Category Archives: campus life

A Visitor’s Guide to Food

The most common question I get asked at the end of my tours is: Where should I go for food?

My response always starts with, “It depends on what you’re looking for…”

Golden Bear Café is conveniently located on Sproul Plaza and has smoothies, snack items, salads, burritos, and coffee. It’s every student’s go to stop if they’re in need of food quick.

Then, there’s all the Cal Dining Halls that are buffet style and have food everyone can enjoy! The endless salad bars, pizza, desserts, etc. read more

Back to Basketball

High-fiving the starters as they’re announced…I’m in this photo I swear…

It’s my favorite time of year: IT’S BASKETBALL SEASON!

To continue my reasons as to why I love the end of the year, basketball plays a very large role. Not only is it NBA season, but it is also the start of college basketball. As the spirited Cal student that I am, I am of course super excited to start cheering on my Golden Bears.

I’ve been following our team everywhere–from live streams, to live games in Haas Pavilion–I’ve even travelled all the way to Vegas to watch the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament. (Not to mention, it was FREE because I was one of the students who attended the most home games!) If you ever go to a Cal Basketball game, trust me when I say I am NOT hard to miss. read more

How to Make Nothing of Substance and Have Fun Doing it, or Improv

Calapalooza 2014: a very tall but very friendly man leans across a table and asks me a clarifying question. He puts it bluntly, “are you interested in just watching improv or do you want to do improv too?” I tell him “both.”

Me using improv as an excuse to get an amazing head massage, Spring 2017

I’m happy to say I have been doing both the whole three years since then. That tall man was Derrek, who has since become a teammate, mentor, and dear friend. The table was for jericho! improv & sketch comedy which also became my de facto Cal family. jericho! which in our more flippant moments we like to call j! meets twice a week and performs every other Friday on campus (usually in the bottom floor of moffit, but not always). We do improv, write and perform live sketches and also creative digital shorts for our youtube channel. We love all of it just as much as we love each other. read more

Best Ways to Stay Fit Before the Holidays Approach

Well, here’s the good news. Thanksgiving break is two short weeks away, and winter break is a quick, studying-filled three weeks later. All of that adds up getting to spend time with old friends, going from missing your family to being sick of them again, and of course some tear-worthy home cooked meals. Since you have been so dearly missed, your favorite things can often be cooked for you on command, and as often as you want. When you only have a week or two to experience the beauty of your family’s food versus cafeteria food, you should do all you can to take full advantage of it. However, to prepare for all of that food entering your body, and to continue avoiding that so-called freshman fifteen, now is the perfect time to take advantage of all of the local incredible workout spots and opportunities. read more

Saturdays are for Game Days

 

There’s something different in the air during football season at Cal. Students show off their blue and gold colors just a little bit more—Yale blue (after our founders) and California gold (after the California Gold Rush). They get incredibly defensive about any ranking that contradicts us being the number one public university. And last but not least, they lose all productivity on Saturdays.

The pre-game festivities begin at an unholy hour. Music from Greek row makes its way into open windows and the smell of alumni tailgates spreads throughout the entire Southside. It’s the one day of the week when students can forget about upcoming midterms, paper deadlines, and internship interviews. My high school had 3pm Varsity football games that no one but the parents of the players attended. We barely won games in any sport; needless to say, school spirit was not common. My first Game Day at Cal was incredible. I was surrounded by thousands of peers who loved Cal as much as I did—who were actually excited about the football game. And the games did not disappoint. read more

Done with Exams!

Can you believe that it is already November 1st and the fall semester is going to be over in a month and a half?! I can’t believe it! Being here at Berkeley for a little over a year now, I am itching for a mini vacation. I am going to be finished all of my midterm exams this week, so I’m getting some friends together to do some fun activities over the weekends in November:

