One Bear’s Goodbye to Bear Talk

Throughout my time at UC Berkeley, I was lucky enough to partake in a wide and wild array of activities. In a single day, I would fly from one end of campus to another, learning, dancing, giving tours, leading my residents, having meetings, and discovering new things. One of the most special activities I participated in, however, was one that I did more quietly. Beginning in the Fall of 2018, I wrote blog posts for this student blog, Bear Talk.

Evelyn stands in her graduation stole in front of Sather Gate
Finally saying hi after two years of coordinating this blog!

My posts were a bit random in topic, but very personal and special to me nonetheless. I wrote about the International Student community I was a part of at International House, my experiences with dance on campus, the process of learning my fourth language, and even day-to-day trends in campus style. Blogging gave me an opportunity to reflect individually, but also to wonder if my independent musings could possibly help someone out there learn a little more about what it is like to be a Berkeley student. read more

Spring Style on Campus

This spring, I’ve seen a number of different campus fashion trends, clothing items, and accessories floating around Cal. Whether these unique strategies of clothing oneself are to combat stress, add a little pep in your step for the day, or just to get from one place to the next, I thought I would hash them out in an effort to shine light on the student experience. Below are 5 typical outfits that I believe encapsulate different types of weekdays experienced by the average Berkeley student!

1. Monday– the “I think I’m going to actually try this week” look read more

Staying Organized, Productive, and Motivated

Completely honestly, the process of staying on top of things can be quite the challenge here at Cal. With so many opportunities at our fingertips, it’s easy to overexert oneself, bite off more than we can chew, and in general, become stressed and worried. My second year here has been a journey for me in finding ways to stay grounded and on top of all of my commitments, in order to truly invest all that I have into them.

There are 3 main strategies I employ in making sure I get everything done throughout the semester: prioritization, organization, and balance. read more

Volunteering & Giving Back

Oftentimes as students at Cal we get caught up in seemingly endless tasks and projects. It is also quite easy for the average Berkeley student to remain in the same minimal-mile radius that is campus and its surroundings. Being caught in the Berkeley bubble is not uncommon, but oftentimes it seems like breaking free from it and contextualizing our situations is.

Recently I have been involved in a few truly rewarding volunteer experiences and opportunities. Most recently, I volunteered with fellow residents at International House, the dorm that I live in, through the Berkeley Project program. read more

Parlez-vous français?: Taking a Language Class at Cal

Learning a second language is different for many students. For some, English is not the mode of communication they’re most comfortable with, and others are used to speaking a second language at home while English comes more naturally for them. Some have no encounters with languages other than English, and the idea of communicating in a completely new way is something, literally, foreign to them.

Personally, in some ways, I have collected languages over the years. My mom is from Taiwan, so I grew up speaking Mandarin with some of my family and studying at Chinese school every weekend. Having grown up in California, I took Spanish classes starting in middle school and up to the AP level. Enamoured by a trip I took to Europe in high school, I quickly became interested in French culture, art, fashion and food; before heading to college I became eager to learn more about it and to possibly visit again in the future. I developed a dream of studying abroad in Paris or another city in a “pays francophone”– a French-speaking country. read more

De-stressing Strategies and Self Care

With the recent poor air quality in Berkeley due to the fires in California (my heart goes out to those families affected by them,) frenzy of midterms and assignments in the past month, and the end of the semester impending, for many students it has been difficult to find time for themselves and to recharge. With so many places to be, assignments to complete, activities to see to, and people to meet, I’ve found little time recently to do things that I truly enjoy, just for myself.

It’s so important, especially at this point in our lives, to find activities that calm us in the midst of the stresses of college. While Berkeley has somewhat of a reputation of being a hard work-inducing environment, there are many opportunities to de-stress and find time for oneself here.

Below are two lists of de-stressing strategies and self care activities that work for me: one, featuring spots on and around campus to visit, and the other, which includes activities that can be done anywhere– even during a break at home or on the go between appointments.

Places in and around Berkeley to go to de-stress and reserve time for yourself:

  • Hiking trails: the Fire Trails, the Big C: These two hiking trails are both super close to campus and offer really gorgeous views of the Bay Area to contextualize your worries and put them into perspective. After a hike at either of these locations, I feel active, humbled, grateful, and recharged. *Note: this activity is best suited for normal levels of air quality. Stay safe bears and be mindful before conducting outdoor activities!
  • Morrison Library: This gorgeous reading room/library toward the front entrance of Doe offers a perfect, cozy safe haven in the middle of campus. Traditionally kept technology-free, this is the perfect place to reserve an hour or two of time for yourself, unplug, and read a physical book (wow!) in an ambient space. Detaching from electronics can be a huge relief and an overall cleansing experience.
  • Yoga Classes: Yoga is an amazing activity to do for mindfulness and self care. The perfect bridge between a physical workout and a peaceful, introspective exercise, yoga offers the opportunity to breathe deeply and rest your mind. Even for complete beginners, Berkeley offers an amazing variety of opportunities to practice yoga! Corepower and Yoga to the People are amazing off campus options (tried and tested by yours truly, big thumbs up!), but RSF yoga classes are also completely free for students and offer an enjoyable, convenient experience.
  • read more

    The Berkeley Dance Community

    Going into college, most students have an activity or passion that they can’t imagine not being in their life. For some, it’s playing a musical instrument, for others, practicing a sport. For me, though, and for many others at UC Berkeley, it’s something in between.

    I spent as much time as I could dancing while I was growing up. When I was a toddler, I was twirling in tutus, but as I grew older, dance, and in particular, classical ballet, became a huge part of my world and a time-consuming commitment. I went from dressing up and skipping around a room to literally dancing on my toes, rehearsing for hours on end, and participating in dance competitions across California and the country. I absolutely loved it. read more

    Living at International House

    Most students know it as that huge building with the dome at the top of the hill– with a dining hall that serves Kombucha, residents with accents and put-together outfits, even a lobby with its own fireplace. While some of these quirks, visible to outsiders, are what interested me in International House in the beginning, it’s only now that I’ve been a resident there for a few months that I have an inside look at what it’s truly like.

    Going into my sophomore year, I was interested in finding a living arrangement where I could be around people different from me. I found that living in a dorm composed of 75% international students: International House. I-House is a unique dorm to UC Berkeley’s campus. It was established to foster an inter-cultural community and continues to shine as an inviting place for people of all backgrounds. read more