Throughout my time at UC Berkeley, I was lucky enough to partake in a wide and wild array of activities. In a single day, I would fly from one end of campus to another, learning, dancing, giving tours, leading my residents, having meetings, and discovering new things. One of the most special activities I participated in, however, was one that I did more quietly. Beginning in the Fall of 2018, I wrote blog posts for this student blog, Bear Talk.
My posts were a bit random in topic, but very personal and special to me nonetheless. I wrote about the International Student community I was a part of at International House, my experiences with dance on campus, the process of learning my fourth language, and even day-to-day trends in campus style. Blogging gave me an opportunity to reflect individually, but also to wonder if my independent musings could possibly help someone out there learn a little more about what it is like to be a Berkeley student.
Things changed the following Spring when I joined the Leadership Team for Campus Ambassadors. My first project was to take over the management of the Bear Talk blog, and lead my fellow Campus Ambassadors in creating a hub for discussion and reflection of the Berkeley experience. Learning the behind-the-scenes duties of keeping such a website alive, appropriate, and compelling taught me so much that I know I will be able to take with me in my future endeavors.
Although I stopped writing blog posts in my junior year at Cal, I discovered more about Berkeley through the posts of the bloggers I worked with. I inadvertently soaked up so much experience and wisdom from my peers by reviewing each post. Every funny story or piece of advice stuck out to me. I learned that as much as Berkeley students were busy and engaged, they were also incredibly open and thoughtful.
The developments in writing that I saw on the site seemed to grow alongside a rise in engagement with the blog. During my time supervising it, the blog’s viewership rose, sometimes having months with several thousand readers. It was extremely rewarding to know that people resonated with and had taken time to learn more about the student experience through the words of our Campus Ambassadors. When the pandemic struck in 2020, I felt even more grateful to be a part of a project that could share the Berkeley experience at a time when no one could physically come see Berkeley for themselves.
Sadly, this wonderful experience had to come to an end for me when I graduated in May of this year. As I left Berkeley behind, I also left behind this project that has taught me so much. While I’m sorry to move on, I also know that this blog has so much life left to live, and so much potential to grow and evolve. It now rests in the capable hands of another incredible Leadership Team member that I was lucky enough to have trained and mentored. My biggest hope is that Bear Talk will continue to inspire, reflect, and shine as it continues as a vessel for explaining the almost indescribable experience that is going to Berkeley.
As for me, I now sign off from this website, 8 days out from moving to Europe. I am stressed, overwhelmed, and in a period of adjustment, but I am hopeful for the future. Whether I’m connecting with the kids in my French classroom or drafting a brief as an attorney in the future, I hope that I can express myself in a way that is both compelling and honest, just as this blog has done over the years. To Bear Talk and everyone who has been a part of it– I hope that you continue to shine your bright light on the Berkeley experience. Thank you so much, and as always, Go Bears!