Reflecting on my Decision to Join the UC Rally Committee

At the beginning of this academic year, my sophomore year, I decided to join the UC Rally Committee, a group of students I had seen on campus wearing bumblebee-colored rugby-style shirts and passing out flyers about upcoming rallies and games. I had very little idea of what I was getting myself into, and yet it was the best decision I have made in college so far. Here’s a little bit about why.

I decided to join because I wanted a friend group to go to the football games with and that’s all I expected to get out of it. I had a friend who had joined freshman year and I had watched from afar as she had a ton of fun her entire freshman year and I decided I wanted in on that fun. Why did I decide to join now, you may ask; why not second semester freshman year? Why not as soon as I saw her having fun? The answer is simple: freshman year I had a group of friends in the dorms and I didn’t feel I needed other friends. We ate meals together in the dining halls and left our doors open so we could hang out every night of the week. I was certain that we would never stop being friends. Until summer came and there were no more chats in the group chat and I realized my unbreakable friend group had only been friends by proximity. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets about becoming close with those people. I just wish I had joined more clubs to be more involved in the school to have other social circles in addition to them. So, I joined RallyComm because they had free football tickets, my friend had fun in it, and I wouldn’t be standing alone at the games. read more

Making easy money as a student!

Are you a student that has spent a few too many dollars at Kingpin donuts and Berkeley boba shops and needs a little extra spending cash? Getting a job can be a big commitment, in fact I’ve tried and failed to juggle multiple paid positions at one time. If you’re looking for a more low-key way to make money, here is an easy way for students to earn some cash.

1. Sign up for studies through the Xlab, which runs experiments through Haas School of Business and the psychology department. As a freshman, I earned something between $500 and $1000 over the year from actively participating in these cool studies. They can be anywhere from hour-long social experiments to four hour experiments in an MRI machine, or with a cap of electrodes on your head. I recommend you skip the short, low paying studies and go for the longer psych studies where you can earn $50+ dollars per study. With the flexibility of the Xlab portal, you can choose from different dates and times to fit in between your busy schedule. Additionally, some of my friends have done contact lens studies through the School of Optometry. If you’re around Pimentel, they always are posting for participants, just know you might have slightly wonky vision one day as they test out different prescriptions. read more

Prom, Part 2

If you thought you were done with dances after senior prom, think again!

I’m part of an organization called the Residence Hall Assembly, or RHA for short. This is a body of students that live in the on-campus residence halls here that help plan and promote events for the residents. Most of our work comes in sponsoring Hall Associations (committees in each residence hall) that plan events and request for funding. One of these events is something we call Mystery Masquerade, which happened just two days ago on Friday night. read more

Decisions, Decisions

My friends and me at a football game

So it’s that time of the year: decision time! May 1 is quickly approaching, and the class of 2023 will very soon be all decided on where to go come the fall. Being a freshman, it wasn’t too long ago that I was in the exact same spot, so I wanted to use this article to talk about how I ended up here at Cal!

I’m from Connecticut, and when I was applying to college, I never thought I would go as far from home as California. I knew I didn’t want crazy northeastern winters, but the things I wanted in a school were so generic: pre-med, research opportunities, and school spirit. I think almost every school in the country has those, which made it very difficult for me to narrow down my options
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Learning from Mistakes

dead succulent
A succulent I had killed this semester. (R I P Mr. Meilleur)

Throughout the school year, I have made many, many mistakes. Cliche as it may sound, I believe that mistakes are not a measure of failures, but a measure of growth. College is a unique ecosystem that bridges the sheltered world of childhood to the consequence-filled adult world. It’s a playground where there are baby consequences to our mistakes that are easier to recover from.  It’s a transitional stage, and in this flexible atmosphere we are able to grow the most.

