Category Archives: campus life

Real World Opportunities

We’ve heard it before — Cal is a land of opportunity. Normally that is referring to our academic supremacy over all other public schools. Sometimes it is referring to our athletic capabilities, such as when we won the most recent national championship in water polo. There are truly dozens of areas in which Cal allows the world to be your oyster. However the area that I am referring to is the area of internship experience.

While Cal equips us with the tools to be eager appliers and skilled interviewers, many of the opportunities us golden bears have access to can be attributed solely to the fact that we live in the incredible Bay Area. From the tech world to finance to politics, the Bay is active in all of it.  If you are looking to apply anywhere in the Bay, it would be the smart move to take advantage of the many networking events the Alumni House holds and the resume workshops put on my different student organizations. Within my student organization, at our weekly board meetings one member of the executive board does a Linked In, cover letter, or other application building-skill workshop so that all of us are better prepared for the competitive but exciting intern lifestyle. My sorority also has individual members do resume workshops and the like. In conclusion, you can implement this sort of routine in whatever kind of organization you belong to because everyone truly does benefit from it. read more

The Art of Facilitating

UC Berkeley is known for it’s amazing academics. We’re ranked in Chemistry, Engineering, and so many other departments. But I’d say there’s another special academic program here that goes beyond our rankings. At Berkeley, you can take classes on baking, Harry Potter, and even Pokemon! And you even get UNITS for taking these classes. All thanks to our DeCal program.

What’s a DeCal? The DeCal Program allows undergraduate students to organize their own course. These students teach the course on their own to other students with similar interests! By finding a faculty sponsor and drafting out a syllabus, students can get ready to submit a DeCal proposal in almost any type of course you can imagine. Dancing, music, Game of Thrones–there are hundreds of DeCals to choose from. I even teach a DeCal on the famous rapper, Drake. read more

I think one of the most important questions in college is to figure out who you are. I’m personally from a very sexist region. When I was young, people constantly told me that because I’m a girl, I would never achieve great things. Even though I tried really hard during high school and got into Berkeley, I still don’t have a lot of confidence in myself.

During the first week of school, I saw so many people going to different social events. I was scared. I am not a very social person and I tend to be very shy when I meet people for the first time. However, I thought I was supposed to follow the crowds and pretend that I’m a social person in order to join as many events as possible. read more

Berkeley Connect: A Hidden Gem

Berkeley Connect is a miniscule program within our enormous campus. In this one unit course, Cal students of all ages and majors can sign up for a Berkeley Connect course under a specific department, such as History, Math, English, Physics, Music, and Computational Biology. All these diverse departments give students a chance to check out which majors and courses best suit and interest them. With each department’s detailed syllabus, Berkeley Connect students connect with a mentor and graduate school students, while eating (free!) dinner and embarking on field trips. If these factors aren’t enough to interest you in Berkeley Connect, I’ll share my own personal experience with the program. read more

Cal Advantages: Freshman Seminars

I have had many incoming students on my tours as me for advice for UC Berkeley freshman. This is a hard question to answer – being a large research university, opportunities at UC Berkeley are nearly endless. No two paths are identical, and it is impossible to generalize life at Cal. This being said, I have one recommendation that applies university to all incoming freshman – take a freshman seminar. Why? Here’s a few reasons.

  1. Freshman seminars are an opportunity specially designed for incoming students. Most freshman classes are large, and connecting with professors, while not impossible, can prove difficult. On the other hand, seminars connect you directly with a professor through an intimate setting. These 1 unit courses have no more than 15 other students in them. Your professor will not only know you by name, but get to know your interests and aspirations.
  2. You will be able to connect with other first year students who share your interest. Freshman seminars are offered in almost every department at UC Berkeley – hosting a range of options from Biology to History. Being a part of a seminar provides you with a way to network with other students who, most likely, will be your classmates for 4 years. Through an intellectual setting, freshman seminars are a great way to make new friends.
  3. Freshman seminars allow you to explore a topic without the pressure of a 4 unit graded course. Last semester, I took a linguistics seminar with Professor Lin out of pure curiosity. What is linguistics? I had no idea. Professor Lin walked by 10 student seminar through the basics of linguistic analysis, as well as introducing relevant topics of the day. She inspired me to take a (much more intense) Ling 100 class this semester, and possibly major or minor in the discipline. Without this freshman seminar, I would have been too nervous to explore outside my comfort zone.

All these reasons not enough? Sometimes the professor will bring in donuts! read more

BEARing the trails

It’s no surprise that Berkeley students are busy. We’ve got classes, clubs, work, and endless more commitments. Trust me when I say we do still take care of ourselves and have some fun.

When I do get time off, my personal favorite pass time is hiking. As a resident of Clark Kerr, I can walk 5 minutes from my dorm room before I hit the fire trails. These span all around the hills behind Berkeley and can range from anywhere between a 1 to 5 mile hike. I enjoy spending my Sunday mornings waking up early, make smoothies for my friends, and heading out to one of these trails for about an hour before we can treat ourselves with Clark Kerr brunch. Being able to start off my week with an activity that only makes me more excited for the days ahead, is quite rejuvenating. There are points of these trails that can push my athletic ability but I always remind myself of the beautiful view at the top. Once we see that peak of the hill, my friends and I will run towards the vista point and revel at the beautiful view ahead of us. In one direction is the industrial city of Oakland and to the other is the ever so famous Golden Gate Bridge. Of course we also get a great view of our very own Sather Tower. That view never fails to remind how lucky we are to go to school in such a dynamically gorgeous part of the world. read more

Math? Math!

“You’re a math major?? Why would you do that to yourself??!”
This is the initial response I get about 90% of the time I tell someone that I am a math major. It is typically then followed by asking me what I could possibly want to do with this degree other than become a math teacher.

While being a math teacher is a wonderful profession for some, it is definitely not the reason I chose to major in math. I went into math because I love the puzzle which is mathematics. Every new concept I learn is an opportunity for me to problem solve and eventually apply those skills to real life problems. read more

Ways to Destress and Feel Good about Yourself

It is no secret that college students are busy. These days, there are so many things that are expected from us. Not only do we have to stay on top of homework assignments, projects, essays, and other deadlines, we also have to allot time in our crazy schedules for studying. Otherwise, we would be in danger of falling behind, which would be stressful when midterm seasons roll around. Although this challenge allows us to grow and become stronger versions of ourselves, sometimes, it can be quite overwhelming. We become so caught up in the workload that we forget to take care of ourselves. Taking care of ourselves is extremely vital. In my opinion, our mental health is as important, if not more, than our physical health. read more

What Your Classes Can’t Teach You

Ask anyone that has been through college, “what’s the most important thing you learned in those years?” Maybe some of them will tell you that they learned to have fun, or challenge themselves. Maybe some of them discovered a new passion, or met the love of their life. There are an infinite number of experiences during college, but I bet that 99% of them have nothing to do with just classes. College teaches you an infinite number of life lessons, many of which come from within yourself. No one can prepare you for the ways in which your life can change, and the whirlwind can often feel a bit crazy. So, what’s to be expected? read more

The Perks of Being a Cal Fan

If you ask me how I feel about Cal, my answer is always “Go Bears!” After a win, after a loss, or even when there is no game at all–my spirit is always there .

Since my freshman year, I’ve been a part of the Rally Committee, the largest spirit and service organization on campus. Aside from this, I’ve been working with our Cal Athletics department as a student intern. I live and breathe Cal Spirit, and it’s well worth the effort. Being a Cal Fan has given me countless memories and opportunities that have shaped my college experience. read more