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Cal Day 2023: How to build a Bear

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APRIL 21, 2023

In a campus as vast and expansive as UC Berkeley’s, our brief time in college can sometimes feel like a journey that is felt in isolation. We move from lecture hall to lecture hall with dazed looks on our faces.

But once a year, this familiarly unfamiliar campus awakens in cohesion as we meet together to celebrate what to outsiders can look like a daydream of blue and gold. We rejoice in what makes us part of a community.

From groundbreaking research to student activism, from beloved campus landmarks to the latest developments in every field imaginable — this little part of the world that has become our whole universe comes alive. Students with barely a fortnight left and the newly accepted baby Bears ready to brace the space between Sproul and Piedmont have, interestingly, a few things in common: At one point of their long lives, they have had — or will have — the opportunity to have called this hallowed grass fields and hilly streets home. Happy Cal Day to all, and to all the cubs, welcome to Berkeley.

Cal Day throughout the years


Image of Cal Day celebrations in front of Sproul Hall

Cal Day 1995 had more than 20,000 attendees. Cal Day numbers increased to 30,000, eventually bringing in roughly 40,000 attendees prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Sophie Ward

You stepped on the seal, future slips through your fingers


Image of a student stepping on the Berkeley Seal

You have done the worst thing any in-the-know, regular UC Berkeley student knows not to do: you have stepped foot on the seal.

— Malayna Chang

Miss 305


mug of julianna goldfarb

The 3,035 miles I’ve put between myself and Miami have changed me as a person. I have berkeley-fied myself down to the nose piercing and learned to love TJ’s and Safeway instead of Publix.

— Julianna Goldfarb

An appreciation of small moments at UC Berkeley


A person in front of a tree with headphones on.

A day in the life.

— Kyle Garcia Takata

18 lessons in 18 years


Infographic of life lessons learned while being away from home, by Flora Huynh

Sometimes checking off things on a bucket list is an easier first step to healing, and to inspire other people that small moments of kindness still really matter.

— Nadia Karys Dickey

Learning maturity through food


Mug of Ryan Sheehan.

Up until freshman year, my relationship with food had been pretty straightforward. In my little bubble of home, questions of who made food and when to expect it were already answered for me.

— Ryan Sheehan

Troy Bolton returns to Cal as men’s basketball assistant coach


Illustration of Troy Bolton holding a basketball on the UC Berkeley campus, by Leah Martinez

With his success on the court, Bolton is now being asked to return to Berkeley to be the assistant coach of the men’s basketball team for the 2023-24 season. 

— Stefania Bitton

The best libraries on campus

If you’ve ever been wondering which library is the best for your vibe check, look no further. Here are some of the top libraries on campus to check out. 

— Aryia Dattamajumdar

Fostering balance and community


Mug of Madison Creekbaum.

From building new communities and overcoming a heightened sense of imposter syndrome and maybe even a touch of an inferiority complex, being a transfer student can be tough to navigate

— Madison Creekbaum

Women on the mic: Cal Spirit’s female ‘mic men’


People standing on a football field.

As a sixth-generation UC Berkeley student, Darzynkiewicz grew up watching the mic men lead cheers at Cal football games and recognized how fans’ spirit could turn the tide of the game.

— Dina Katgara

Generational ripples or a glimpse of belonging?


This experience ripples through our community as each one of us struggles to find our voice in the academic world. 

— Daniela Ayala 

Check out these student perks and discounts


Image of a person in BAMPFA looking at art

Explore the various discounted activities, services, products, and food offered to us as Berkeley students. 

— Natasha Kaye

A purposeful journey


Photo of Michael Temprano

Though the unseen and unknown may feel faker than a mirage, they are the most authentic notions to the heart that believes. This kind of heart grows from endurance amid suffering. It empowers you at your lowest points.

— Michael Temprano

Life’s a movie: UC Berkeley edition


Image of a print out of a Monsters University still in front of Berkeley's Sather Gate

 If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Cal Day, you should watch a movie that features UC Berkeleyl! From Disney originals to Netflix rom-coms to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, UC Berkeley has had some legendary references in films. Here are some of the most notable ones!

— Caitlin Wang

Leaked campus document reveals ‘haunted’ truth behind Evans Hall demolition plan


Image of Berkeley's Evans hall

The document reveals that Evans Hall is not being demolished because it is “seismically deficient” or “just f—ing ugly,” but rather to allegedly appease and rid the spirits of angry ex-business students who have been haunting the halls of the building for years. 

