Reflecting on My Fall Semester

Mantis shrimp

Last night I dreamt in three languages. It was the strangest thing to wake up to and realize, but it made me pause for a minute and reflect on all the amazing experiences I’ve had at Berkeley this semester. As a student at Berkeley, your life is often busy running to and from classes, studying, and participating in any outside extracurricular activities, and you don’t have a lot of free time to just sit and reflect. Since the semester is drawing to a close, I’d like to take a minute to reflect on some of the things I am grateful for this semester.

  1. Berkeley Language Classes: I feel so lucky that I get the chance to double major in two subjects I absolutely love, Biology and Spanish. This semester I took a Portuguese class in addition to my Spanish class, and though it was an extremely challenging experience, it also made me so grateful for the language community here at Berkeley. All the professors and students are so welcoming and make the language community feel like a family. I’ve loved every language class at Berkeley, and even though I struggled with Portuguese, I didn’t realize how much I had learned until I woke up from my dream last night.
    2. Undergraduate Research: This summer, I started working in an animal behavior lab, where I get to work directly with live mantis shrimps and octopuses. Though I haven’t started a research project yet, I’ll be developing my own creative and independent research project over winter break. My experience in this lab this semester has made me grateful for how widespread and unique undergraduate research is at UC Berkeley. It also makes me grateful to have friends who are still excited to see my mantis shrimp photos after me sending them countless photos all semester.
    3. Campus Spirit: I feel so grateful to go to a school as vibrant and spirited as Cal. I spent the majority of my semester performing at football games with the Cal Band, and though it was sometimes exhausting and stressful, everytime the stadium would start cheering for us, it would remind me of how much I love what I get to do. I’ll be traveling with the Cal Band to a bowl game in Arizona over winter break, and I’m excited.
    4. New friendships: Everyone at Cal is so friendly, and I’ve made quite a few new friends this semester, even as a third year student. I’ve also gotten even closer to some of my friends from last year, to the point where we’re nearly inseparable. I’ve truly met some of my best friends here at Berkeley.

Although Berkeley can be overwhelming at times, especially during dead week and finals week, I feel so lucky to be here. Berkeley has allowed me to grow and learn, and I can’t wait for all of my new experiences next semester.

Kelly D'Ambrogia

Author: Kelly D'Ambrogia

Hi! My name is Kelly and I'm a junior from Petaluma, California. Here at Berkeley I study both Molecular Environmental Biology and Spanish - two very different subjects that I absolutely love. If I'm not in the library, you can usually find me performing on the field with Cal Band or working in the lab with mantis shrimps and octopuses. In my free time, I love going on adventures in Berkeley and San Francisco with my friends. I love Berkeley and I can't wait to share my experiences with you. Go Bears!