My apartment is beautiful and I really am so lucky. I hunted the place down because it was gorgeous and appeared safe. I'm way up high in the building, so I feel very far from the city-life that can sometimes be a little frightening to a girl from suburbia. At night, a guy plays the saxophone on the corner below my place and I just open the windows and breathe the fresh bay air and listen to his music. I also get to wake up every morning and look out at the Golden Gate and Bay Bridge, and it makes me feel so fortunate. I'm extremely happy with my living situation. Berkeley really does have a lot to offer. Berkeley has opened itself up to me and I'm beginning to feel more welcomed and happy here. I've never been given any grief for what I said about Berkeley after my first semester here - most other students can relate to the loneliness and exclusion I initially felt. Apparently, a lot of students have a hard time adjusting during their first semester. I'm enrolled in 18 units so my workload is nuts right now, but it feels good to have the pressure on (it's kinda how I roll).
I feel like I need to address what my mother and I said about the homeless people in Berkeley. I know it may have been offensive, but calling a homeless person a "bum" is quite common. I didn't even realize it was offensive until I saw everyone freaking out about it on the blogs... I have heard this term since I was 6 by all different people so I assumed it was politically correct. Now that all the viewers have set me straight, I promise to watch my mouth. I do, however, have compassion for these people. When I have left over meal points, I go grocery shopping on my school meal point credits and drop it off in People's Park, which I admit is a little scary (don't judge me on that). I try to get soda and food for the nice man that sits on the corner of Telegraph and Bancroft (he's so sweet, he says "God bless you!" every time someone walks by). We’re living in a tough economy right now. I do what I can, considering I don’t have a lot of money. And no, I don’t have a lot of money. Minimum wage doesn't get you very far these days, which makes me sad to realize that most Americans can’t get help if they need it (as I can). My apartment is not “a penthouse," and yes, it's expensive, but so is everything in Berkeley. It's a city and the real estate is very desirable. I am spoiled, I will admit that. I can sometimes be a brat. But I am not without passion. I will not be accused of that. I don't always say the right thing, and I make inappropriate jokes (intensified on TV because I consider myself an entertainer and I try too hard to make people laugh). I have worked at homeless shelters before and I completely realize these are human beings with real feelings. Seeing young girls, without a home and family, study for the SATs was sobering. To realize that some girl sleeping outside, doing what she can for the next meal, worries about the same things that I worry about, was truly an awakening. It's true though, that some of the homeless people are drug addicts, and I’m sorry that they can't get the help they need, but that kind of problem frightens me. And even people who have homes and are addicted to drugs scare the crap out of me as well. That's a personal thing. Anyways, here's my apologies for offending anyone. You don't know me, so I thought I'd clarify that I do have a place in my heart for the helpless.