Author Archives: Alyssa

Alyssa

About Alyssa

Hi! My name is Alyssa and I am a junior here at UC Berkeley studying English and Peace and Conflict Studies. Within English, I’m very interested in 19th and 20th American and British literature, though I’ve been known to quote Shakespeare from time to time. Within Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS as it’s usually called), I’m very interested in food security and human rights relating to food and wellbeing. I have been a Campus Ambassador for about 7 months now and absolutely love it – I get to talk about Cal all day long! In addition to being a tour guide, I’m involved with a couple of other awesome groups on campus. I am the Director of Publicity for the UC Rally Committee, which is a spirit organization that puts on spirit events and rallies for the campus and attends lots of sporting events. I also sing in the UC Women’s Chorale and tutor writing a couple times a month at Berkeley High School. In my free time here at Cal, I love to hang out with my friends, sing and play piano, and try new food places around Berkeley (there are so many delicious options!). I’m so happy to be a Golden Bear!

Thanksgiving around California.

Living close to Berkeley has its perks, including having family close by, free laundry, and a nice home-cooked meal every now and then. It also makes traveling home for short breaks such as Thanksgiving much more feasible.

This year was extra special, because my sister – who just started her freshman year at school in Boston – came home, and it was incredibly exciting to see her after 3 months apart. We got to catch up with some family friends, and then spent Wednesday night with our NorCal family. read more

The Importance of Theater

As an avid anglophile and a theater enthusiast, the chance to see BareStage’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” was not an opportunity I wanted to turn down.

BareStage, the oldest student-run theater group on the Berkeley campus, puts on a play and a musical each semester, and has an improve group and a show choir. As a student, it is incredibly exciting to go out an see my peers showcase their talents, and it becomes more exciting when some of my friends are involved, as was the case with this show. read more

A Very British Summer

One of the most exciting aspects of being a UC Berkeley student is the sheer number of opportunities the school offers, whether it be in choice of majors, clubs, dance troupes, or nearby food options. Study Abroad is no different. UC Berkeley study abroad affords students the chance to study in one of 40-50 countries, on 6 continents, for a full year, a semester, or a summer. Students can take classes, do an internship, or in a few cases, do a combination of the two.

Since the days of my high school-obsessions with British music and Downton Abbey, spending time in London had been a dream of mine. Utilizing the resources and programs that UC Berkeley abroad offers, this dream became a reality this past summer, where for 7 weeks I go to spend time in this electric yet historic city. read more

Happy Birthday Campanile!

Stepping onto the UC Berkeley campus from any direction, visitors and students alike can immediately notice our Sather Tower cresting above the trees. Walking – or sprinting to class – is made more enjoyable accompanied by Campanile’s hourly toll or its thrice-a-day concerts. This year, the Campanile became an even more central character in our campus’ narrative, as 2015 marked its 100th birthday.

At 307 feet tall, the Campanile remains the third-tallest freestanding clock and bell tower in the world, beaten only by Belgium’s tower and Italy’s Campanile, the Venetian tower after which our tower was named. Its collection of bells began with a dozen installed in 1917, and has swelled to a total of 61 from other class donations and university benefactors. read more

The Beauty of Cal Football

It’s hard to capture the magnitude of Cal’s 73 points against Grambling State during the Cal football season opener. It’s difficult to articulate the nail-biting stress that the games against the University of Texas, the University of Washington, and Washington State University induced, though they ultimately ended in sweet victory. It’s tough to accurately craft into words being a 5-0 team ranked 23rd in the nation.

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The first Cal game I attended as a freshman was the second game of the 2012 season against Southern Utah, and we won pretty decisively, giving me a great first impression of Cal football. Though the rest of the season proved to be pretty tough and disappointing, the beautiful taste of our 43-17 rout of UCLA left me at least hopeful for the 2013 season, the new, Sonny Dykes era of Cal football. read more

Making the Final Decision: My Berkeley Story

It was a relatively warm, windless March Thursday, but I didn’t much notice.  My teachers taught me about the American judicial system and statistical T-tests, but there was really one thing on my mind: UC Berkeley admissions, 5 P.M.  After school I trudged home in a heavy, contemptive silence, slogged through an hour of homework, and attended a voice lesson without fully concentrating on my scales or songs.  5 P.M.

I raced home, hands trembling and knees shaking as I opened up my laptop and logged onto my email.  And then there it was.  “Congratulations!” it read.  Disbelief, jubilation, pure happiness. read more

Sharing Cal Day

The promotional tagline for Cal Day, our newly admitted students day here at Cal, is “#shareCalDay.” For months now, our office has been hard at work bringing this huge event into fruition, and all of us ambassadors have done our part in promoting this event via all forms of social media, as well as to our friends and any incoming students we know. I’ve been hyping this event to our visitors all semester long, and as April 18 drew closer, I’ve been trying to share Cal Day with our visitors on tours each chance I get. We were planning over 350 events during the day, and expecting 35,000 visitors, and I sought to share the fun that was sure to ensue to anyone who would listen. read more

April is election time!

It’s hard to step onto Sproul Plaza on a weekday and not immediately sense the uniquely quirky energy that has come to characterize the Cal campus. Student groups flyering between the trees, a capella groups serenading students by Sather Gate, the occasional protestor emphatically speaking on the Sproul steps – all of these are common features of the campus’ busiest and most visible entrance. But last week and this week, it’s been even busier, as campus election season has transformed the plaza. read more

Charter Day!

Just last week, on Monday, March 23, Cal celebrated its 147th birthday, 147 years since the 1868 founding of the University of California. As a student attending Cal in the 2010s, I’ve found I often see Cal and my daily adventures through my 21st century eyes, through the challenges and characteristics that distinguish Cal in its current, vibrant form. But Cal’s recent birthday has gotten me to thinking more about the many thousands of students who have come before me, and all of the adventures they experienced at a Cal that was very different from what it is today. read more

Cal Spirit and Sports!

Stepping onto the UC Berkeley campus for even just a minute, it’s easy to see the school spirit filling Sproul Plaza and Cal’s hallowed halls. Whether it’s the blue and gold gear students don, the “go bears!” offered to friends walking by, or active participation in school spirit events, Cal pride is a very palpable thing.

Attending sporting events is one way I, along with many of my fellow Cal students, immerse ourselves in this tangibly thrilling spirit. One of my favorite teams to support has been Cal Women’s Basketball. Our women’s team reached the NCAA Final Four in the 2012-2013 season, and has consistently demonstrated athletic prowess in the seasons since. Women’s senior Reshanda Gray was just honored with the PAC-12 Player of the Year award, voted on by coaches in the conference, and four of her teammates, Brittney Boyd, Mikayla Cowling, Gabby Green, and Mercedes Jefflo, also received honors from the PAC-12. read more