When I got to Cal, one thing I was really excited about was joining Greek Life. My cousins were in Greek Life when they were in college, and they’re still friends with girls from their sorority even now in that they are in their 30s. They inspired me to go through recruitment and find my own life-long friends. After I rushed, my sorority house became my second home during my freshman year. I had so many amazing experiences and Greek Life was one thing that really helped me balance UC Berkeley academics with a social life that made my college experience feel well-rounded. I never imagined that the experiences I was having in my sorority as a freshman would only last one year.
If you are choosing to attend Berkeley because of the awesome location, I totally second that decision. We are so lucky to have both the urban vibe of the city and the peaceful escape to nature in the Berkeley hills. Even better, while we are not quite located near the beach, we have access to some fantastic spots, many of which I have been visiting my whole life growing up locally.
I think one of the best outings you can have during the pandemic is going to the beach by yourself or with your household. Even in the colder months, the ocean water is so healing, the sunshine peeks out every so often, and perhaps you can even arrange a socially distant hang-out with folks outside your household!
The Big C is a key symbol of the university, shining down from the hillside over our campus. It’s queen bee yellow color radiating Cal spirit and pride. However, believe it or not, it hasn’t always been there. This 60 foot block C was built back in 1905 by the classes of 1908 and 1907, replacing a tradition of division with a symbol of unity. Before the C, every year on Charter Day the freshman and sophomore classes would meet on the hill in an event which became known as The Rush. As the rest of campus came together to celebrate the founding of the university, the freshman would fight to paint their class numbers on Charter Hill where the sophomores would be waiting, ready to do anything to prevent them from succeeding. This tradition was dangerous, as many students were thrown down the side of the hill in the fight, leaving either the sophomores standing with pride knowing that the freshmen numbers would not be displayed, or the freshmen gleefully painting their class numbers on the hill. By 1904, the Rush was seen as such a danger that the Committee of Student Affairs determined that the Rushes were too boisterous and prohibited them – a decision supported by the Senior class but was left to the Sophomores and Freshmen to decide.
Is there a place for making music in college? Or is it just a fun hobby that eventually fades away with time? Growing up, I always felt that music was destined to be in my future. My parents raised me to play piano, sing, and write music. When I was applying to college, I was conflicted as to what kind of major I should choose: something practical, analytical, and career based, like a social science? Or something more niche that I was passionate about? Ultimately, I came into Berkeley intending to be a political science major, but still determined to continue my interest in music.
This quarantine season has taught me that I am a much more paranoid and anxious person over very trivial matters than I believed myself to be. As of recent, the weather in Berkeley has been warm and dry and I have been forced to stay inside my apartment, which has the oldest carpet a living being has ever seen, due to quarantine. I am allergic to dust (thanks Dad) and so if a room is dusty, I will cough and my throat will be very irritated. I am also sensitive to dry air, which will also cause me to cough and my throat to be very irritated. Logically, my coughing is due to the perfect combination of dry air and dust floating around the room. However, my illogical and paranoid brain led me to believe that I had COVID-19: “Were there COVID germs on my boba straw? It had to be the boba straw.” I warned my housemates that the dry air and dust could be the culprit but I could not convince myself. So, in a state of panic, I called the 24-hour advice nurse.
Academic courses at UC Berkeley, the top public university in the world, are already rigorous enough…what happens when you can’t focus OR get easily distracted? How can you AS A STUDENT maintain productivity to be successful in YOUR courses? Well, you’re in the right place. I’ve got the answers for you.
Before we dive into the secrets of maintaining your productivity as a UC Berkeley student, feel free to take some time to think about the “time consumers” (ANYTHING that takes up your time) and distractions that currently happen in your everyday life. These can include the time that you spend on social media (TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, etc.), the time you explore the internet/watch television, or the time you end up wasting by playing games. There are many distractions out there, but concentrate specifically on your own time consumers. Feel free to list them out on a piece of paper….Now, think of the commitments that you are involved in. Whether these are your extracurriculars, such as student organizations/committees, your employment at a company, or the time that you spend developing relationships with your friend or a loved one. This is the 1st phase in maintaining your productivity (there will be a total of 2 phases).
If you mention sunsets to any UC Berkeley student, they’ll most likely respond with their favorite lookout spot: the Lawrence Hall of Science, the top of the fire trails, Clark Kerr Campus, the view from the upper floors of the certain buildings in the Units, and so many more. Our campus’s prime location in the Berkeley foothills provides us Berkeley students a plethora of opportunities to catch a view of the sun as it falls behind the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. But rarely mentioned is the view of the sunrise from campus — an experience that I recently discovered is almost as magical as the sunset.
No one ever expected to be sent home mid-semester in March. However, life is unpredictable and we have to be ready to face the unknown whether we want to or not. In these uncertain times, nothing can be counted on. However, Berkeley and its communities have made it a point to be a reliable source of companionship, communication, and hope for the future.
I am an out-of-state student, currently residing in South Florida. One thing I was worried about when going back home to take classes online was losing my connection to the Berkeley community. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much each community I’m apart of took the initiative to stay connected with its members.
It’s almost Halloween so you know what that means… making a Halloween title that only vaguely relates to what I’m talking about.
I always thought it was a little bit silly how I grew up right next to the beach almost my entire life but could not stand going. The beach is sandy, it’s hot, some seagull is always trying to steal your food, without contacts I can’t even see the water, it’s a mess. My high school’s annual beach trip was an adventure that I almost always tried to skip. Moving to San Diego during this semester in the cloud was primarily a way for me to gain independence but here I was going to yet another beach town. And, of course, right now, being outside is one of the few things I actually can do without getting a massive panic attack. My San Diego native housemate made me a promise: by the end of the summer, I would love the beach. I scoffed at the idea, always stubborn and set in my own ways. Spoiler alert: he kept his promise.
I’m not going to lie… this definitely has not been your average semester and as a sophomore only being able to have experienced one full semester at Berkeley I’ve definitely longed for the days when I can sit in Pimentel surrounded by 600 fellow chemistry students clicking away on my iClicker. But for now, I’ll just have to settle for the Zoom polls submitted alongside faceless names on the screen. The one thing that has been maintaining some semblance of normalcy throughout all of this has been the decision to move back to Berkeley for the semester and live less than a five minute walk from campus. As I mentioned before, I am definitely not an expert on all things Berkeley life as I only had a half dozen months here before returning home, but I think it’s safe to say that the feeling of being on campus is anything but normal. That being said, this absence of normalcy has made way for a new appreciation and pride in calling myself a golden bear. Never before would I have discovered that the women’s faculty club has the perfect bench for a quiet read outside. Or which trees on Memorial Glade are the perfect distance apart to set up my hammock. Or even which streets around Berkeley are lined with the best persimmon trees to snatch on my run. This emptier campus has slowed down the hustle and bustle of the city as a whole and me right along with it. Don’t get me wrong… classes are still in full swing but the extended amounts of time inside have found me appreciating the outside that much more. Coming to Berkeley, nature was the last thing on anyone’s minds and the last thing I ever heard about the campus. Urban life? Yes. Academics? Yes. The occasional political protest? Of course. But the beauty of the Bay Area and the city of Berkeley in particular was never discussed. This oversight has been made countless times and was even made by me in my first months as a Berkeley student… but not anymore.