Striking the balance between athletics and academics

In high school, I always wished I could attend a team “pasta feed” or wear those “we love our seniors” shirts for my sports team. I was jealous that my classmates could represent their school in their athletic passions and at times, I was discouraged that I fell in love with figure skating and not a sport such as soccer or lacrosse because I felt like I was missing out.

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Two years ago, I went to my first competition with the Cal Figure Skating team. Normally at a competition, when you are called to the ice, the announcers calls your name followed by your home skating club but at this competition my name was followed by “representing the University of California, Berkeley”. Hearing those words for the first time is a moment that l’ll never forget because like every freshman during their first semester at college, one wants to feel that they made the correct college decision. In that moment, despite what others had thought about my decision, all of my doubts had gone away. read more

A Very British Summer

One of the most exciting aspects of being a UC Berkeley student is the sheer number of opportunities the school offers, whether it be in choice of majors, clubs, dance troupes, or nearby food options. Study Abroad is no different. UC Berkeley study abroad affords students the chance to study in one of 40-50 countries, on 6 continents, for a full year, a semester, or a summer. Students can take classes, do an internship, or in a few cases, do a combination of the two.

Since the days of my high school-obsessions with British music and Downton Abbey, spending time in London had been a dream of mine. Utilizing the resources and programs that UC Berkeley abroad offers, this dream became a reality this past summer, where for 7 weeks I go to spend time in this electric yet historic city. read more

Around the world in much less than 80 days

As soon as I heard one could study abroad as a college student, I knew I wanted to study abroad. In fact, a strong study abroad program was one of my criteria in deciding where to apply to college. At UC Berkeley I would learn one could not only study abroad but also intern, work or even do research with a professor over seas. However, by the time the deadline came to sign up to study abroad during junior spring as planned, I decided not to apply. This was partly because I had worked abroad the summer after my freshman year and didn’t feel the need to, and partly because depending on your outlook and involvement, I’ve found that you can study “abroad” in Berkeley. read more

Happy Birthday Campanile!

Stepping onto the UC Berkeley campus from any direction, visitors and students alike can immediately notice our Sather Tower cresting above the trees. Walking – or sprinting to class – is made more enjoyable accompanied by Campanile’s hourly toll or its thrice-a-day concerts. This year, the Campanile became an even more central character in our campus’ narrative, as 2015 marked its 100th birthday.

At 307 feet tall, the Campanile remains the third-tallest freestanding clock and bell tower in the world, beaten only by Belgium’s tower and Italy’s Campanile, the Venetian tower after which our tower was named. Its collection of bells began with a dozen installed in 1917, and has swelled to a total of 61 from other class donations and university benefactors. read more

Trustee Dinner

Sometimes, your most memorable nights of college are unexpected. Admist the heart of midterm season, I attended the UC Berkeley Trustee Dinner.

Little did I know, this dinner would become one of my favorite and most impactful college evenings. Myself and 10 other campus ambassadors arrived to a beautifully decorated ballroom filled with tables and intricately designed center pieces. Outside on the patio of the recently finished Associated Students of University of California (ASUC) Union, cellist filled the space with their jazzy music, waiters moved gracefully around with their hors-d’oeuvres and people floated around in conversation with the typical blue and pink fall sunset as their backdrop.11222052_10208085909495735_7325726380331967196_nThe first women I talked to graduated in the 70s and had been a tour guide herself. Post college she had gone on to become a lawyer and her career led her to manage law firms in both Taiwan and Shanghai. When discussing why I choose Berkeley over the small liberal arts colleges I was accepted to, she shared with me that Berkeley had given her the tools to literally reach across the world. If it wasn’t for Berkeley providing a place for their students to grow to their potential and learn to communicate and work among the masses, she doesn’t believe she would have known how to look over her firms across the world. While I’m in no control over two firms in different countries and am really just trying to control my midterm grade next week, I would say that in these past 2.5 years at Berkeley, I definitely feel I am learning about functioning in a place like the “real world” where you have to go out and take personal responsibility for your goals. My conversation with her really encouraged me to continue to throw myself at various opportunities that present themselves. Who knows- maybe I’ll one day grow my sports medicine company to support athletes around the world. read more

