Why am I like this?

For about the last year, approximately once every three weeks or so, someone I know to a varying degree has come up to me and invariably began to tell me, with the excited look all perceived compliment-bestowers have right before they impart their ultimate wisdom, “Holly — ” (they usually
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Don’t just learn it, live it

In my four years at UC Berkeley, I have come to understand one consistent thread about the intellectual experience here: The best part of a UC Berkeley education is not the learning that happens within the classroom — it is the experience of applying that knowledge outside it. Students studying
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Penny for your time

My mother unzipped her purse and unloaded a slot machine at the checkout line of the grocery store. A cashier’s worst nightmare. “Every penny you save now is a penny for college,” she’d tell me when I cringed, embarrassed. But she was right. We may never befriend the cashier who
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Owning My Story

Content Warning: Sexual assault, domestic violence, self-harm, suicidality On the eve of the beginning of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, my parents immigrated from Encarnación de Díaz, Jalisco, to Azusa, California, to raise a family. Like many children at the time, I was born into a crib of crack cocaine, as my
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Rosemarie Alejandro_online

Better than your own kin did

I went to CalSO less than a month after Kanye West dropped Yeezus. At one point, I found myself stuck behind a modestly sized group of tall guys who had started chatting about the album. I scurried behind them so that I could be within earshot and enthusiastically said, “Hey!
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When I grow up, I want to be a…

“When I grow up, I want to be a…” has always been the one fill-in-the-blank question easiest to answer. You know, kind of like that freebie on your last midterm. It’s just always sort of been there with me, for as long as I can remember. There was no Archimedes-esque
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The most important lesson

Two weeks ago, I sent my mother a WhatsApp message crying and asking her to call me because I was so overwhelmed with graduating, becoming an adult and leaving my comfort zone. As I wiped the tears off my face and stared at the message I had just sent, I
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Going back to where you came from

Being a first-generation student at UC Berkeley made me realize that my entire educational experience has been a series of “first” experiences. My parents never finished their high school or college degrees in Vietnam, so they carried on the dream of seeing their only daughter graduate from a public university.
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Rachel Feder_online_2

Never this way again

There’s a feeling I’ve been trying to come to terms with since the fifth grade, when I moved across the country from Allentown, Pennsylvania, to the Bay Area. Even as a 10-year-old, I felt an acute understanding that things were ending. It’s a hard feeling to pinpoint or even explain
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Melanie Archipley_online

Fail early, fail often

The best piece of advice I can leave this campus as a graduating senior is not advice you will find with an L&S adviser, and almost assuredly not advice you will receive from your parents: Fail early and fail often. What do I mean by “fail”? I mean seriously disappoint
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