Mistake 1: Not bringing enough winter wear. As a native from Southern California, the coldest winter that I have lived through was maybe 55 degrees. Summer was an 11 month long season. I brought a trunk or two full of shorts, skirts, and summer dresses, and probably just one thick winter jacket. After this semester’s brutally cold and rainy winter has come to a close, I am even more glad that I can finally stop shivering in the thin tops I had brought from home. I have learned now that I must prepare as much as I can for any situation that comes my way. Sure, things can be unpredictable at times. But now as a routine, I check the weather app every morning to ensure that I don’t suffer through the day’s weather. In turn, this is something I began applying to other commitments this semester: whether it be looking up the location of a meeting place beforehand, putting events on calendars, or researching topics to brainstorm solutions about, I have learned to prepare as much as I can for what I know will come. Then at least you’ll be prepared to take on curveballs life throws at you.
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Spring Style on Campus

This spring, I’ve seen a number of different campus fashion trends, clothing items, and accessories floating around Cal. Whether these unique strategies of clothing oneself are to combat stress, add a little pep in your step for the day, or just to get from one place to the next, I thought I would hash them out in an effort to shine light on the student experience. Below are 5 typical outfits that I believe encapsulate different types of weekdays experienced by the average Berkeley student!

1. Monday– the “I think I’m going to actually try this week” look read more

Choosing Breadth Classes

The beginning of your college career is so exciting: dorm shopping, making new friends, living in a new place and registering for your first semester of classes.  However, one thing to keep in mind when choosing classes is Berkeley’s breadth requirements. Not all of your classes that you take in your four years here will be directly for your major.  Though each college has their own set of requirements, each has a set of breadth requirements outside of major requirements. These are a set of required classes that all students within the college have to complete, and range from topics such as Arts and Literature to Biological Sciences. read more

Summer Limbo

We’re all counting down the days until the end of spring semester: the end of academic responsibilities for a short three months, the beginning of warm weather and free days to escape to the beach or the forest or the mountains, and the short span of time where your schedule is entirely up to you. For some, it might mean starting a new internship, or going back to a job you found last summer and really loved. For some, it might mean flying across the world and exploring somewhere new, and for others it might mean taking that much-needed vacation or coming home to visit your family again. Maybe you are graduating and you have the rest of your life ahead of you in just one short month, or maybe you just started college and you have to figure out how to occupy yourself for the next three summers. Whatever point in college you’re at, summer is a period of time where you have the freedom to choose what you spend your time doing (whether it be a job, a vacation, or strictly unscheduled time), and meet new people in a different setting. What are Berkeley students up to this summer? read more

Life on the Glade

It’s a Friday during midterm season and although I have an essay due next week and four readings, I am sitting on Memorial Glade in front of Doe Library surrounded with my friends and I have no regrets. My books are open in front of me so that I can do my work, but that’s not what I am focusing on. I sometimes get the question “How do you have the time to hang out on the glade with friends?” and the answer is: We all have hard classes, when you ask your friends if they want to take a break on the glade, chances are they will be more than willing to hang out for a few hours. read more

The Women in Science and Engineering Theme Program

Applying for housing is one of the most socially stressful that freshmen have to think about. Am I going to find friends in my floor? What if I don’t know anyone going to Cal and will be assigned a random roommate? Will anyone I live with have the same major as I do? What if my roommate and I don’t get along? In a sense, freshman are almost completely starting over with their social circles when they start college, but Cal has an incredible and unique solution to this issue: Theme Programs.

A theme program is where students live on the same floor and take a seminar with people with similar interests and identities at them. At Cal we have seven theme programs: African American Theme Program (AATP), Asian Pacific American Theme Housing (APATH), Casa Magdalena Mora (Latinx/Hispanx program), Global Environment Theme House (GETH), Unity (LGBTQ+ house), and Women and Science and Engineering (WiSE). I had the incredible experience of living in WiSE for my first year at Berkeley, and I think that it caused me to grow immensely as a feminist, STEAM major, and leader. The most attractive thing to me about WiSE was that the people on my floor would be interested in the same subjects as myself. If we are all pursuing STEAM-related fields, we’ll all take similar classes and like a lot of the same things. I’d also get the benefit of a seminar based on female empowerment, and as a feminist that was really important to me. Then as the semester went on, our community became much more than that. Now, it is a thriving community of strong women who support and take interest in each others lives. As a group, we are trying to better the community of gender minorities in STEAM, as well as prepare ourselves for our own careers. We’ve had panels of women in STEAM industries, assignments on resume building, and even a workshop on wage negotiation and gender. read more