Go Bears!

“Go Bears!”

It’s a cry you can hear all around campus. During finals week, football games, or even when you get the last slice of pizza in the dining halls and you’re way too excited about it. In all honesty, it’s a very versatile cheer: when you’re happy, sad, scared, stressed, or anywhere in between. To some, it might be a way of showing sympathy, and to others a celebration after finishing 3 papers all conveniently due on the same day. Maybe it’s the perfect way to sum up all 4 years as a Berkeley student, or maybe it’s a way to find your Berkeley friends in a big crowd. Whatever it may be, “Go Bears” is the cry of a community: a group of students who are passionate, who challenge themselves, and who all have a certain soft spot either for Berkeley itself or for the people they have met here. In a way, it’s a lifestyle, and it’s a method of identifying with people that have a shared experience at one of the best universities in the world. read more

Reflecting on My Fall Semester

Mantis shrimp

Last night I dreamt in three languages. It was the strangest thing to wake up to and realize, but it made me pause for a minute and reflect on all the amazing experiences I’ve had at Berkeley this semester. As a student at Berkeley, your life is often busy running to and from classes, studying, and participating in any outside extracurricular activities, and you don’t have a lot of free time to just sit and reflect. Since the semester is drawing to a close, I’d like to take a minute to reflect on some of the things I am grateful for this semester. read more

Best Places to Travel Over Winter Break

Thank goodness for all of, Winter Break is quickly approaching. In the last week of instruction, with RRR week and Finals looming over our heads, it’s important to take time to think about the endless possibilities that Winter Break holds. With an entire five weeks off this December and January, what can’t you do? One option is to travel to a new place – whether it’s a new country, a new state, or even just a different city within California. Here are some recommendations: read more

De-stressing Strategies and Self Care

With the recent poor air quality in Berkeley due to the fires in California (my heart goes out to those families affected by them,) frenzy of midterms and assignments in the past month, and the end of the semester impending, for many students it has been difficult to find time for themselves and to recharge. With so many places to be, assignments to complete, activities to see to, and people to meet, I’ve found little time recently to do things that I truly enjoy, just for myself.

It’s so important, especially at this point in our lives, to find activities that calm us in the midst of the stresses of college. While Berkeley has somewhat of a reputation of being a hard work-inducing environment, there are many opportunities to de-stress and find time for oneself here. read more

Interact Stayover

Source: https://calrotaract.org/committees/interact-committee/

Cal Rotaract is a wonderful club with four different subcommittees: Rotary, Local, International, and Interact. Earlier this month, I participated in Interact for the first time. I have to say it was a really rewarding experience and I’m already looking forward to the next one!

Interact Stayover, formally called Cal Berkeley Rotaract Stayover, is a biannual event. Every single semester, Rotaract brings in a group of about sixty students to host for the weekend. This event is a mix of community service, mentorship, and fun all wrapped into two days. read more

Finding a Community

My housemates and friends at dinner for the USC football game in Los Angeles

When I first started school at UC Berkeley, I had no idea how I was going to fit into the sea of students.  I came from a small high school, and I knew almost no one at Berkeley. I wanted to make friends and find some sort of community, but with over 30,000 students and 1,100 clubs, I was completely overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start.  

Then I auditioned for the Cal Band.  I had to arrive at school a week early for a music audition, and after I traveled to Hayward for a weekend training program where I learned marching with other members of the band.  It was pretty intimidating at first. The Cal Band is a large organization with over 250 members, and I had never marched a field show before. That entire weekend was full of all kinds of new experiences including learning how to high step, meeting hundreds of people all at once, and eating in a dining hall for the first time.  It was terrifying and exhausting, but by the end of the weekend, I had 250 new friends to help me feel more comfortable on campus. read more

A President’s Eye View

The Executive Board of Kappa Alpha Theta

There are so many opportunities to get involved with on campus; something I highlight on every single tour that we have over 1,100 student organizations, and if you don’t find something you like it’s pretty easy to start your own. Luckily for me, out of all of the organizations I have become a part of, I have thoroughly enjoyed every single one. One of the organizations that I have ended up devoting the most time to is the sorority that I joined my very first semester at Cal – Kappa Alpha Theta. read more

College Life Lessons: Asking For Help

The Student Learning Center, also known as the SLC, at UC Berkeley. It’s a space where students can receive drop-in help on any assignment for any class or general tutoring!

High school taught me a lot of lessons. I learned about working hard and staying focused. I learned that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell and about the battles of the Civil War. One thing high school never taught me, however, was how to ask for help.

Partly, I guess, because I never really needed much help in high school. During high school and my  first three semesters at Cal, I floated along nearly effortlessly. Everything was fine. I was doing as well as I had expected. I got through “weeder” classes like Bio 1A and Stat 20 without breaking a sweat. Life was good. However, during my fourth semester at Cal, I took my first organic chemistry class, Chem 3A. To say I struggled during the first part of the course would be a bit of an understatement. I didn’t ask for help before the first midterm, I thought I would be able to get it together and figure it out, as I always had. This all culminated in a score on the midterm that was so below average I couldn’t even talk about it with close friends. I was completely devastated. For maybe the first time in my life, I was confronted with the possibility that maybe I couldn’t do this alone and that I needed help. read more

Top-Roping out of my Comfort Zone: Study Abroad and Trying New Things

To most people, the terms “study abroad” and “trying new things” go hand in hand. Before I even set foot in the UK, I knew that this semester would be full of “firsts”. Figuring out a new country, traveling around Europe, and making friends with people completely different from me was all to be expected. What I did not anticipate was turning my extracurricular life upside down. Instead of joining the same activities that I enjoy at Cal – Ultimate Frisbee, wind ensemble, or even being a student ambassador – I joined the University of London Mountaineering Club. read more

The Berkeley Dance Community

Going into college, most students have an activity or passion that they can’t imagine not being in their life. For some, it’s playing a musical instrument, for others, practicing a sport. For me, though, and for many others at UC Berkeley, it’s something in between.

I spent as much time as I could dancing while I was growing up. When I was a toddler, I was twirling in tutus, but as I grew older, dance, and in particular, classical ballet, became a huge part of my world and a time-consuming commitment. I went from dressing up and skipping around a room to literally dancing on my toes, rehearsing for hours on end, and participating in dance competitions across California and the country. I absolutely loved it. read more