The Beauty of Cal Football

It’s hard to capture the magnitude of Cal’s 73 points against Grambling State during the Cal football season opener. It’s difficult to articulate the nail-biting stress that the games against the University of Texas, the University of Washington, and Washington State University induced, though they ultimately ended in sweet victory. It’s tough to accurately craft into words being a 5-0 team ranked 23rd in the nation.

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The first Cal game I attended as a freshman was the second game of the 2012 season against Southern Utah, and we won pretty decisively, giving me a great first impression of Cal football. Though the rest of the season proved to be pretty tough and disappointing, the beautiful taste of our 43-17 rout of UCLA left me at least hopeful for the 2013 season, the new, Sonny Dykes era of Cal football. read more

The Last Lecture: The Importance of Being There

Last week was the final week of classes for the spring semester. With graduation in just one week, the past couple weeks have been a series of joyful and poignant final moments—classes, tours, meetings, recitals, banquets, and get-togethers.

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As part of Senior Week, I attended “The Last Lecture” on Monday, April 20. Martha Olney, an economics professor at UC Berkeley, gave a talk on “The Importance of Being There.” She shared about creating memories, like watching Bandaloop on Cal Day, being there for The Play IMG_0489at the 1982 Cal v. Stanford football game, attending concerts and plays, being in nature, and attending graduation. Her point reminded me of a wonderful quote from The Phantom Tollbooth that has resonated with me this past year: “The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.” Reflecting on my time at Cal, I have very much appreciated the journey and the “in between” moments. I have enjoyed conversations with strangers on Sproul Plaza (I once had a 30-minute conversation with someone about spaghetti), celebrated final finals with midnight hikes to the Big C, and gone on spontaneous adventures to San Francisco with friends. Sometimes impromptu or unscheduled happenings are the most memorable. read more

Making the Final Decision: My Berkeley Story

It was a relatively warm, windless March Thursday, but I didn’t much notice.  My teachers taught me about the American judicial system and statistical T-tests, but there was really one thing on my mind: UC Berkeley admissions, 5 P.M.  After school I trudged home in a heavy, contemptive silence, slogged through an hour of homework, and attended a voice lesson without fully concentrating on my scales or songs.  5 P.M.

I raced home, hands trembling and knees shaking as I opened up my laptop and logged onto my email.  And then there it was.  “Congratulations!” it read.  Disbelief, jubilation, pure happiness. read more

Take me out to the ballgame…with CalGreeks!

IMG_6553There is only one thing I love more than the food, sights, museums, and shopping in San Francisco: the San Francisco Giants.

Last Tuesday, I was lucky enough to attend a Giants Vs. Dodgers game with a group of students from UC Berkeley’s Greek system. CalGreeks rented out the busses and preordered the tickets so all we had to do was show up on the day of and hop on the bus! It was great going in a huge group of Cal students – we even got a “Go Bears” chant started in the 7th inning. read more

Flowers at UC Berkeley

I adore springtime at Berkeley. Warm, lovely sunshine. Blue, blue skies. And beautiful flowers. It’s funny, but when the weather is really, really nice, I notice. When it’s raining, I notice. When it’s an in-between non-rainy partly sunny/ cloudy sky, I don’t always remember what the day’s been like. With the recent bouts of great weather in the past few weeks though, I’ve been noticing not only the sunny skies, but also the flowers blooming around campus.

IMG_0379On the first day of April, I discovered a sea of purple asters blanketing a gradual incline across from the north side of Memorial Glade, on my way to the Kresge Engineering Library. They were a bright and joyful addition to my day, and the start of my collection of flower photos around campus.IMG_0398 read more