Dear Sophomore Year

Dear sophomore year,

I’m so glad you’re almost over. This year has been so hard in so many ways, I’m ready to move forward and leave you in the past. Spending a full academic year virtually has really helped me come to appreciate normal college life more. I’m tired of never leaving my house and I miss all the clichés from my freshman year. Staying in the libraries until they close, sitting down in class out of breath because I hate having gaps in between my classes nd have to run sometimes, spending all day on campus and walking home as the sun sets. read more

You’re a Golden Bear! Now What?

To all the new Golden Bears out there, congratulations! Welcome to the best school in the world, we are so excited to welcome you to Berkeley. College decisions are so exciting and stressful, and it doesn’t stop there. There’s still so much to do between now and when you set foot in your first college class, let’s dive on in to it.

First, you need to submit a housing application. housing.berkeley.edu will show you what options you have and what each is specifically like. WE have traditional dorms, suite options, and other apartments that you can look in to. If you want to choose your roommate, you can add that in to your application as well. Just remember, as your 5th housing preference put “any room any location” this will boost your chances at getting a spot, if you don’t put this and all your options are filled up then you won’t get a housing offer. read more

23 Essays: How To Write One Essay Every Week

This semester, I as a rhetoric and philosophy double major have to write 23 essays. As of now, I’ve done 13 with 10 to go. At this point I feel like it’s a key aspect of my personality, “Hi my name is Bridget and I’m writing 23 essays this semester” which seems more daunting than it really is.

I have an essay that gets assigned on Wednesdays due every Sunday, which I appreciate being a constant in my life. So that’s a minimum of one essay a week which honestly is doable. However, where the challenge comes is my other classes where I’m assigned longer essays less frequently. Last week I had to write 5 essays, but this week I only have to write two. The fluctuation is really the hardest part, but I now consider myself an expert on timing an essay and going about it productively. read more

The 20 Unit Spring: A Cautionary Tale

I took 20 units this semester. That’s 5 classes total. The minimum amount of units I have to take in L&S is 13. Most students take 16 units. That’s 4 classes.

Before I get into my experiences, I should explain what units mean exactly. The number of units a class is assigned is based off of hours of work needed to put into each class outside of the predetermined lecture and section time. The reason students usually stick to around 16 is because more than that tends to start to be overwhelming and very time consuming, as I now know first hand. read more

On the falsehood of Berkeley’s Toxic Academic Stereotype: a Philosophy Student’s Take

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know about the stereotypes surrounding Berkeley students. I was so afraid to be surrounded by hyper competitive people who would do anything to come out on top, tearing others down for their own personal gain. And I was met by the opposite. The people I met were the most genuine and helpful individuals I had ever gotten to work with. Any plea for help was met by an overwhelmingly positive response and that stereotype I was once frightened by melted away. read more

The Big C

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. read more

Friendship Month

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. read more

What You Need to Survive at Berkeley

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. read more

A Rising Sophomore’s Guide to Whether or Not You Should Take Summer Courses at Cal

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. read more

The Berkeley Bunch: Living Off Campus With 9 People

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. read more