Calum McLaren

Calum McLaren

Alameda, CA | Sophomore | Molecular Cell Biology

Why did you join Cal Rotaract?

I was looking for an outlet for community service, and then Shelley recommended it to me and so I showed up to some of the meetings, I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the general vibe, and I started going to some of the events. I think the reason I chose it was, it was a good program run by good people, doing something I was interested in.

What is your favorite memory from Cal Rotaract?

I like about the Rose Gardens event a lot as we learned a lot about plants which is really interesting. I like the one night where we learned about our families and got to know everyone.

Why is community service important to you?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a mom and an aunt (both angels) that have instilled those values in me. You also get into a rhythm of it because of requirements for middle school and high school, so that helps you get a feel for community service and if you’re into it, and I enjoy doing community service. It’s something that makes me feel good, and I love that I can give back to my community. And especially with cal rotaract I’m helping my local Berkeley area, and so I enjoy doing that. Paying it forward.

What has been your favorite service event in Rotaract?

I really enjoy the hot meals drive and interacting with the less fortunate in berkeley, and pouring hot food on their plate and serving them and giving them a good time. I also enjoyed this one thing we did last semester, rebuild, which was sort of restocking inventory for a project that helped build houses for the less fortunate. And i think that was a lot of hands-on work and I really enjoy doing that. So i think it would probably be between those two.

Do you have any funny stories from Rotaract that you would like to share?

During the Egg Drop competition, everyone was working to make the egg drops. We had gone through our 3 drops and all of them worked. One team, the freds, one of their models was a box with a long string attached to it, and so they stood on top of their thing and they started lowering it down so it wasn’t really a drop and I was like, “hmm, doesn’t seem great to me” and so I told one of our other rotary guys, “hey, we should wack it” and he said, “you should do it” and then I did it and ran up and wacked it. And I immediately regretted my decision, I slapped it and it had flown, and I was like “huh, I just cheated.” and then everyone just looked at me and I was like oof, I guess i’m walking on eggshells. Literally. We ended up winning and I gave them the prize; I guess it was an offering. Not great at the moment and gonna ease into it and it’s gonna get funnier as we go on.

What are the top three traits you look for in a best friend?

I’d say similar interests are pretty big, you know, that’s a good thing to start off with if you’re into the same stuff and you can talk about it. Someone that makes you feel good and you can be comfortable with them, and you can be yourself, and you can say dumb stuff and not have to worry about it because they’re your friend, so you don’t have to be perfect around your friend and just be comfortable with them instead. And someone who makes your experiences better. So you do something you enjoy but when you’re doing it with your best friend it becomes that much better because you can share that with someone and build off each other.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I enjoy playing pick-up sports with my friends. I think it’s nice to stay active and also keep competition in my life. As a student athlete last year (men’s crew), going down from d1 athlete to rec experience is fun. It’s not as high stakes and you can have fun with it and chill out. I like playing the guitar; it’s a nice medium for me to pour stress into, I can just relax, practice, and I think it’s really cool to learn a new song. You can hear something on the radio and you’re like, “oh I can play that” and you start playing it. I think generally the songs don’t really click until you hear a certain point, and when they do click you can just run through the whole thing and it sounds sick, and I think that’s really gratifying and sick. Plus it’s fun to play for other people!