Picture this: Sproul Plaza is full of students avoiding flyers while rushing to class, crowds of people with bright yellow lanyards amble past the Campanile and giant boxes fill previously empty apartments and dorm rooms. School is back in session at UC Berkeley, and new bears are on the block! This time of year is often paradoxical — it is exciting yet nerve-wracking, exhilarating yet overwhelming, familiar yet unknown.
Treat this issue as your guide to the semester. With stories about handling impostor syndrome and finding a community on an intimidatingly large campus, we hope you feel comfortable tackling the year ahead. Read about spooky Berkeley legends, the most delicious restaurants in Berkeley, the giant introduction courses UC Berkeley is infamous for and the history of Berkeley’s activist culture.
Berkeley is a fantastic city full of layers to unpeel. So, before the sunshine fades into winter, grab a copy of this issue, lay down on Memorial Glade and start discovering your new home!
Goddess of wisdom: Photographing UC Berkeley’s libraries
To pass beneath the stern face of Athena, goddess of wisdom, peering down from atop the north entrance to Doe Library is to enter a temple to the truth born from coexisting contradictions: sciences and humanities, objectivity and subjectivity, form and function.
— Jonathan Hale
6 exciting things to do in Berkeley on the weekends
Taking a break from classes and stepping outside the campus bubble to explore the surrounding city can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are a few suggestions for your future weekend plans.
— Sanjana Manjeshwar
Journey to acceptance
We are not here to understand our role immediately. We are here to enter a world of possibility, to be the impostor and welcome the stranger.
— Gigi Laurin
Students, professors reflect on UC Berkeley’s largest classes
Coupled with waves of excitement, anticipation and hope of a new school year, the infamous large-size courses at Berkeley awaits new and returning students.
— Ashley Tsai
My Berkeley mosaic
Rich diversity of intellect and expression resonated invigorating notes of purpose and progress, orchestrating an ambitious yet tranquil tune to which I was entranced.
— Michael Temprano
UC Berkeley freshman steps on campus seal, fails their 1st midterm
While fighting through a crowd of people to get to their first lecture, UC Berkeley freshman F. Akeguy accidentally stepped foot on a campus seal — the first time anyone has done so since 1987.
— Chris Ying
Iconic, diverse restaurants in Berkeley to try
Berkeley has some of the best and most diverse restaurants you need to try. Check out this list and go try these restaurants.
— Jovana Camberos
Sproul Plaza flyers
As I packed and headed back down the peninsula, both my car and heart felt a little more full. Staff shirts and various club lanyards shoved between moving boxes had become my own personal metrics for belonging.
— Emma Solomon
4 ways to discover your own unique UC Berkeley aesthetic
As a diverse school with students from all over the world with different types of backgrounds, styles, tastes, and interests, it can be overwhelming to figure out your niche. Luckily, there are ways to discover what aesthetic you call your own.
— Maya Jimenez
Old issues, modern solutions: History of activism on campus
Hallmarks of UC Berkeley, education and activism have coexisted on campus since the Free Speech Movement.
— Rae Wymer
Finding your home
For me, like many other commuter students, where I live became the number one defining characteristic in my college experience. For all my fellow commuters out there (including incoming ones), you are never without hope.
— Alessi Ayvaz
Nature is beautiful: Best places to touch grass around campus
Regardless, you’ll want a destination for your fresh air exploits. And on that note, here are four of the best outdoor activities to do around campus.
— Chanyoung Chung
Anxiety in waves
Yet somehow I still had this inclination that I didn’t belong neither here nor there. What if I didn’t belong anywhere?
— Anyssa Torres
Reflections from a sophomore: What I learned from my 1st year at Cal
It might seem a little early to begin reflecting on how much I’ve changed since I began my journey at UC Berkeley last August, considering it’s only my second year. That said, I firmly believe that I’ve grown more in just one year than I did in my first 18.
— Zachary Khouri
8 things every student should add to their Berkeley bucket list
Take advantage of everything the UC Berkeley campus has to offer this semester and complete this bucket list along with us.
— Jovana Camberos
How to get involved in undergraduate research at Berkeley
Getting involved in research at UC Berkeley can be a daunting prospect as a new student, but there are many avenues available to help along the journey.
— Ratul Mangal
Quiz: Which major at UC Berkeley best fits your personality
Take this quiz to find out which of the most popular UC Berkeley majors best fits your personality!
— Stella Kotik
Find what you’re looking for
And that’s where the risk comes in — not in pursuing only those communities that make us feel at home, but rather bringing the community within you to the communities beyond you.
— Adriana Temprano
Pick your friends nose, among other important advice
Belonging is visceral and tactile, so lick everything and squish your face against every surface.
— Mahika Singhal
UC Berkeley’s feathered friends frolic in fluff, foster community
From an unprovoked attack on a lover to a mysterious disappearance, a blindsided tragedy to a rebound turned companion, Annie’s stay at the Campanile can be read as a pitch for a prime-time novella.
— Matt Brown and Maria Young
How to lose a friend in 10 days: A UC Berkeley guide
With a string of fizzled friendships and explosive fallouts behind me, I now understand that change doesn’t need to be a big scary thing.
— Tatum Handel