The Bay Area’s Hidden Gems

A view of the campus on a cloudy day from Foothill Housing. This is one of many lovely views you can find around Berkeley and the Bay Area!

It’s easy to figure out which places to visit if you’re traveling to the Bay Area. If you Google something along the lines of ‘best places in Berkeley/San Francisco/East Bay’ and lots of websites pop up giving their take on some of the most iconic landmarks of the regions. But maybe you’ve already thought about these tourist hotspots. Maybe you want to go out and see the Bay Area past its more popular destinations instead, and to that, I salute you.

Finding places to visit outside your cookie-cutter inside scoop isn’t exactly the easiest. I decided to gather up a couple places I visited that I really enjoyed going to. My personal taste in places and eateries might not be the same as yours, but I wanted to throw my two cents in! Hopefully you’ll keep these places in mind on your next visit to Berkeley and the Bay Area. read more

DeCals: Science in Oakland Elementary Schools

One thing that I absolutely love here at UC Berkeley is our DeCal program. DeCal stands for Democratic Education at Cal, and these are courses that are taught by undergraduates taken Pass/No Pass. DeCals cover a wide range of topics from knitting to Harry Potter to how to read science literature. I think it is safe to say that there is one out there for everyone.

For the past two semesters, I have taken a DeCal called Science in Oakland Elementary Schools (SOES). We meet on Mondays to either talk about the upcoming week’s experiment or current issues within the education system. Every other Wednesday we go to an Oakland elementary school and run a science program for the kids. We do all kinds of fun experiments from egg drops to making layers of the Earth out of playdough to (you guessed it!) volcanoes. read more

How to avoid the Freshman 15: Healthy College Living!

I know. The cup of noodles and Oreos that are hidden in your drawer are tempting. I mean after a long day of class, clubs, homework, midterms, exams, whatever it may be, you deserve the right to eat your bag of hot cheetos, right? Yes, of course you may deserve it, but it can also be a hard habit to break once you get in that routine– ultimately affecting your health and possibly your weight. And no, gaining weight isn’t always a bad thing! But when it isn’t controlled or planned, it can be just another stress to add to the list. read more

Volunteering & Giving Back

Oftentimes as students at Cal we get caught up in seemingly endless tasks and projects. It is also quite easy for the average Berkeley student to remain in the same minimal-mile radius that is campus and its surroundings. Being caught in the Berkeley bubble is not uncommon, but oftentimes it seems like breaking free from it and contextualizing our situations is.

Recently I have been involved in a few truly rewarding volunteer experiences and opportunities. Most recently, I volunteered with fellow residents at International House, the dorm that I live in, through the Berkeley Project program. read more

Mid-Semester Self-Care

Image result for uc berkeley self care

“Treat yo-self.”

It’s not just a saying, a joke, or a phrase to justify your fourth cupcake of the day. It’s incredibly important to treat yourself, to take care of yourself, and to only hold yourself to a standard that is healthy and productive, but not push yourself over the edge. Being honest with yourself and being kind to your body and mind are infinitely important, and are often pushed to the back-burner in college. Whether it’s work your professor assigned last minute, or your group not putting in their portion of work, or maybe even your boss scheduling you too many shifts over the weekend, it’s your job to tell people when you’ve had enough. It’s your job to know your limits, and push yourself without putting your own well-being in harm’s way, and it’s incredibly important to make sure you give yourself breaks to recharge. read more