Senior Year Bucket List

While this bucket list absolutely applies to every Golden Bear, it is of the utmost importance that every student in their last semester or last year does these five things before they graduate. While there could probably be a list of about five hundred things to do in the bay before our time is up, I chose five that mean a lot to me and are some of the best ways to spend your time here.

  1. The Campanile

Look at those views! I have met way too many seniors that decided to take their first trip up to the top of the Campanile during the finals week of their last semester. That is simply unacceptable! A ride to the top is free for us while everyone else has to pay, and it there is no way it’s too far out of the way when you’re heading to or back from class. This is one of the best parts of our campus, as is being able to see everything from a bird’s eye view including the cities of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco and the infamous Bay and Golden Gate Bridges. Plus, our tower is twenty two feet taller than Stanford’s Hoover Tower! What more could you ask for? read more

Unconditionally GLIDE

5 of the 14 total GLIDE Emerging Leaders of Summer 2019.

It seems as though I can never say this enough, but UC Berkeley provides its students with so many resources and opportunities- sometimes with intention, but sometimes simply because of its great location. Due to Berkeley’s proximity to San Francisco, I was able to discover GLIDE. GLIDE is impossible to fully describe because you really have to be present in their space in the Tenderloin district to feel the spirit and the love that this non-profit organization provides to the community. The best way at attempting to describe GLIDE is an organization that provides services for the residents of the Tenderloin: from housing and employment help, to harm reduction, to legal aid, and more. read more

Best Places to Travel Over Winter Break

Thank goodness for all of, Winter Break is quickly approaching. In the last week of instruction, with RRR week and Finals looming over our heads, it’s important to take time to think about the endless possibilities that Winter Break holds. With an entire five weeks off this December and January, what can’t you do? One option is to travel to a new place – whether it’s a new country, a new state, or even just a different city within California. Here are some recommendations:

1. International: Santorini, Greece

If you are lucky enough to have the means (or to have given enough tours) to afford to visit another country, the world is literally your oyster. However, I would highly recommend Santorini, Greece. Although this spot is usually recommended for a summer destination, I actually think that there are a lot of positives of going in the so-called “off season”. I visited Santorini in January 2018, a little while after ringing in the New Year. The island almost seemed deserted. But because of this, my friend and I were able to rent an ATV and drive all over every each of the island, without any traffic. It only takes about an hour to get from one end to the other of this beautiful place, and it’s the longer end at that. As you can see from the picture below, the views are literally unbelievable. Best of all, it only takes a few days to explore, and after you can head off to other parts of Europe to continue your winter adventure!

2. National: Washington, D.C.

Another place that I would highly recommend visiting if you get the chance is our nation’s capital. Without exaggerating, there are literally one million things to do there. With all of the amazing Smithsonian museums at your fingertips for free, that could take up a week in itself. Once you take into consideration the monuments, food, Capital Building, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Union Market, and about 100 other things, you’ll easily have a few weeks of 12 hour days all planned out. There is something so special about the fast-paced, urban culture of D.C. It is filled with so much of our nation’s history but is so young and alive at the same time. This is definitely a bucket list destination!

3. Local: Bodega Bay, CA

There is also nothing wrong with a little stay-cation. Under two hours away from Berkeley, Bodega Bay is an amazing getaway. Right on the water, the views and weather are amazing. You could spend hours drinking a warm coffee and sitting on the couch of your airbnb just admiring the view. It also has the cutest downtown with a bright pink taffy shop, and tons of shops and restaurants. They also have a fair amount of nice places to eat, so if you’re saving on flights by staying local, you should definitely splurge a little bit one night. Treat yourself!!! You made it through finals!

No matter where you end up this winter break, even if it is your couch, make sure you are doing you and living it up because you we have a limited amounts of breaks left. Once we hit the working world, they no longer exist. So, enjoy while you can, happy traveling, and happy almost Winter Break!

A President’s Eye View

The Executive Board of Kappa Alpha Theta

There are so many opportunities to get involved with on campus; something I highlight on every single tour that we have over 1,100 student organizations, and if you don’t find something you like it’s pretty easy to start your own. Luckily for me, out of all of the organizations I have become a part of, I have thoroughly enjoyed every single one. One of the organizations that I have ended up devoting the most time to is the sorority that I joined my very first semester at Cal – Kappa Alpha Theta.

I do have one of those very cliché stories in which I never thought I would go through the recruitment process, and yet here I am. I truly believe that UC Berkeley’s Greek System is not only so much more relaxed than at other schools across the country, but also it is so much more progressive than any other school that I’ve heard of. While there are absolutely systemic problems, UC Berkeley is at the forefront of promoting inclusivity and community development, alongside promoting sexual assault awareness and continuing to develop survivor resources. I see it as a way to make 150 friends in your first few weeks at this big school. I see it as a way to positively impact our local community through our philanthropic efforts. And I see it as a way to find a smaller community in a school of 30,000 students.

