The Best Coffee Shops in Berkeley

Coffee is central to the lives of students, working professionals, and hipsters alike. Whether you’re looking to fuel up for a day of work or relax and catch up with a friend, a cup of coffee is great company no matter what your agenda looks like. Berkeley, being a city full of college students and young self-starters, is the perfect place to explore with a great caffeinated beverage. I’m going to break down my favorite coffee shops on and around campus, and encourage you to use this as a mini coffee guide for the Berkeley area! read more

Savoring the Moment Through Selfies

Some of my friends tell me I have a great eye for aesthetics – a compliment I take with honor. Since I was a little kid, I’ve loved taking amateur photos, whether with a point-and-shoot, my iPod touch, or my phone, and making seemingly mundane things more exciting. I feel as though photos can make pretty things uglier and ugly things prettier. This may seem like a hot take, but hear me out. When you take a picture of the sky, specifically the moon and stars, it never comes out as beautiful as your eyes behold it in real life. Conversely, you can take a picture of something like trash on the side of the street in New York – yes, something as simple and brash as trash – and romanticize it. There is beauty in everything! read more

How I Got Into Haas Without Joining a Business Club

Totally not clickbait! No, but seriously. My name is Mikayla, and I am a Business Administration major at the Haas School of Business. After hearing that, most people assume I’ve climbed the ladder through a Haas-sponsored consulting club or competed in finance case competitions for years when, in fact, none of that is true. I’m here to tell you about how I got into the Haas School of Business without joining a single business club.

To begin, I want to touch on a passion of mine: music. (I promise this all ties together in the end). I’ve been inspired by music from an early age, and I feel like that passion has only grown as I’ve gotten older and attended college. From middle school, I was consistently involved in music-related organizations, from orchestra to choir to just forming my own little bands and making covers together. It not only filled the time outside of academics for me but also allowed me to harbor feelings of security and confidence that I didn’t always feel in other organizations.  read more

Ranking All the Boba Places in Berkeley

To start, I am not someone with a strong opinion, especially on food and drinks. Everything just kinda blends together, so it’s really hard to impress me. If it’s cold and refreshing then it’s probably a decent boba drink. Why am I ranking drink places if I don’t have strong opinions, you ask? Well, I don’t know honestly. My housemate gave me the idea and promptly ranked everything on the spot, so I was like why not. Besides, I’m also curious as to how this goes. 

Disclaimer: I am only ranking places that I have tried which is, fortunately, a whole lot. Yes, I say boba and not bubble tea, sue me. This list is completely in my opinion, so there may not be a whole lot of critical thinking when it comes to why I like one more than the other. It’s truly just a feeling. In the words of Eugene Lee Yang from the Try Guys, “I’m right, you’re wrong. Shut up.” read more

My Family’s Berkeley Story

Although my mom graduated from Cal, her journey there was not easy.

My mother was six years old when the Khmer Rouge came and ripped her and the rest of her family from the happy, mundane lives they knew. Anyone was lucky to survive alone, yet my grandmother ensured that her two daughters would not only survive but stay with her. After experiencing much physical and emotional trauma, they eventually made it to California where my grandma concurrently held three demanding yet low-paying jobs that each paid two dollars an hour earning just enough to send both her daughters to college. Despite just learning English, my mom worked hard through high school, climbing up the academic ranks and eventually making her way to the top of her class and making it into Cal. She later not only graduated from Berkeley but the Southern California School of Optometry as well, achieving her dream of becoming both an optometrist and a business owner. read more