The Beauty of RRR Week

We did it! It’s here! My favorite week of the semester: RRR week!

Ever since I started taking final exams, I have relished the period of limbo between the end of classes and the beginning of exams. In high school, this period of time was always limited to a regular or three-day weekend, just enough time to quickly review everything you need to know for the final. But here at Berkeley, that time has been extended to an entire week. And I absolutely love every second of it.

Here’s the thing about RRR week. The three Rs stand for reading, recitation, and review, three activities that prove very helpful when preparing for final exams. But I’ve always believed, at least informally, that one of those Rs should stand for rest, because that’s a really important part of the week for me. read more

Expanding on My Residential Life Experience

Let’s take things back to September of 2017. I had been a student at Berkeley for two weeks and had lived there for only three. I was still trying to get my footing in classes and in the residence halls. As part of our transition into campus, we were asked to have conversations with our RA, or Resident Assistant, sometime within the first few weeks of being on campus. These conversations were called Bear Chats, and I had signed up for one in the second week of September.

On the night of my Bear Chat, I confidently knocked on my RA’s door, and she welcomed me in. She asked me about how my transition was going so far, and what I was getting involved in outside of class. I shared that my experience so far had been relatively good and that I was unsure of what I wanted to do, followed by an awkward pause. I then brought up to her that I was interested in getting involved in Hall Association, the student government body in our residence hall. She excitedly encouraged me to apply, sharing how wonderful an opportunity it was, and then shooed me out of the room to complete the application, which was due that night. Little did I know that this conversation would shape much of my experience as a student and would launch me into involvement in Residential Life on campus. read more

Discomfort and Growth: My Berkeley Experience

As I walked into the classroom, my palms were coated with a thin veil of sweat. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, hands, head, everywhere. I felt my brain spiraling as I realized the moment that I had been dreading was becoming a reality. The room was empty except for my teacher, perched at a desk in the front of the room.

“You can start whenever you’re ready,” she said, distractedly shuffling the papers in front of her.

As soon as she looked at me, I began to speak. “My name is Natasha and today I’ll be talking about my experience in China. First… first…”. My heart stopped. I couldn’t remember what I wanted to talk about! My nervous mind scrambled to think of anything to say, but in that instant, I felt paralyzed. I couldn’t think of anything, say anything, even think to ask to start over. I was frozen. We only had two minutes in the room. What was I going to do? read more