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

    How To Keep Your Parents Happy

    Ah, Parents’ Weekend. It’s an interesting time here at Cal. For most Freshmen, it’s the first time they’ve seen their parents since move-in. It’s a time for them to go out to dinner and share stories of their new best friends, give updates on their classes, and show them around campus. I love talking to new Cal Parents—they’re just so excited to hear everything about Cal! I personally would have never made it to Cal nor been as driven, motivated, and determined to success as I am without the support my parents provided me. The way I see it, the least I can do is keep in touch with them and allow them to stay involved in my life—even though I haven’t been home for more than three weeks in over two years. read more

    My Berkeley Firsts

    College is a time full of new experiences and exciting new endeavors. There are certain first experiences at Berkeley that I will never forget.

    My first close friend at Berkeley was made in the Stern Hall laundry room. Everyone told me that I would make friends in the dining hall because everyone has to eat; however, everyone also has to do their laundry. The best friends I have made at Berkeley I have met in the places I least expected.

    Photo taken through the telescope!

  • My first time seeing the moon up close was through a research telescope on top of Campbell Hall. I saw all the minute details of the moon and Saturn’s rings which made me feel so small in our massive universe. I’ll never forget the pride I felt seeing Albireo, aka the Cal Star. Berkeley discovered Albireo that illuminates the sky with our school colors of blue and gold.
  • The first time I went to a Professor’s Office Hours: I was a little nervous and I let out a sigh of relief when I saw that I wasn’t the only one there. I had all these planned questions, but instead the professor posed us a question I’ll never forget: how would we put life on Mars? He was so interested in finding out how freshman would solve such a big question. I realized my professors are truly interested in my thoughts and were intently listening to my opinion.
  • My first time going to the RSF aka the Recreational Sports Facility. I went for a late-night yoga class on a Wednesday. I’ll never forget all the pretzel-like moves I attempted, the delight I had with my successes and laughs at my failed attempts.
  • My first discussion section made my large lecture class feel small. Discussions sections changed the way I viewed learning. In high school, I thought learning was done on your own. However, I now value group work and collaboration because everyone has different experiences which offer new perspectives that will alter the way I approach future problems.
  • My first time hiking the Big C was an exhaustive effort. I’ll never forget hiking with 100 of my peers while all I heard was my heart beat with the increasing incline. The climb is worth every step to see the gorgeous views of Berkeley from the top.
  • My first time skiing: I had the opportunity to go up to Big Bear with my residence hall! I had never skied before and fell down a lot! By the end of the day, I mastered that iconic zigzag pattern and I was so happy to check something off my bucket list!
  • The first time I saw a fawn up close: I was walking to my morning class and outside Stern Hall at the bottom of the hill was a mom deer and her baby eating at the shrubbery. It was a Snapchat moment as they both looked at me.
  • My first Big Game: It was Cal against Stanford on a sunny afternoon that turned into a rainy evening. My friends and I stayed in the stands cheering our football team on as we became drenched from head to toe. Our spirits were up, and our voices got louder, especially after we got some hot chocolate!
  • My first time writing for this blog: Looking back on my freshman year, I realize my best college moments are the ones I never saw coming.
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    Celebrating the California Culture

    Homecoming is many things –It’s about tradition. It’s about family. It’s about community. It’s a celebration of all the people involved in our community, including the many different cultures. This Homecoming Week is a bit different from the past. Rather than having a simple “Homecoming Rally,” the UC Rally Committee has decided to switch things up and brand the new “California Culture Rally.”

    UC Berkeley has more than 100 student organizations that are culturally based, and this rally is intended to offer groups like these the chance to showcase their cultures and traditions. This year one of my clubs, Cal Hawai’i Club will be performing. For us, this is the largest scale event we’ve ever performed at. Cal Hawai’i is one of only two Polynesian organizations on campus. read more