How Being A Campus Ambassador Has Helped Me

Thinking back to when I walked into my campus ambassador job audition my freshman year, I was so nervous. Being surrounded by so many intelligent people at a school that I thought I’d never get into* is intimidating in itself. When you add the opportunity to try to be a representative for the entire school by giving tours, my anxiety skyrocketed. I wasn’t shy, but I was unsure about my value as a student and human being. Becoming a campus ambassador has not only improved my confidence, but also developed skills, helped me make genuine connections, and understand responsibilities.  read more

Berkeley Small Businesses to Love and How to Support Them!

telegraph ave
Telegraph and Bancroft

When you first come to Berkeley, you might be bombarded by how much there is to do and see here. From the quirky bookstores to the vegan cupcakes, the city of Berkeley is teeming with unique and cultivated experiences. Working as the lead business and economy reporter for the Daily Californian has allowed me to have the opportunity to get to know some of the really amazing small businesses here in Berkeley! My name is Dina and I’m going to be your virtual tour guide through some of the best small businesses in Berkeley! read more

Staying Connected: My Long Distance Relationship with Berkeley

dorm window with heart made of sticky notesNo one expected this.

No one ever expected to be sent home mid-semester in March. However, life is unpredictable and we have to be ready to face the unknown whether we want to or not. In these uncertain times, nothing can be counted on. However, Berkeley and its communities have made it a point to be a reliable source of companionship, communication, and hope for the future. 

I am an out-of-state student, currently residing in South Florida. One thing I was worried about when going back home to take classes online was losing my connection to the Berkeley community. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much each community I’m apart of took the initiative to stay connected with its members.  read more

Getting Real About Safety on Campus

Bear Transit Bus
Safe and fuel-efficient buses that run on biofuel year round for student, staff and faculty members.

Before coming to Cal, my mom was like almost every other mom, stressing about my safety while I’m away. This is a completely normal reaction! However, I have felt safe almost always at Berkeley and whenever I didn’t, there were a plethora of resources that were able to support me. You may be going through the same worries that my mom had before I came to campus. So, I want to share with you the realities and expectations of safety at Cal in order to reassure you that safety is taken seriously on campus. read more

Summer Journalism Minor

When I applied to Cal, I knew that I wanted to be an English major. I joined the Daily Californian and have been reporting for them since January. When I heard about the opportunity to get a minor in journalism in just one summer, I was ecstatic. 

Screenshot of Journalism Minor Class List

In high school, I was the editor of the literary magazine and found passion in leading a team of creatives to publish a collaborative book of expression. My high school was super strict and students found it to be a huge limiter on their self-expression. Writing is a unique way to let another person see inside your mind and understand your way of thinking. read more

How to Deal with your Internal Desire for Competition

A healthy dose of competition is normal, but if it gets out of hand, you can find yourself acting irrationally.

I know for myself that I’m the kind of worker that needs pressure to perform well. I also have a tendency to put myself in competition with others in my own mind. Comparing myself to others creates a false sense of pressure that I use to get into gear and work harder.

However, this isn’t the reality and definitely is not healthy. In my experience at Berkeley as an English major, competition doesn’t really exist too much, but my high school was the complete opposite. Everyone knew what everyone scored on their SATs and all other tests. Academics was a strategic game that we were playing. It was toxic, really. Maybe a student was trying to gain satisfaction amidst their parents’ lack of praise. Maybe a student was striving to find their value, yet looking for it in a number instead of their actions. read more

To Rush or Not To Rush a Berkeley Sorority


The first thing that may pop into mind is the image of heaps of screaming and cheering girls chanting cult-like songs while judging you maniacally. I don’t blame you. That was always what I thought it was. However, experiencing rush week fall of 2019 at UC Berkeley completely transformed my perspective. I never could have imagined the community of authentic, intelligent, passionate and truly caring women I found within a Berkeley sorority. 

Why did I rush? Short answer: I was curious. It intrigued me. I reminded myself that Greek life is unique to the college experience and I decided why not try it out. The worst that could happen was I don’t join a sorority and I move on with life and the best that could happen was to find a community. read more

West Coast Best Coast

I have lived my entire life on the east coast. I lived on Long Island, New York for the first 11 years of my life and then moved to Delray Beach, Florida. I was actually even planning to stay on the east coast! However, I’m blessed to find myself here at the number one public university in the world. Berkeley was so tempting that I switched coasts for it! I’m so thankful for this opportunity to be here surrounded by such intelligent people and initiatives!

Author Dina Katgara is depicted hugging Berkeley's mascot Oski Bear

The most obvious adjustment for me was the time-zone. A difference of three hours actually does a lot for you. In Florida, I usually woke up at 12 pm when I could anyway, so the adjustment just made me have a better sleep schedule when I’m in California. Now, I go to bed earlier and wake up earlier too. The vice is that when I’m home, my new bedtime is 3 am, as it would be midnight in California, or maybe that’s just an excuse to stay up all night! read more

Berkeley’s Best Lesson: Rejection

M. N has been dancing her entire life. It’s her passion and her livelihood. Dancing has been M.N’s constant throughout the years, so it makes sense that she would try out for the dance club here at Berkeley. During her audition, she had a heart full of hope, but now, her disappointment breaks any semblance of a plan she had once had. She was rejected.

C. S’s deep interest in history was a catalyst for her application to the Student Advocacy Office at Berkeley. She believes her ability to describe laws and Constitutional intricacies as well as her passion for justice would make her an ideal candidate. She’s always been an A student with a great repertoire of community service, but after receiving her rejection from the Student Advocacy Office, she began to question her worth. read more