Tough Transition

Tough Transition

Real kid Kara Keough explains why college at Berkeley was tough -- at first.


During my first semester at Berkeley, I struggled with the transition. I was really bitter and lonely, and this hostility was obvious in my interviews and conversations about school. After attending for nearly a year now, I have opened up a lot to the little world of Berkeley. I appreciate the small things about the city that I never even knew existed last year. I grew up living on my own and in the process, I was exposed to a lot of the really special things about the Bay Area and Berkeley. I admit I was pretty sassy about Cal during the summer when the show was filmed. It was a really tough time for me — I felt really far away from everyone and everything I really loved, and sometimes I still feel that way. But now I've found the truly great things about the little city I like to call "Berk-town." I apologize for offending people in the process, but for me, learning to love Berkeley was a love/hate journey. I've opened up a LOT to Berkeley. I've learned to love the things Berkeley offers that no other place does. I didn't vote for Obama, but I felt the passion and pride of my fellow Berkelians when he was elected. I ALMOST joined the parades and mobs on the streets of Telegraph and Shattuck when the news was announced. I cried with my peers when Prop 8 was passed. So yes, I'm a Republican at Berkeley, but dammit, I'm heading more towards the middle everyday.

Berkeley is the most interesting place I've ever been. And staying there would really be good for me as a person. School can be a little overwhelming at times, and it's difficult juggling a job, class, friends, and flying to LA to see loved ones near home. But when all is said and done, I do appreciate Berkeley.

I LOVE Zachary's Pizza, People's Park, Washington Elementary (where I volunteer with the BEST first graders in all of Berkeley — they are open-minded, smart, creative, and welcoming). The weather's a little unpredictable and that can be frustrating for a girl used to sunny So-Cal. But I love waking up in the morning and looking at the beautiful bay. I love walking through campus and knowing that I am going to see something unique, every single day. Sometimes the campus can be a little political, and the people can be a little intense, but I've learned to adjust. And yes, I've put in an application to UCLA, but not because I'm giving up, and not because I necessarily want to leave. It's more of a personal goal for me. I've pretty much gotten everything I've ever worked for in my life, EXCEPT UCLA. So it's something I strive to conquer. Berkeley's the best public school in the nation and it would be a HUGE decision (and some might argue, a mistake) to transfer, but I'd like to know I achieved my goal, even if it's just to say I did it. I'd like to have the satisfaction of knowing, "Yes, I can." But in the meantime, GO BEARS!

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