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.



Author: Briana Kaler

Hi, Y'all! My name is Briana, and I am from sunny San Diego, California. I am a sophomore here at Cal intending to major in Business Administration. While I am not giving tours, I am either working, exploring campus, hanging with friends, or going to San Francisco. I am excited to share my experience at UC Berkeley: my home away from home.