When you first come to UC Berkeley, it may seem like everyone has it together. Campus teems with students on the go, and all of a sudden everyone wants to tell you about their startup. But allow us to let you in on a little secret: We’re all still trying to figure it out.
Attending the top public university in the country comes with its challenges, from the rigorous academics to the fickle weather. Being a student means making mistakes and sometimes embarrassing yourself, but these writers have been there and they’ve got you covered.
Consider this fall orientation special issue your unofficial “survival guide” to life in Berkeley. Open it up, and you’ll be back at Golden Bear Orientation, revisiting how a student first met their best friend. Turn the page, and you’ll discover what it’s like to be a humanities major at a STEM-dominated school. Keep reading, and you’ll be reminded, quite visually, that it’s okay to cry sometimes.
At the end of it all, we hope you realize that “surviving” at UC Berkeley isn’t as daunting as it may seem.
– Lauren Harvey and Maya Jimenez
In the midst of growing pains, we found each other, and rediscovered the feeling of home that got us through that first onerous week alone.
– Emma Solomon
This photo essay is a thank you letter to the beautiful campus that became my second home, commemorating a two-day, 24,000 step journey around campus reliving special moments and places.
– Jun Oh
It’s the lull where you aren’t new anymore, but the end still isn’t in sight. There’s quite a ways to go before graduation, but you already feel as though you’ve matured.
– Lucía Umeki-Martínez
Life at UC Berkeley can be hard, and this photo essay is a reminder that it is okay to cry.
– Kyle Garcia Takata
Society inspires literature, and literature inspires society. The union of my English and sociology majors constantly reminds me of this beautiful dynamic.
– Michael Temprano
If you’re any true Cal student, you probably already have your favorite study spots for grinding it out. But beyond comfort and familiarity, have you ever factored the stars into your study session decision?
The reality is that STEM seems to dictate our careers, our livelihoods and therefore our academics as well. Without these disciplines, I can’t imagine how any of us would exist. But without humanities, arts and social sciences, I don’t think our chances of existence would be any higher.
– Adriana Temprano
Whether scrambling for a book last minute, joining a community-based chess club or just needing a place to recharge devices, UC Berkeley students see the Berkeley Public Library as a valuable resource.
With so many venues, it can be daunting to try and find concerts and live music events of interest to you. But, never fear! Let this be your guide.
– Anna Armstrong
These three small venues are pillars of the Bay Area music scene and manifest the power of intimacy in performance and audience engagement.
One of my favorite things about Berkeley as a college town is that there are so many places open around or past midnight.
Welcome to Berkeley! Here, you can expect to discover academic disciplines, friends for life and, of course, thousands of crypto-tech-EECS-finance bros who want nothing more than to tell YOU about their latest and greatest startup.
No, you might not get into the most posh consulting club your first semester on campus, but it won’t be the end of the world.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to express yourself in the way you want to. Here’s where you can obtain a coveted tattoo or piercing in Berkeley.
Classes are hard. No one can sit in Moffitt eight hours a day for months. We get it. We all need to jump around sometimes.
– Jingxing Wang
I owe any trace of a relatively stable mental health to the beaten paths of Strawberry Creek and the Fire Trails, and I hope these photos capture my gratitude for all that nature offers so bountifully.
– Elena Hsieh