A View from the Top

As much as we’ve all been enjoying our spring semesters thus far, I’m pretty sure I can speak for a vast majority of the student body when I say I’d been anxiously awaiting the sweet relief of spring break—I love Cal, but even the most spirited bears need breaks too, ya know! After ten long weeks of arduous scholarly toil, spring break was the much anticipated, gleaming light at the end of the midterm season tunnel. It was a breath of fresh air for us weary students, and allowed us time to catch up on studies or those much needed z’s.

From me, spring break was a welcomed combination of relaxation and family time. Aside from running a 15k—while donning my Cal apparel, of course—a major highlight of my week off was hiking to the top of Mt. Woodson with my family in Ramona, California.

The Sardillo Family at the entrance of the Mt. Woodson trail

Approximately 8 hours away by car and less than 2 hours away by plane, Ramona is conveniently located in Southern California. The hike consisted of a 2.5 mile uphill trek toward one of San Diego County’s most beloved natural icons: Potato Chip Rock. Though climbing up 1,700 feet elevation from our starting point was a bit tiring in the warm midday sun, the view was absolutely spectacular, and seeing the famous Potato Chip Rock was pretty exciting. We even saw a few groups of fellow Cal students hiking along the same paths (as you can imagine, those encounters were followed by a cheerful “go bears!” and the jovial exchange of holiday well wishes).

The famous (precariously perched) Potato Chip Rock!
The famous (precariously perched) Potato Chip Rock!

Overall, my spring break was a restful time to rejuvenate from the stresses of exams and to catch up on some much-needed time with my family and friends. Now that break is coming to an end, Berkeley is back on my mind and I’m ready to hop right back into the swing of things. The inspiring hike to the top of Mt. Woodson reminded me that all the best things in life don’t come easy— like the our hike, the final stretch of spring semester is going to take hard work and a positive attitude, but the final results will be worth every ounce of effort. At the end of this semester, I’m sure the view from the top is going to be AMAZING!

Author: Tori Sardillo

Hey readers, welcome to Bear Talk! My name is Viktoria Sardillo—Tori for short. I am a second year Molecular and Cell Biology major, originally from Apple Valley, California. In addition to leading tours as a Campus Ambassador, I am involved in VMO (Volunteers for Medical Outreach), PAHC (Pilipino Association for Health Careers), PCN (Pilipino Cultural Night) Dancing Cast, and Cal Triathlon. I am fiercely passionate about human health and wellbeing, and believe that the key to collegiate success is striking a balance between academics and personal/extracurricular commitments. UC Berkeley is a beautiful, dynamic place where I am constantly inspired and challenged to become the best person I can be—I hope that by sharing my stories, you too can catch a glimpse of Berkeley’s magic. Thanks for reading and GO BEARS!