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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
College, especially Berkeley, can be very hectic and tiring. However, the best way to overcome all the stress and sleepless nights is by staying organized! And, you might say, how?
Here’s how:Use Google Calendar or an equivalent of it.
One of my favorite things about Berkeley is how passionate and caring the students are. Cal students are always willing to go above and beyond not only in their academic classes, but in their community as well. This same passionate spirit and dedication is fully embodied in the Berkeley Project.
The Berkeley Project is a club on campus that provides students with the opportunity to give back to the community for one day each semester. Each semester, thousands of students venture out into the community to various work sites and engage in a full day of service. Projects range from gardening to weeding to painting to everything in between. The groups are all various student organizations on campus that want to make a positive contribution to the community, and the groups we work with are all various nonprofits or projects through the City of Berkeley.
Before I start describing the Harry Potter Decal, let me first explain what a Decal is. A Decal at UC Berkeley is a small class taught by fellow undergraduate students. Although student facilitators tend to be upperclassmen, some are sophomores or even freshmen! Throughout campus, Berkeley offers a wide variety of Decals: Harry Potter, Baking, Intro to Surgery, Kanye West, and so many more! Harry Potter Decal is one of the more popular Decals offered on campus. It is absolutely wonderful and for hardcore lovers of the series and new readers alike should take this class, and here’s why!