Hi and welcome to my first blog of this semester! It’s really great to return as a bear talk blogger again to share my experiences and pro-tips with everyone who is and will come to Cal!
As a new Campus Ambassador I was working on campus this summer as well as getting involved with research and taking a few classes.
There’s so much that went on this summer, but I will try to keep it short!
I enrolled in two classes this summer session – one in session A titled UGBA 190-T Project Management, and another in session C, Math 54 Linear Algebra. I was really excited for UGBA 190-T, as it was with one of my old professors who I really enjoyed, Professor Omar Romero. He taught with such enthusiasm and made even the 3 hour lectures fun and interesting. Of the entire class, only three of us were Berkeley students full time. Other students were attending from all over the world: Nigeria, Europe, India, and more. It was really cool working with so many people from so many backgrounds in a small classroom setting! For Math 54, I was taking it for my major requirements, and it was interesting to some extent. It was however 8AMs everyday of the week for 2 hours for 10 weeks of instruction, which made it difficult to focus and wake up to. Still I thought the class was interesting and I learned a lot, even though it was being taught by a GSI.
After two semesters in a dormitory (Blackwell Hall) my freshman year, my roommate, our mutual friend, and I decided to rent an apartment together. Luckily we found one our spring semester right next door! While the apartment is a li~ttle bit older, I really do like my room and location of the apartment. We get a lot of sun but not too much, and living in a converted single, I was able to get a lot more room than if I were to find a different apartment for the same price but as a double room. To this day I am still finalizing the decorations for my apartment, but all three of us have moved in and gotten settled now.
Getting that Bread:
Now that I had my own apartment, I decided to become independent of my family financially and work for the summer to pay my own rent. I had my job as a Campus Ambassador of course, where I would work inside the campanile, give a campus tour, or work at the Koret Visitor Center. I also picked up another campus job at the American Cultures Center, where I was able to learn a lot of different skills like videography, website development and data scraping. I was working almost twenty hours a week, but it was nice because my classes were spread out throughout the whole summer rather than all at once. I enjoyed working both jobs and am continuing them both throughout the semester! I was also researching throughout the last half of summer with my previous research lab in the Physics department regarding nanotechnology and biosensing. It was really interesting and I enjoyed getting to know more about the project more in depth in these summer weeks.
Even though I was working and had classes all throughout summer, I had a lot of time for myself as well as friends who were also staying in Berkeley! Because the summer a lot of students were away, I got to go to a lot of the popular restaurants in Berkeley without having to wait in line for hours. My favorite pizza place now is Cheeseboard in Gourmet Ghetto! Even though it’s far, their pizzas are soooo good (and vegetarian)! I also got to go to the Oakland Museum Foodtrucks event, where a dozen or more successful and popular food trucks from the bay area come to serve their dishes by the Oakland Museum. My friends and I got to go to their event, look around the museum, and eat lots of good food. Somedays I would do a thrifting round of all the thrift shops around Berkeley, or try to cook new foods. The last week of summer I also was a GBO leader with my group (215!!) and loved every moment of it.
Even in the days where I didn’t do much, I found staying in Berkeley really peaceful and pleasant during summer days. I know some people travel overseas, go camping, or stay home to visit family, but I didn’t realize until this summer the magic of thriving independently.