Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lucina Parada

Dear Mr. Ramsey and fellow ILC Members,
My name is Lucina Parada and I am currently a senior at UC Berkeley. Four years ago, I was fortunate enough to experience three wonderful and rigorous weeks at Cornell University for the Freedom and Justice Program. Fast forward to the present and I find myself facing the start of my senior year of college in three weeks.

As I reflect upon the last three years, I’m proud to say I have no regrets in my college career, which entailed living at home and commuting to Berkeley. Some may say I missed out on the “full college experience,” but when you’re picking your home for the next four years, it’s important to take into consideration how much you truly like the environment of that particular school and all it has to offer. For me, it was a world-renowned public university 30 minutes away from home with an invigorating school spirit and amazing professors. I’ll be the first to admit commuting is tough when I get home late and I still have to study when all I want to do is sleep. However, it comes down to making the best of the situation; luckily, the experiences I’ve had at UC Berkeley surpass the rigors of commuting.
Academically, I’ve opened my mind to a new level of thinking but I’ve also experienced the hardships that come along with it. In those situations, be strong and persevere. Remember that you are just as intelligent as the people around you and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. It will make you feel better and you’ll do much better in your classes. In order to counter the stress that comes with a full course load, I turn to the Cal Band where I can be around my friends and find comfort in knowing that everyone else is just as overwhelmed. What makes it more special is that we voluntarily take part in this organization and dedicate 10 hours each week to perfecting our single field show for a football game.
For me, there’s nothing like marching into the stadium and having 70,000 fans cheering at the top of their lungs. In that moment, I forget everything and take it all in. When I really think about it, those are some of the best memories I’ll take away from Berkeley. Find something that brings joy to your life and makes you forget about the stress of classes for an instant. For me, it was the Cal Band and for you, it may differ but in the end, that’s how you’ll be able to truly enjoy college.

Best of luck to all you ILC students and Go Bears!

Lucina Parada
University of California, Berkeley
B.A., Political Science, May 2013

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