Upon joining Theta, I knew immediately that I wanted to get more involved in terms of holding a leadership position, because of how at home I felt and because I wanted to make positive changes. My freshman year, I was elected to the position of Archivist, which is basically a glorified name for photographer. I really enjoyed this position, and enjoyed being at all of the events and gaining a better understanding for how the chapter was run. And then, my sophomore year, I was elected President.

It is safe to say I was not expecting to hear the results of this election. While I was both honored and excited, going from photographing events to managing an organization of 150 women wasn’t going to be the smoothest transition. But I was ready for the challenge, and excited for what the future brought. Upon being transitioned by the previous president (which took about ten different meetings to complete), I was told that it was practically a full-time job, requiring about 35 hours of your time every week. Again, I was up for the challenge.

Now, almost a year later, I cannot imagine my Berkeley experience without this challenge. I have grown exponentially as a person and as a leader, because I have learned how to handle almost any situation one could imagine, I have learned how to time manage, and I have also learned how to remain productive and positive on very little sleep. I was lucky enough to have opportunities to attend national leadership conferences, and further build my leadership style. Most importantly, I truly believe I was able to positively impact my chapter, and boost the morale so that all 150 women felt excited every time they walked through our front door.

I think the moral of this story is that Cal finds a way to challenge you when you’re least expecting it, but it’s important to tackle that challenge head on, because it undoubtedly will become an integral part of your Berkeley experience. Go Bears!

 

Can I Get a “Go Bears”?

There are so many amazing things about Berkeley – the people, the campus, the city, the school spirit, and more – and if you’re a Campus Ambassador (also known as a tour guide) you get to talk about all of them on a weekly basis.

A lot of people look for campus jobs as soon as they get to Cal. While there are a ton of jobs around the city of Berkeley because there are so many restaurants and stores, there is no doubt that on-campus jobs are extremely convenient. Luckily, there is a plethora of on-campus jobs available. You can work in a library, as a tutor for the Student Learning Center, and so much more. However, I am here to argue that the best job of all is the job in which you get to meet people from all over the world and tell them why Cal is the best school in the universe. Plus, you get the title of “campus ambassador” and get to wear a pretty snazzy grey jacket.

I started this job with incredible eagerness to be the best tour guide that have ever existed, and I feel as though even in my third year in this job, I still am able to carry that same enthusiasm. And that is truly because it is the best job a college student could ask for. I get to perfect my walking backwards skills and interact with potential students, parents, and tourists from all over the world.

The first summer after you’re hired, one of the requirements of the jobs is that you stay in Berkeley for the summer. I am so glad that that was one of the requirements because it was one of the best summers of my life. I got to work for Visitor and Parent Services almost every day, I took two classes, and I had a paid internship in which I was able to work from home. I also lived with two other campus ambassadors, and we went on countless adventures. Also, Berkeley during the summer is so much more relaxed than it is during the packed school year, and I’m very glad I got to experience the vibe of Berkeley summers.

But my absolute favorite part of my job is at the end of every tour, when I get to share my Berkeley story. Like I already mentioned, I toured the school my sophomore year of high school and I fell in love. The day that they were releasing the Berkeley admissions decisions (of course it was the last Thursday in March after all of the other UC’s let you know), my mom and I went prom dress shopping to distract myself. We ended up in the Apple Store just refreshing the admissions page over and over again. We ended up leaving, and on the drive home I checked my phone, and before I even read any words on the screen, I saw confetti and immediately started crying tears of joy. I had just gotten into the number one public school in the world, and through my job as a campus ambassador, I continue to appreciate how lucky I am every single day.

Cal in the Capital

One of the most popular and rewarding programs at Cal is called Cal in the Capital, and I was lucky enough to be a part of the program this past year.

Once I was admitted into this program after applying and going through an interview process, I took the DeCal spring semester of 2018. The DeCal largely helped us prepare our applications and make our resumes, cover letters, and Linked Ins the best they could possibly be. The facilitators also helped us prepare for a summer in Washington D.C. with things to do, what to wear, and how to plan financially. The expectation of applying to over twenty possible internships definitely motivated me, and eventually led to me getting the opportunity to intern for the United States Senate with the Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein.

This opportunity was one of the things I am most thankful for experiencing in my life. Two months of being at the capital taught me so much; I gained a greater understanding of Senator Feinstein’s policy preferences, I witnessed firsthand how she interacts with constituents and policymakers, and most importantly I learned how to give a tour of the Capital of the United States (considering my job back at Cal, I was pretty excited about this aspect of the job). I got to assist the Press Team with press inquiries and with assembling the Senator’s daily afternoon clips packet with all of the relevant California and national news that she would flip through during various briefings.

Further, I had the opportunity to attend whatever briefing and hearing I desired to go to, as well as walking through the staff entrance to the Senate Floor. The amount of Senators I rode in the elevator with and saw speak on the Floor never failed to make me cry tears of happiness.

Outside of the Hart Senate Building were memories just as incredible as the ones made inside. Whether it was playing in the Senate Softball League (our team name was Never Say Di), going to over a dozen museums, or going for a run to the Washington Monument and back, there was not a single thing about my summer in D.C. that I could complain about.

