Get Involved!

What will you remember about your college experience once you graduate? What are the moments that will stick in your mind, and make you miss being a student? Maybe it’s the friendships formed over stress and one too many coffees, or maybe it’s the weekend excursions that you plan with your friends to get away for a little bit. For me, it’s the communities: the friends, the professional teams, and the project groups that I’ve formed, and the time I’ve spent dedicating to the things I don’t HAVE to do. In college, we all have to go to class, we all have to write that essay, and we all have to spend nights in libraries or studios perfecting our work. But for me, what really stands out is what I’ve learned to dedicate my free time to: the things I would do regardless of salary or wages, and the things that make me want to wake up in the morning and get out of the house rather than staying in my comfortable bed all day. 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?

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