A Cal Day for Everyone

Each spring, the UC Berkeley calendar contains one dominant fixture: Cal Day. With 35,000 visitors comprising primarily of newly admitted students and their families, it is easily the single busiest day on campus. But as a waitlisted student, I assumed CalDay was just for admitted students and stayed home.

However, for current students, Cal Day represents something entirely different. That Saturday is basically a campus-wide holiday of sorts with lots of anticipation among the student body. The day is filled with celebration, and there’s this palpable energy and revelry among the student body. read more

Caves, Condors, and Cal: Spring Break 2016

Early on the first Saturday of spring break, I packed my car with snacks, water bottles, and two friends. We grabbed bagels from Beauty’s on Telegraph (which had a line nearly out the door even at 8AM on a Saturday) and headed out of town.

Our destination was Pinnacles National Park, situated about two and a half hours south of Berkeley. America’s most recently designated national park, I hadn’t heard of Pinnacles until just a few days earlier, when I’d run across some outdoorsy click bait on a routine scroll down my Facebook news feed that suggested I Explore this Hidden Gem Just South of San Francisco! It sounded fun to me. read more

Active Learning

I have a love/hate relationship with Dwinelle Hall’s southwest stairwell. Though there is nothing particularly exceptional about the stairs themselves (no sweeping spirals or breathtaking Bay views from here, folks!), I have encountered them every weekday morning around 9:06AM for over a semester now, and I think it’s safe to say that exposure like that can elicit some strong emotional responses.

A high school biology textbook of mine once stated, in an attempt to stay relatable in the eyes of its teenaged target audience, something along the lines of: “A reasonably fit human being should be able to ascend three flights of stairs with a backpack on and make it to class on time without being out of breath.” What a farce. I am a reasonably fit human being—in that I do semi-regular yoga and occasionally take it upon myself to run up North Side’s Euclid Ave. to the Rose Garden—and every weekday morning around 9:09AM for over a semester now, I have arrived in Spanish class jadeando y sudando. Gasping and sweating. read more

On the Right Track

Despite the daunting, twenty-minute uphill walk from the UC Berkeley campus, there’s something really special about the Clark Kerr dorms. Famous for its coveted larger-than-your-average-shoebox dorm rooms and Great Hall-esque dining facility, Clark Kerr is hands down Cal’s best residence hall  (though I admit I may be a teeny bit biased). The beautiful, Spanish mission-style architecture, sprawling lawns, and various amenities— I’m talking on-site pool, gym, softball field, archery range, fire trail access, and volleyball/basketball/tennis courts—provide a welcoming breath of fresh air after a long day of classes. Following a tiring day, it’s easy to kick back in the grass and check out the killer sunsets and views of the bay, all in the comfort of your home-away-from-home. On weekends, it’s not uncommon to see students interacting with laughing families, pets included, while lounging in the grassy patches scattered about the buildings. With its large rooms, great views, and laid-back vibe, it’s quite easy to see why the residents love CK so much. read more