Ignore the dim predictions — do like Jay Sean and party like it’s the end of the world.

2012 new year

Or, stick to those New Years’ resolutions and stay in to study like a good Berkeley student. Whether you’re constantly passed out in other peoples’ bathrooms or stuck at your desk going over chemical structures for the 100th time, there are always things to look forward to in the new year.

Here are the Clog’s picks:

1. Telegraph recovers — After the devastating fires last year, in which the beloved Cafe Intermezzo and Raleigh’s burned down, things are looking a lot cheerier this side of ’12. Both eateries may reopen, hopefully sometime this year, making vegetarians around Berkeley absolutely ecstatic. Not only that, but Telegraph looks to be introducing some new kids to the block.

Next to Chipotle is the recently opened eatery called The Toaster Oven, which the Clog has yet to try out. Moreover, Blake’s, which was shut down last year after having money problems, is currently undergoing construction to be replaced by Pappy’s Grill and Sports Bar. We can’t wait.

2. California basketball — Once again, Cal football ended its season in disappointing fashion, losing its bowl game against the Texas Longhorns with a penalty-racked game. Not to fear, Cal fans! Cal’s men’s basketball team is redeeming the name of Cal sports and proving to the world that the Bears really do trump ducks and trees any day of the week.

Cal is currently at the top of the Pac-12, with a record of 15-4. It looks to only get better as the season progresses — make sure to go out and support as we face-off against Stanfurd on January 29.

3. More money for the middle — The UC’s new financial aid plan offers more help for middle income families (those making between $80,000 and $140,000 annually). It promises to cap parent contribution at 15 percent of family income. This comes as a much needed break for the 6,000 undergraduates coming from families in this range.

4. NO MORE CALMAIL — At long last, Cal has finally decided to scrap the despicable Calmail interface, instead opting for the smoother, more efficient system of Gmail. Happy Bears, all around. Now to see if we can change up our Tele-BEARS and Bear Facts systems as well.

5. General Berkeley debauchery — UC President Mark Yudof has requested that all UC campuses be smoke-free, the Occupy movement has not entirely died down and there are murmurs of even more budget cuts. Be prepared for what we’re all used to — protests, protests, protests. The question is, could they get any louder?

Of course, this short list is short for a reason. There are plenty of reasons to be excited for 2012! What are yours? Feel free to share them with the Clog in the comments section below.

And with that, happy New Year, and best of luck with the new semester!

Image source: Ludie Cochrane under Creative Commons

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