I am so thankful for the opportunity that Cal in the Capital gave me. I will never forget the summer of 2018: the people I met, the places I visited, and the political excitement that I experienced. Make sure to vote in the midterm elections!!

Real World Opportunities

We’ve heard it before — Cal is a land of opportunity. Normally that is referring to our academic supremacy over all other public schools. Sometimes it is referring to our athletic capabilities, such as when we won the most recent national championship in water polo. There are truly dozens of areas in which Cal allows the world to be your oyster. However the area that I am referring to is the area of internship experience.

While Cal equips us with the tools to be eager appliers and skilled interviewers, many of the opportunities us golden bears have access to can be attributed solely to the fact that we live in the incredible Bay Area. From the tech world to finance to politics, the Bay is active in all of it.  If you are looking to apply anywhere in the Bay, it would be the smart move to take advantage of the many networking events the Alumni House holds and the resume workshops put on my different student organizations. Within my student organization, at our weekly board meetings one member of the executive board does a Linked In, cover letter, or other application building-skill workshop so that all of us are better prepared for the competitive but exciting intern lifestyle. My sorority also has individual members do resume workshops and the like. In conclusion, you can implement this sort of routine in whatever kind of organization you belong to because everyone truly does benefit from it.

On top of having tons of resources in order to apply and interview, Cal obviously also does a great job with providing lists of available internship positions throughout the entire Bay. Whether it’s a visit to Handshake (only available to @berkeley.edu email addresses), the Career Center, the Public Service Center, or others, the options are truly limitless. Sometimes, more informal methods of accumulating internships are also quite plausible. For instance, in Poli Sci 179 my freshman year, a guest speaker gave this incredible presentation on the school to prison pipeline, and concluded with a less than two minute plug about how they were hiring interns for the summer. He put his email on the screen in case anyone wanted to contact for more information, and I certainly did. I ended up interning for this man and his company last summer, and it was one of the most invaluable experiences I now have the privilege of putting on my resume (plus, it was paid!).

Currently, I’m an intern for London Breed’s campaign to become mayor of San Francisco. I also accumulated this internship through a program that I got admitted into that the Public Service Center sponsors — Cal in the Capital. While this program is aiding me in finding an internship for this upcoming summer in Washington D.C., one of the program directors secured me this opportunity so I could try working in the political realm to see if I truly do want to continue that work on the hill this summer. My experience at Cal and my professional development would have not been the same without both of these experiences. While Cal on its own is a resume-builder, the opportunities that only Cal students have access to make an even bigger difference. It makes me so excited for all of the possible opportunities that might come my way in the future. Go bears!

Cal Bucket List

Attention y’all — this is important! Us Golden Bears need to start appreciating and taking advantage of the amazing area of the world that we are lucky to call our temporary home while we are students here. Berkeley and the larger Bay Area is some of the most prime real estate out there, and a place that people would do almost anything to live in. While, it is incredibly easy to get sucked into the academic world that makes up so much of your time here at Cal, it’s important to enjoy your college years, and truly experience the world around you. That includes finding the hidden gems of Berkeley and venturing out into the city every now and again! SO, here is your comprehensive bucket list for your years at this wonderful university:

1. The University’s Botanical Gardens, Berkeley

  • Free for all students, this is one of the coolest things to do in Berkeley, and is relatively low-key. It is the perfect place to bring your family or friends, and also a perfect place to study if you don’t need wifi. There is a free shuttle that stops right outside of Evans Hall that will take you directly to all of the fun plants located in the beautiful Berkeley hills!

2. The Oakland Museum of California, Oakland

  • A little more local than San Francisco, this museum is one of the best attractions our lovely neighboring city of Oakland has to offer. With separate floors dedicated to art, science, and California history, it’s truly a unique thing to do and is definitely worth a few hours of your time. PSA: It is free on the first Sunday of every month.
  • read more

    Our Golden Years

    At the start of every semester, every student gets a completely new schedule and has the opportunity to explore completely new interests by joining new clubs and meeting more of their fellow golden bears. When it gets closer to the middle of the semester, and in the heart of midterm season, it can be easy to focus on the academic pressure and forget about all of the amazing things happening at Cal. In order for these four years to truly be our golden years, we need to make sure to capitalize on these opportunities. read more

    Holiday Season: Gift Edition

    It is almost the holiday season, as you can tell from the beautiful picture of Fourth Street above. All that is standing in our way is the easy breezy two weeks that consists of dead week and finals week. Just kidding — we wish that either of these upcoming weeks were going to be easy or breezy. They are going to be extremely testing and difficult. However, the month off afterward in which we don’t have any academic responsibilities is well worth all of the dedication we are going to show towards our courses in hopes for the best grades possible in this land of grade deflation. One of the most wonderful parts about this entire month off includes the holidays that take place during it, and the time spent with your loved ones during these holidays. With this special time of the year coming up, it is important to start thinking about what gifts you’d like to both receive and give to your family during Hanukkah, Christmas, or whatever other holiday traditions you have. This is a hard task to do in the midst of all the studying that is going on, so we thought we’d give you some perfect ideas of not only what to give, but more importantly what to ask for. read more