  • Color Factory: A pop-up shop in San Francisco, this exhibit has some super cool interactive displays that involve colors! Tickets sell out super quickly, so you have to buy them probably a month in advance right when they go on sale. The Color Factory was super cool to visit. It was a ton of fun taking artsy pictures and playing in the giant ball pit at the end of the exhibit!
  • Corgi Con: Twice a year on Ocean Beach, California, there is a Corgi Con festival. Basically, a bunch of corgi dogs (and other breeds) are dressed up in cute little costumes and are hanging out on the beach. My friends and I went this past summer and we saw the little corgis race across the beach and even participate in costume contests! If you love dogs, this is definitely something to check out!
  • San Francisco Zoo: A 100 acre zoo located in San Francisco, California. The zoo has zebras, buffalos, monkeys, elephants, and even bears and large cats! As Berkeley is super close to the Bay Area, I feel like I should be taking advantage of everything San Francisco has to offer. The zoo is a super easy BART ride away from the Berkeley BART station; super accessible!
  • Lake Anza: A 15 minute drive from UC Berkeley, Lake Anza is a recreational swimming reservoir in Tilden Regional Park. If you don’t have a car at Berkeley, don’t worry! There are a ton of easy ways to get around! You can rent a car through Zipcar or Gigcar, Uber there, or even use Berkeley’s ridesharing group! This would be a super easy, fun activity to do on a weekend to relax and hang out with friends.
  • Six Flags: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a theme park with roller coasters and other amusement rides. A 45 minute drive from Berkeley, this amusement park is too close to not take advantage of! If you are a student living in the Residence Halls, sometimes the Residence Halls will bus students to the theme park for a day! Super neat!
  • Concerts: In a few weeks, I’m going to see Fall Out Boy at Oracle Arena (a 20 minute BART ride from Berkeley). In December, I’ll be going to Poptopia, a music festival with artists like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and the Chainsmokers! There are a TON of concert opportunities here in Berkeley, whether at the Greek Theater on Berkeley’s campus, or in San Francisco. Perfect for a concert junkie like me!
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    How did you spend Cal-O-Ween?

    It’s the most spooky-filled time of the year…IT’S HALLOWEEN!

    Or as we like to call it in Berkeley, Cal-O-Ween! October is my favorite month of the year. Not just because I was born during this month, but because I am a huge fan of all the festivities that go on during this spooky season.

    What’s great about Halloween is how universal the scary theme is. So for those of you who miss the annual pumpkin patch back home, there’s still the chance to catch it here in Berkeley–and the Bay area! But living in Berkeley comes with the perks of our own Cal-O-Ween celebrations, so here’s my brief run-down of things to do during the Halloween season: read more

    Rhetoric, or How I Chose my B.A. in B.S.

    I still remember it today: “Everything has a rhetoric. Even this has a rhetoric,” My professor noted as she lifted her iPhone off her desk in front of her. I rolled my eyes. The class was an R1B, one of the college writing courses students are required to take. Our topic was “The Rhetoric of Autobiography. In it we read poetry, novels, and essays, as well as an autobiography or two.

    On my application I had listed philosophy as my major but over the course of that semester I found by reading for Philosophy 2 (Individual Morality & Social Justice) to be more and more tedious. My Rhetoric reading, however, I found more and more exciting. Poetry, novels, some of the most creative essays I had ever read. Our discussion got more and more fascinating too. Philosophy was slow, dotting every i, crossing every t, making its list checking it thrice. Rhetoric blazed ahead, regarding grammar only as another device to be used or eschewed depending on ones aims and cultural context. read more

    Two Different Programs, One Year Abroad

    I had the pleasure of studying abroad in Spain for the full academic year, first spending the Fall semester in Córdoba and later extending my stay for another semester in Spain, but in a different city – Granada. Being abroad for the full year turned out to be a great decision, yet the way the two programs differed made a big impact on my experience. If you are interested in studying abroad, consider some of these features and select a program carefully!

    One thing to focus on is if your program is centered around a community of US, international, or local students, and similarly, who your classes are with. In Córdoba, my program was composed of 14 UC students, so I spoke a lot of English and traveled around Europe with those friends. My classes were also offered only for us abroad students, and were taught in easy-to-understand Spanish by local professors. In contrast, my classes in Granada were at the official Universidad with local students and professors, helping me make local friends and forcing me to listen and communicate in Spanish much more frequently. This greatly aided my Spanish acquisition and cultural knowledge and also incentivized me to stay put in my program city during weekends. Here I also saw the importance of an immersive academic experience in order to truly learn the language. read more

    Making the Most of Your Berkeley Experience: Concert Addition

    One of my favorite things about attending UC Berkeley is that we all get to live in a city environment, as opposed to exclusively a college town or something similar. On top of that, we have the extraordinary privilege of having the city of San Francisco a free public bus ride or a twenty minute BART ride away. Basically, there is simply no excuse to ever be bored here. If, for some incredulous reason you do find a way to get bored, I have one word for you: CONCERTS!

    Concerts are something that you never regret attending, especially if you find an amazing concert for a great price.This is usually pretty doable in the Bay Area, particularly because there are so many different venues to choose from. Here is a play by play of some of the best venues the Bay has to offer: read more