roommate, screaming out my favorite lyrics with thousands of other fans, that line seemed to fit perfectly with the emotion I was feeling.

This is what being young is all about. Sometimes my friends will call me and ask to get dinner and I will think about the leftovers in the fridge before this line comes into my mind and I agree to meet them at Tacos Sinaloa in 15 minutes. 

This is what being young is all about. As I looked at my schedule this semester and debated continuing with the research that I may or may not have time for, this line popped into my mind. No, research isn’t the same as spontaneous concerts, but it sure is interesting and I get to work with some amazing people researching things I never thought I would be able to research as an undergraduate. And isn’t taking every opportunity what being young is all about?

This is what being young is all about. As I stand on the field at games, waving the Cal flag along with some of my best friends, this occasionally pops into my head. That feeling of excitement over a sport I barely understand and the experience of being there with friends and going all out to spread Cal spirit through my position in the UC Rally Committee, makes me so happy to be right there, in that moment, that all I can think of is this line.

I don’t think my dad meant to change my outlook on life when he sent me that text but it pops into my head enough that I sometimes think he did. Here at Berkeley, there have been so many opportunities, just in the last month, that have made me think about this line. Whether it is screaming my head off at a concert, doing a reading for class and challenging my perspectives on criminal justice, or simply exploring San Francisco with my friends, every couple days my dad’s words echo throughout my head: This is what being young is all about.

Author: Jazz Van Horn

I'm a sophomore majoring in economics and political science and minoring in German. In my free time when I'm not studying or giving tours, I am part of multiple clubs on campus and I love creative writing. A fun fact about me is that I'm trying to study at every library on campus.