Our Golden Years

At the start of every semester, every student gets a completely new schedule and has the opportunity to explore completely new interests by joining new clubs and meeting more of their fellow golden bears. When it gets closer to the middle of the semester, and in the heart of midterm season, it can be easy to focus on the academic pressure and forget about all of the amazing things happening at Cal. In order for these four years to truly be our golden years, we need to make sure to capitalize on these opportunities.

One thing is clear — the reason that most of us have made it to this incredible institution is because we are overachievers. That is largely an impressive and positive quality. However, because Cal has so many incredible organizations to join and people to meet, many of us make the mistake of joining everything we’re interested in and spreading ourselves too thin. I, for one, am definitely guilty of this.

On top of Cal’s rigorous academic load, I fell in love with my sorority and am currently serving as President, I have the best job in the world, I am the Internal Vice President of a student organization on campus, and I intern for a mayoral campaign in the city of San Francisco. While it might seem a little bit crazy, all of these opportunities were too incredible for me to pass up. My philosophy is that this is truly the only time in my life that I have to gain all of these kinds of experience and to throw myself into so many different things that I am this passionate about.

Another important aspect of the decision to be so involved is that Berkeley is genuinely the only university and city that possesses this enormous amount of ways for students to be this invested. Even if a student feels overwhelmed in getting involved by themselves, services like the Public Service Center provide volunteer opportunities, internships, and more. They sponsor the program Cal in the Capital that I am in participating in this summer — I get to live and intern in our nation’s capital for the entire summer! How could one possibly say no to life events and experiences such as these?

However, another philosophy that I simultaneously practice is balance: balancing academics, extracurriculars, and fun. Making time for my friends, for going to concerts, and for exploring the Bay Area is how I stay grounded and happy amidst the insanely busy schedule that is shared by so many students here. While everyone achieves this balance in different ways, understanding how to decompress after a long day and how to practice other methods of self-care is important to figure out as soon as possible.

Again, our university provides ways for us to accomplish this as well. There are events every day on campus, countless smaller areas of the city to explore, and even a concert venue right off of our campus! There is truly no excuse to make your time here anything other than Golden, because these really are some of the best years of your life, and you get to spend them all right here at the number one public university in the world!

Author: Annie Hatton

My name is Annie Hatton, and I am a third year majoring in Legal Studies here at the incredible UC Berkeley. My life as a golden bear is busy and fantastic; whether its teaching the DeCal on human rights, serving as president of my sorority, or giving tours, I have enjoyed every minute of my time here at Cal. I am originally from Orange County, but because of these few years I am absolutely certain that I never want to leave the Bay. Most importantly, I am an avid dog lover - and to prove it I have eight dogs back home.