— Carolyn Yu

A letter to Luke


Photo of Luke Stiles

“And honestly, I’m jealous of you because I didn’t get a roadmap. I can only hope that one day I get one of these letters from a future Luke explaining what to expect next.”

— Luke Stiles


Tales from a Bay Area local: Making new memories


Veerle DeJong mug

We tend to focus so much on needing new experiences when we enter college — a new city to explore, a new home to decorate, finding new sights to see and checking off all the new foods and restaurants we absolutely need to try.

— Veerle de Jong

The Bells of Berkeley: Campanile DeCal offers accessibility to carillon study


Two people playing an instrument.

Outside of classes instructed by Jeff Davis, University Carillonist, the ‘Learn to Play Sather Tower Bells’ DeCal seeks to make learning the instrument accessible to students. 

— Lindsay Muangman

Breaking up with Berkeley


James Meyer mug.

 I am learning to accept that all of my beautiful moments and memories from my time at Berkeley are fated to remain just that — memories. As much as I may wish to prolong my Berkeley experience, I know deep down my journey here has reached its end.

— James Meyer

No car, no problem: Alternative methods of Bay Area transportation


Downtown Berkeley at night.

The lack of access to a personal motor vehicle can be difficult for the average student and even more so for those who have become dependent on a vehicle back home. However, alternative modes of transport include everything from biking, riding the bus or BART, walking and even short-term car rentals that all come with their own set of pros and cons.

— Megnath Dey

Remembering “The Big Play” 40 Years Later


Daily Cal archive paper.

 This year’s wild ending from a Cal comeback to win 27-20 was perhaps reminiscent of all the chaos that occurred 40 years ago on what would be dubbed “The Play”, an iconic moment in football history which occurred during a Big Game on November 20, 1982 held at California Memorial Stadium. 

— Paula Hsiao

Moments in the dorms that altered my brain chemistry as a homebody


Photo of a roommate

As a homebody, I’m not always aware of trending topics and often find things funny when others don’t. Here are a collection of moments with my freshman roommates that I found special, no matter how simple they might seem to others.

— Aileen Park

I love you, little me


I wasn’t able to see the future when I was 15, but I can tell the past what I know now. And I’d start it off like this.

— Adriana Temprano

Double majoring in STEM and humanities: Why you can do it all

Photo of Merve Ozedmir

I was struggling to remain interested in my classes, waiting impatiently for days where I would be an upperclassman engaged in biology deeply, and enjoy it.

— Merve Ozdemir

‘Matching the sky’s color is the word ‘Welcome’’: my personal experience as an international student


Photo of an airplane

The new and in some ways support-less lifestyle that seemingly sets you apart from everyone else is just like the watch my mother gave me — you wear it, you forget about it, and soon it becomes part of you, not new anymore.

— Jingxing Wang

5 nuggets of advice from an RA


Blackwell Hall at dusk.

I now present five things incoming freshmen could benefit from knowing as they go into their first year of college. 

— Elena Hsieh

Figuring out college: A winding path


Photo of Alessi Ayvaz

UC Berkeley is an intensely competitive atmosphere where it can too often feel like everyone’s got it figured out and doing way more than you are, but no one really is. When it comes down to it, it’s beyond okay to take time away from it all to figure out where you fit, like I did.

— Alessi Ayvaz

Learning to love Berkeley


Miriam Klaczynska_mug

Instead, I made myself a deal: I’ll stick it out for a semester, and, if I still hated it, I’d return to the dreaded Common App portal for my transfer application. You can probably guess how that ended, as I’m still here, trying to convince you to give it a chance.

— Miriam Klaczynska

In defense of studying the humanities


Analytical reading, critical thinking and strong writing skills are key skills that we need to be cultivating. It’s not a coincidence that the majors that most deeply question capitalism and systems of patriarchy, racism, colonialism and oppression are the ones politicians are looking to defund or discourage students from studying.

— Amrita Bhasin

Commitment is a 2-hour ride from home


Image of University Avenue

Commuting from distant cities to Berkeley daily is possible, but it is not something I would advocate.

— Chris Ceguerra

Golden Bear Orientation: Explaining the $475 charge on your CalCentral


Illustration of a POV of someone looking down at a GBO orientation badge, their hand and legs visible, by Fifi Berman

As you meet and introduce yourself to your group, get ready to repeat the same four things. Name. Major. Where you’re from. Instagram. 

— Joann Moon

Contact Maria Khan at 


MAY 02, 2023