Getting started with research

How does one get a research position at UC Berkeley?

If you’re young and impressionable as I was, you might be led to believe that a coveted research position is near-impossible to get. Perhaps you think the 4.0 students are going to sweep the field before you get a shot, or that no professor is going to want an inexperienced undergraduate in their lab. I, too, had these misconceptions that kept me from putting myself out there until second semester of sophomore year. That being said, I now have an undergraduate research position in a chemistry lab, and I want to share life advice that I’ve acquired among my own triumphs and setbacks. While my experience is not representative of all, hopefully some of this information is helpful as you’re just getting started. read more

Making Major Moves

When I applied for college last year, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I took classes and led clubs in different fields of interest. For starters, my AP Chemistry teacher was also the advisor for the MESA Club I co-led. She said I’d be good in a major like chemistry or biochemistry. I’m honestly pretty fortunate that I had a teacher that constantly believed in my abilities and skills. Add that onto the fact that I’ve been considering a career in engineering since freshman year, and that led me to thinking that I could be Hannah Montana and get the best of both worlds by combining chemistry and engineering into chemical engineering. read more

My Favorite Coffee Shops in Berkeley

I love coffee, and not just because of the taste or much needed caffeine boosts (although yes those are bonuses!). It’s great for seeing friends, exploring, or finding a way to make cranking out long study sessions (yeah, we’ve all been there) way more tolerable. As a coffee enthusiast, I wanted to share some of my top picks for coffee shops in Berkeley, so here they are!

#1 Romeo’s

Located on Telegraph Ave, Romeo’s is one of my absolute favorite coffee shops here in Berkeley. With exotic names for different blends like “wicked ways” or “screaming madness,” Romeos never fails to serve the perfect cup! The shop itself has huge windows and gets tons of natural light, so it’s a really nice place to bring work and study. I find myself there a lot on weekends because I love Romeo’s atmosphere. It’s also super close to campus, so it’s a great place to grab a cup if you’re running to class. read more

Living in Blackwell Hall — Cal’s newest dorm!

David Blackwell Hall
My home for the 2018-19 school year!

I really lucked out last year. I didn’t know too much about Blackwell when our housing app was due. As it was still under construction when our application was due, I didn’t really have anyone’s past experiences or pictures of the inside. But still, I heard it was going to be new, so my roommate and I took a risk and applied to Blackwell. Few months later, we got our first choice! A Blackwell hall double.

Blackwell is a 8 story building with 7 floors of residential units. I currently live on the 6th floor which has an amazing bay view! read more

Staying Organized, Productive, and Motivated

Completely honestly, the process of staying on top of things can be quite the challenge here at Cal. With so many opportunities at our fingertips, it’s easy to overexert oneself, bite off more than we can chew, and in general, become stressed and worried. My second year here has been a journey for me in finding ways to stay grounded and on top of all of my commitments, in order to truly invest all that I have into them.

There are 3 main strategies I employ in making sure I get everything done throughout the semester: prioritization, organization, and balance. read more

Rediscovering Reading

The entrance to Moe’s Books on Telegraph Ave (

Growing up, I read constantly.  I spent hours in libraries and bookstores, and read anywhere and everywhere I had the chance.  However, once I started college I found it difficult to make time for reading. Between all my classes, homework, and extracurriculars, it’s hard to find time to relax.  Despite that, during the past few months of midterm season, I’ve been trying to make more time to do the relaxing things I love. Berkeley is a great city for readers, and I want to share some of my favorite places and events. read more

Getting the Most out of your Visit to Cal Day

You park your car at the top of the campus, eager to step out and get started with the day. It’s been years in the making: You’ve applied, you’ve waited months to hear back, you’ve jumped for joy after your acceptance, and you’ve accepted your offer of admission without hesitation. You’ve always known that you wanted to be a Golden Bear, but now it’s real. Now you have thousands of current college students, waiting to meet you and welcome you to Berkeley.

As you walk out of the parking lot and up to California Memorial Stadium, you see the waves of visitors start to pick up pace. Faces just like yours, wide eyed, excited, and maybe a little nervous, are all around you, and you feel lost in the thousands of admitted students coming to visualize their future at Berkeley. With so much going on and so much to see, where do you start? How do you know if this zoo of a campus is right for you? How do you even find your way around? read more

My Spring Break in Class

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about ideas of what to do if you found yourself on campus for spring break without anything to do. But I did not write about another option for some students: staying on campus for a specific program that you chose to do for educational or professional reasons. In my case, me and 14 other students stayed on campus this spring break, spending most of it in a mostly empty building on our mostly empty campus, to attend a program called Democracy Camp. Democracy Camp was a program designed to help students start careers in public service where we got to meet people in various careers, have networking opportunities, and learn about how to start a career in these fields. read more

Berkeley’s Entrepreneurial Community

Startup Work Space from Berkeley SkyDeck
Berkeley SkyDeck currently has a majority of its companies on the top floor of the building on Shattuck, all in an open and collaborative space. [From: ]
Did you know Cal is has one of the largest entrepreneurial communities in college campuses around the world? Located just minutes away from San Francisco and the South Bay, hundreds of individuals from Berkeley have created critical, groundbreaking ideas, technologies, and companies.

The energy of the entrepreneurs at Berkeley is really powerful. My journey in deciding this was what I wanted to do was this energy and drive that people I’ve met that want to be the modern inventeur. They are excited about their creations. They love to learn. They are humble. They push boundaries. They drive for positive change. Whether it be AI driven health applications or self-cleaning plates, everyone has unique ideas and approaches to new fields that they have been studying in their time at Berkeley. Seeing those close to me find passion by collaborating with other innovators in their and other fields, I too was inspired to follow the same path. read more

The UC Cool Campus Challenge

Berkeley may be the number one public university, but are we number one in reducing our carbon footprint?Not quite. But first, a little background. In 2013, UC President Janet Napolitano announced the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, which challenges all University of California schools to have a net zero carbon footprint by 2025.

The way to accomplish this is to offset carbon emissions from building’s energy usage and vehicle fleets by producing renewable energy, whether that be using solar panels on campus or sourcing our electricity from entirely renewable sources. Additionally, campuses are increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and replacing vehicles with less polluting alternatives. We’re not exactly on track to meet that goal, however, which is students are being challenged to do their part. read more