The Big C is a key symbol of the university, shining down from the hillside over our campus. It’s queen bee yellow color radiating Cal spirit and pride. However, believe it or not, it hasn’t always been there. This 60 foot block C was built back in 1905 by the classes of 1908 and 1907, replacing a tradition of division with a symbol of unity. Before the C, every year on Charter Day the freshman and sophomore classes would meet on the hill in an event which became known as The Rush. As the rest of campus came together to celebrate the founding of the university, the freshman would fight to paint their class numbers on Charter Hill where the sophomores would be waiting, ready to do anything to prevent them from succeeding. This tradition was dangerous, as many students were thrown down the side of the hill in the fight, leaving either the sophomores standing with pride knowing that the freshmen numbers would not be displayed, or the freshmen gleefully painting their class numbers on the hill. By 1904, the Rush was seen as such a danger that the Committee of Student Affairs determined that the Rushes were too boisterous and prohibited them – a decision supported by the Senior class but was left to the Sophomores and Freshmen to decide.
October is labeled in my google calendar as Friendship Month. I’m writing this sitting across from my best friend, who won’t know I’m writing about her until this draft becomes an official post or when a snippet of my writing gets posted on social media. Why Friendship Month? Let me explain.
My first few days of freshman year consisted of me convincing myself I wouldn’t make any friends. I couldn’t seem to make lasting interactions with the strangers in my class, and my roommates hit it off so well it was like hanging out with two people you just met who have known each other their whole lives. This lasted for about a month.
Berkeley is daunting to a perspective student, I know first hand. After the initial rush of getting accepted, I was immediately filled with dread. How was little old me going to survive such a big and prestigious school? Spoiler alert, I did in fact survive and I’m here to tell you how you can make life at Berkeley a little less scary, both academically and socially.
My first recommendation would be to use a planner. Whether that be digital, physical, or both, keeping a planner has saved me from many missed assignments. Personally I use a physical and digital planner because I’m crazy. Especially now as everything is online, I’ve found piece of mind having all my assignments in one place so I can sty on top of my work. Every morning I sit down and I copy down my assignments and tasks from my digital planner into my physical one, so I can check them off as I go. Not to mention the serotonin you get from checking things off a checklist.
So, you’re considering taking advantage of UC Berkeley’s numerous summer courses? I had that same thought at the beginning of my second semester. I said to myself, “ya know what? Getting ahead this summer seems like the perfect use of my time!”
When you’re hired as a campus ambassador, you’re required to work the first summer following your employment, which meant I would have to be up in Berkeley anyways, so why not take advantage of it, right? But I will admit, coming into summer courses I was severely under-prepared for what I had signed up for.
Two days before I turned 19, I moved in with 8 of my closest friends to the bottom half of a duplex with 6 more of my friends upstairs, but that’s a whole other story.
When I first decided to live off campus, I was so unnecessarily afraid. All I knew was that it was going to be different from dorm living. For starters, I wouldn’t have to wear shower shoes anymore, but that luxury was paired with paying for utilities and buying my own groceries. Not to mention, finding an apartment is so much harder than applying for housing. It was a daunting task, but I went through it with my best friend which made it a little bit easier.
Dear freshman year,
With the end of my freshman year approaching, I’ve been looking back on what made it so great, regardless of how it was unfortunately cut short.
A lot of those great memories have to be credited the UC Rally Committee. Rally Comm gave me my friends, my future housemates, my job, and a great deal of happiness. Looking back on how scared I was to join makes me laugh, I can’t imagine my freshman experience without the UCRC. I’ve come so far and I’m excited to give back to the committee that gave me everything I wanted and more as the new Director of Security. What is this you might be asking? Well, let me tell you all about it. My job as DoS, as it’s called, includes some very important tasks. I’m now in charge of keeping the Big C the beautiful shade of queen bee yellow, and I guard the California Banner that goes up at different sporting events and Cal events. I’m lucky enough to be in charge of the upkeep and protection of two important symbols of this university, and I’m so ready to represent Cal in this position.
On March 10th, all classes were moved online in order to further implement social distancing. It’s been a month since all in person classes were cancelled, and even longer since COVID-19 has been in the united states. For many of us, this is the first pandemic we’ve ever personally experienced, and it’s a scary time. Campus is dead silent. And it’s hard to be here without my friends, alone not only in my dorm but on an empty floor, but I know it’s the best choice for me.
Honestly, one of the things I was most nervous for when I first committed to Cal was how I was going to make new friends. From my graduating class, we sent a record amount of students here. Two. There are four people total here from my high school, none of whom I was super close with. To this, my high school was home to barely 1,000 students total, compared to Berkeley’s whopping 31,348.
I remember convincing myself I wouldn’t be able to make a home for myself here. I grew up surrounded by the same people for 18 years, I had made all my friends on the four square court in elementary school and stuck with them up until we all went our separate ways for college. I didn’t know how to make friends!