Summer Limbo

We’re all counting down the days until the end of spring semester: the end of academic responsibilities for a short three months, the beginning of warm weather and free days to escape to the beach or the forest or the mountains, and the short span of time where your schedule is entirely up to you. For some, it might mean starting a new internship, or going back to a job you found last summer and really loved. For some, it might mean flying across the world and exploring somewhere new, and for others it might mean taking that much-needed vacation or coming home to visit your family again. Maybe you are graduating and you have the rest of your life ahead of you in just one short month, or maybe you just started college and you have to figure out how to occupy yourself for the next three summers. Whatever point in college you’re at, summer is a period of time where you have the freedom to choose what you spend your time doing (whether it be a job, a vacation, or strictly unscheduled time), and meet new people in a different setting. What are Berkeley students up to this summer? read more

Getting the Most out of your Visit to Cal Day

You park your car at the top of the campus, eager to step out and get started with the day. It’s been years in the making: You’ve applied, you’ve waited months to hear back, you’ve jumped for joy after your acceptance, and you’ve accepted your offer of admission without hesitation. You’ve always known that you wanted to be a Golden Bear, but now it’s real. Now you have thousands of current college students, waiting to meet you and welcome you to Berkeley.

As you walk out of the parking lot and up to California Memorial Stadium, you see the waves of visitors start to pick up pace. Faces just like yours, wide eyed, excited, and maybe a little nervous, are all around you, and you feel lost in the thousands of admitted students coming to visualize their future at Berkeley. With so much going on and so much to see, where do you start? How do you know if this zoo of a campus is right for you? How do you even find your way around? read more

Mid-Semester Self-Care

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“Treat yo-self.”

It’s not just a saying, a joke, or a phrase to justify your fourth cupcake of the day. It’s incredibly important to treat yourself, to take care of yourself, and to only hold yourself to a standard that is healthy and productive, but not push yourself over the edge. Being honest with yourself and being kind to your body and mind are infinitely important, and are often pushed to the back-burner in college. Whether it’s work your professor assigned last minute, or your group not putting in their portion of work, or maybe even your boss scheduling you too many shifts over the weekend, it’s your job to tell people when you’ve had enough. It’s your job to know your limits, and push yourself without putting your own well-being in harm’s way, and it’s incredibly important to make sure you give yourself breaks to recharge. read more

Go Bears!

“Go Bears!”

It’s a cry you can hear all around campus. During finals week, football games, or even when you get the last slice of pizza in the dining halls and you’re way too excited about it. In all honesty, it’s a very versatile cheer: when you’re happy, sad, scared, stressed, or anywhere in between. To some, it might be a way of showing sympathy, and to others a celebration after finishing 3 papers all conveniently due on the same day. Maybe it’s the perfect way to sum up all 4 years as a Berkeley student, or maybe it’s a way to find your Berkeley friends in a big crowd. Whatever it may be, “Go Bears” is the cry of a community: a group of students who are passionate, who challenge themselves, and who all have a certain soft spot either for Berkeley itself or for the people they have met here. In a way, it’s a lifestyle, and it’s a method of identifying with people that have a shared experience at one of the best universities in the world. read more

So You Finished Midterms… What Now?

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So You Finished Midterms… What Now?

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking out of your classroom after a difficult midterm, full of nerves and unsure whether to be celebrating or feeling blue from how it all went. You leave the room with mixed emotions, already stressed about the grade you’ll receive on the test weeks later, but ready to take some time away from studying and move out of the library you’ve been stationed in for days to head home. You plop on the couch, exhausted and not ready to dive back into other work for the rest of the day. You decide to take time to treat yourself, but can’t decide what to do. What do Berkeley students do to have fun around here anyway? read more

Designing my Life

“I want to be an orthopedic surgeon.” I had become so accustomed to saying these words every time someone asked me what I thought I would want to study in college. I said them so many times that I convinced myself they were true – that I actually wanted to go to medical school and follow the set path that had been laid out in front of me. I travelled across the country to attend conferences and watch surgeries, being interested in the ideas I was learning about, but not really knowing what it meant to fall in love with a path. I believed that since I was good at biology in high school, and since I found the human body interesting, medical school was all that made sense. “School isn’t supposed to be that fun anyway,” I thought. Doctors are smart, they get paid well, and they’re looked up to: this is what I should do, regardless of how tough it might be to get through school. read more

Lost at Sea

“Five hundred people.” The words echoed in my head as I followed my tour guide around the campus. I had never been in a class with more than 20 students, so how was I supposed to survive in class at Berkeley, with 499 other students competing for the professor’s attention? How was I supposed to be successful?

I was terrified coming into Berkeley, having gone to small schools my entire life. I was used to being extremely close to my teachers, knowing them on a personal level as well as an academic one. I had no trouble getting help in my classes, and often times my teachers would seek me out when I seemed to not understand a topic, before I even tried to reach out. I was used to a certain way of learning, and I was scared that Berkeley would be a challenge. I was also used to having a close knit group of friends on a small campus, and although I was ready to move to a bigger pond, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to make the jump from 400 to 40,000. read more

A Home Away from Home

“As difficult as architecture school is, it is also one of the best times of your life.”

If you were to go around to anyone on campus and ask, “what do you think the life of an architecture student is like?” most of them would respond with: “They never sleep!” or “I never see them” or “they’re all perfectionists.” And while it is true that architecture students (or design students in general) work incredibly hard and spend a lot of time in studio, many people who have not been through the studio experience neglect to touch on the fact that studio life is an incredibly life-changing, valuable, and enriching experience. You become aware of all of the little details that can make or break one of your critiques, you learn how to talk with professors, take criticism, and pour your heart and soul into a project, only to be told that your professor is not very fond of it. You learn to defend your work and present you ideas coherently and concisely, taking criticism not as a personal attack but as a chance to develop your own ideas and skills. You learn to manage your time, optimize your studio work space, and balance your other extracurricular commitments, all with a family of students behind you. read more

What Your Classes Can’t Teach You

Ask anyone that has been through college, “what’s the most important thing you learned in those years?” Maybe some of them will tell you that they learned to have fun, or challenge themselves. Maybe some of them discovered a new passion, or met the love of their life. There are an infinite number of experiences during college, but I bet that 99% of them have nothing to do with just classes. College teaches you an infinite number of life lessons, many of which come from within yourself. No one can prepare you for the ways in which your life can change, and the whirlwind can often feel a bit crazy. So, what’s to be expected? read more