With the start to every school year comes a flood of excitement, nervousness and joy. This tangle of emotions is one we’ve all come to know well, but it feels particularly pronounced as we step foot on the UC Berkeley campus this fall — some of us for the first time ever and others for the first time in what feels like forever. Whether you are reuniting with your closest friends or just now meeting your friends-to-be, campus is already buzzing with the renewed presence and spirit of the student body.
This special issue is both a guide for students new to Berkeley and a celebration of return for those who were abruptly snatched away. You’ll find tips for life on campus, guides to local restaurants and Bay Area activities, as well as personal reflections on friendship and self-growth in what has been a remarkably unusual moment in our lives. We hope this issue helps you discover and strengthen your place on campus, and that the stories inside welcome you home.
Five tips for learning to live in Bear Territory
There are plenty of people around you on campus who are happy to help you find your feet if it’s your first time on campus.
— Saya Abney
I was in limbo: My pre-college friendships had drifted, while my college friendships were still young seedlings, emergent and growing.
— Shuge Luo
Making the most of your year on campus
The interactive map shows recommendations for food, shopping and hangout spots in the Berkeley area.
— Cameron Fozi and Saamya Mungamuru
A comprehensive list of UC Berkeley student perks and discounts
From discounts on food, music, technology, art and transportation, we have compiled a list of student perks and discounts for you.
— Eunkyo Jo
LGBTQ+ students seek to rebuild fractured community
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the student experience of every undergraduate at the university, but some challenges facing LGBTQ+ students remain unique.
— Blue Fay
Finding happiness amid catastrophe
Be honest: How many times in the past year have you pictured yourself telling your grandchildren about what the COVID-19 pandemic was like?
— Chloe Moody
Bay Area activities to seek out this fall
From concerts to local farmers markets, the Bay Area is home to a wide array of venues that are both safe and lively during the COVID-19 pandemic.
— Alisa Steel
Fear Factor: Transfer Edition
I realized there’s a bigger, scarier fish to fry: Can I make the most of what I have with both the clock and my past as a transfer against me?
— Kristy Choung
Brand new classes people should take with varying audiences
Just as numerous Golden Bears will be stepping foot on campus for the first time this fall, many courses will be unveiling themselves this semester.
— Rina Rossi
Making friends has never been easier
You should trust me because my tips will serve you well in making friendships that’ll last at least until you get a new phone or move to another part of campus.
— Paul Terrell-Perica
An overview of UC Berkeley’s basic needs services
Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, staff or faculty member, there are a host of services on campus to ensure all of your needs are met.
— Beatrice Aronson
Bears, beat the bores with fall sports
Here are a few Cal sports events to watch this fall — the ones worth leaving desks and dormitories if fans are allowed to witness sports in person.
— Jasper Kenzo Sundeen