Last night marked the final evening activity of our pre-college summer program here at UC Berkeley. All of the students, Summerfuel staff, and faculty arrived at UC Berkeley’s International House, dressed to impress. Several of our students were honored by their professors for their academic excellence and given certificates of recognition. After a delicious dinner, the students honored their Resident Advisors with very touching tributes, then hit the dance floor! The Residence Life Director, John, took on a few challengers in a dance battle for the ages. The night ended with pictures, hugs, smiles, and some tears as goodbyes were being said.
As RA’s, we had the pleasure of watching all of these young men and women grow and make lifelong friends from all over the world. After four weeks, many of them adopted us as older siblings and we are beyond excited to see what the future holds and to also be able to continue in sharing their future successes.
Students had the opportunity to hear about the diverse college experiences of four Resident Advisors in a prompted Q&A session. RA’s discussed the whole spectrum of the college experience, from how to prepare for the application process to where students usually live as upperclassmen. Students posed many questions, such as how early to start your personal essay, how easy is it to switch a major, and what sort of qualities colleges look for in an applicant. At the end, RA’s shared the best piece of advice they could provide to the aspiring college students.
On Friday night, the students gathered underneath the disco ball wearing white and neon colored t-shirts for our annual Blacklight Dance Party. Our fellow RA, Gabe, played the latest hits all night long while everyone danced and laughed with friends. The students had so much fun that they did not want the evening to come to an end!
The party rolled over into Saturday afternoon. We traveled to some of the popular tourist locations in San Francisco, California. Our first stop was Twin Peaks where we stood 925 feet above the city, taking photos of the scenic view. Our next stops were Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, North Beach, and Ghirardelli Square. Each area full of shops and fine dining restaurants for the students to enjoy. One of the most popular eateries for the evening was a California favorite, In-N-Out, a popular franchise known for their delicious burgers and french fries.
The first half of Sunday was spent under the sun at the prestigious Ivy League, Stanford University. While at Stanford, we took a tour of the beautiful campus and had a picnic in the Oval. The highlight of the day was our trip to the Stanford Bookstore where students bought Stanford apparel, souvenirs, iced coffee, and books. The remainder of the day was spent at the Palo Alto Mall where students shopped until they dropped.
Week three brought many exciting evening activities. We kicked things off on Monday with our Summerfuel version of “The Dating Game,” a game show from the 1960s to 1980s. Summerfuel bachelors and bachelorettes were asked questions by one contestant. In the end, our contestants chose one to be their ice cream date!
Tuesday night was one of the most memorable nights of the summer, as we played Bubble Soccer! All of the students had the chance to play. One of the highlights of the night was the student vs. staff match.
Thursday night our students attended the Summerfuel Carnival! There were games such as Musical Chairs, Bobbing for Apples, and Pie Eating Competition. The students also enjoyed traditional carnival foods such as popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cones. The students won raffle tickets throughout the night, and at the end had the opportunity to pie a RA with whipped cream!
Academia at Summerfuel exists beyond the classrooms. As students are finishing up their third week, a couple of classes have had the opportunity to explore museums and centers in the bay area and learn more about their subjects of interest. Students of Game Design visited the offices of Glu-The Leader in 3D Freemium Mobile Gaming and International Law, and the International Relations class had the chance to visit the San Francisco Courthouse and learn more about how courts handle international cases. We always encourage our teachers and students to think outside the classrooms and make their courses as memorable as possible!
Thank you to our teachers for creating a learning experience where students can also explore new views of the bay in California!
Tuesday’s evening activity was Bubble Soccer and the students described it as one of the summer’s best activities so far. Alvaro was one of the stars of the event, proving to be an unmovable force in the field. This was an activity that the entire campus was looking forward to, and it was certainly worth the wait. The RAs also organized an ice cream social and karaoke after the Bubble Soccer game, where we discovered several hidden musical prodigies. The upcoming week is filled with other exciting events, including a trip to Stanford and our Summerfuel Carnival. Stay tuned for more updates.
“On Sunday we were able to attend the Giants game! It was such a special experience because we don’t have baseball in our country. When we arrived, we bought food, souvenirs, and found our seats. At first, it was hard to understand the game, but after a few innings, we gained a better understanding of how baseball works. It was fun and exciting because the Giants made a comeback and the crowd was going crazy!! Being a part of this experience was unforgettable because in Lebanon sports are not as common as they are in the U.S. What a memorable day!”
-Student Writer of the Day: Alec Katchadourian