Am I Satisfied with my Berkeley Degree? From a UC Berkeley Alumni

The answer to this question is what every incoming student wants to know. Is a Berkeley Degree worth the investment? And that’s a valid question. As a UC Berkeley alumni, I want to provide my perspective on this. Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you will be able to gain additional insight to your education here at Berkeley. This will also be the last blog that I will write for Bear Talk. If you’d like to read my previous blogs, then please check out my profile here.

First, I want to start off by saying that everyone’s experiences will be different depending on the track and major you go with during your undergrad. A computer science major will be provided with different learning tools compared to a STEM major. And a humanities major will focus on activities that are completely different from a music major. Your experience at UC Berkeley depends on the major you decide to go with as well as the activities that you partake in. read more

Keep Dancing Like the Class of 2022: My Years At Berkeley As Described By Taylor Swift Albums

Before I was a Cal fan, I was a Taylor Swift fan. While our graduation speaker wasn’t Taylor Swift (I almost flew to NYU just to see the queen get an honorary degree), I still have found many valuable lessons in her songs that relate to my time at Berkeley. Most of the time I was jamming to her songs on the way to class, or getting hyped on a Friday night to her catchy tunes. I can see my four years through the eyes and ears of her song lyrics. Every high and low could be remedied somewhat by listening to Taylor’s discography.  read more

Dear Junior Year

Dear junior year,

What a wild ride, am I right? I’ve been looking forward to writing this blog post all year, but now that I’m here I have no idea where to start. Lets work backwards. I had my first ever in person Cal Day on April 23rd 2022, and dare I day it, life felt like normal after two whole years in the pandemic. Wow. I won an award in the Rally Committee for being a dedicated older member. I applied for chair of the Rally Committee and did not get it (I’m telling myself that one is a blessing in disguise). I took over this blog and have been running it for quite some time now. I joined Dean Guyer’s leadership team in the Arts & Humanities department. I made some new friends. I took the best class with the best professor that I know will never be topped by any other course I enroll in. I decided to move out of the house I’ve spent the last two years in. We won the Axe back in a devastating victory over Stanford. You have to admit, 41-11 is quite the score. I got in to some shenanigans along the way and now we’re here. read more

My College Application Journey (Applying to Colleges, Receiving Admission Letters, and Getting Waitlisted at Cal)

Working at the campanile and meeting many of the newly admitted/waitlisted students, as well as many prospective students looking into colleges and deciding where to apply, I couldn’t help but reminisce back to when I was a high school senior doing the same, and reflecting on how those experiences led to where I currently am today. So that being said, I decided to use this opportunity to share my experiences as a high school junior and senior and how I found the right college for me. I know that not everyone will agree on what type of college they would want to attend, but hopefully, this post will help you realize where you’d like to be.

Although my high school wasn’t the most resourced one, one of the few perks it did have was a college readiness course that all juniors were required to take. In it, students were allocated the whole hour a week to do whatever research we needed to see what colleges we wanted to go to, and how to apply to those colleges (even if you don’t have a course like this, I’d highly recommend you allocate at least a bit of time at least once every few weeks to do the same, just because there are so many colleges (and so little time!)). Being an indecisive person with too many college options to look at and not enough time to research them all, I started off by taking one of the many “Find my College” surveys that websites like Collegeboard or Niche provided online to see which options were recommended for me based on my college wants and needs. read more

My Family’s Berkeley Story

Although my mom graduated from Cal, her journey there was not easy.

My mother was six years old when the Khmer Rouge came and ripped her and the rest of her family from the happy, mundane lives they knew. Anyone was lucky to survive alone, yet my grandmother ensured that her two daughters would not only survive but stay with her. After experiencing much physical and emotional trauma, they eventually made it to California where my grandma concurrently held three demanding yet low-paying jobs that each paid two dollars an hour earning just enough to send both her daughters to college. Despite just learning English, my mom worked hard through high school, climbing up the academic ranks and eventually making her way to the top of her class and making it into Cal. She later not only graduated from Berkeley but the Southern California School of Optometry as well, achieving her dream of becoming both an optometrist and a business owner. read more