“You’re going to become such a hippie.”
“Hope you like the smell of weed.”
“Don’t stop showering!”
“Are you going to come back vegan?”
“Better register as a socialist.”
At the time, we all just scoffed and rolled our eyes at everyone’s assumptions of us post-Berkeley. We rebuffed their confident claims and assured them that meat was not murder. Boy, were we wrong. It’s only now that we have to return to our original state of existence over spring break that we realize just how far we’ve come.
With break blessedly upon our sorry souls, we can finally take a quick breather from competitively comparing our summer internship offers and lack of sleep.We get to leave Moffit and feel the sunlight cook our translucent legs and have our faces illuminated by something other than our computer screens. Don’t be fooled, the sunglasses we’re wearing aren’t for protection from the sun’s rays. Rather, they’re shielding us from the blinding glow radiating from our skin, a consequence of studying for midterms that have left us as pale as we were when we were born.
While this break from studying is more than welcome, it’s going to take us a hot minute to transform back to our pre-Berkeley self. Seeing as to how break is only a week long, we don’t have time to actually completely regress. So, with this, we’ll just have to hide what we’ve become.
Take out your nose piercing. Buzz your dreads. Hide your weed. Burn your Birkenstocks. Hang up your picket sign and megaphone. It’s time to go home.
Hiding how Berkeley has changed you is easiest when it comes to appearance. As difficult as this may be, you must opt for shoes that have actual laces. Birkenstocks, clogs and pajama slippers are all banned for the next seven days. Dig through the back of your closet and fish something out that actually fits you properly and doesn’t have the silhouette of a potato sack.
Shut up about how tired or stressed you are. While it’s totally normal, even encouraged, to stretch yourself as thin as the ice we’re skating by on in our classes, people back at home don’t want to hear about that. They don’t care about your stress-induced hair loss and the fact that we have boba shops in our computer science halls. Just pretend you’re having a normal college experience and be the happy go lucky person that you once were.
In terms of behavior, stop your compulsive meme references. Ending sentences with “-nation” and referring to yourself as a “member of the UC Berkeley community” will only make people wonder if all the weed you’ve smoke has caused some sort of irreparable damage. So, as long as we’re verbally filtering, chill with the Trump jokes. While they guarantee a chuckle, it’s a cruel world outside our Berkeley bubble. The political homogeneity that we’ve gotten used to here will quickly be shattered when we run into a Republican in the wild.
It’s not like we intended to become so Berkeley. Just as a caterpillar metamorphosizes into a butterfly, some transformations are merely a part of nature.