Photo Essay: Portraits of UC Berkeley students

Jessica Gleason/Staff


Nicholas Alexander 

–If you could change one thing about Berkeley what would it be?

“The hyperliberals. I’m a liberal myself, don’t get me wrong. I’m down for socialism; I’m down for a safety net for those who need it. But I’m not down for this ultrasenstitive, politically correct, microaggressive culture. We are in the real world, things are going to upset us, and if you don’t learn to grow up now then you never will.”


Tara Aranha 

“I actually grew up here in Berkeley. It’s a super liberal bubble, just like you would think. All my friends’ parents were here protesting in the ‘60s. So you wouldn’t hear a lot of offensive language. It was hard moving into the dorms and meeting people that are Republicans and say offensive things and have racist opinions. And I knew those opinions existed, but I didn’t think young students would actually think that way.”


Eduardo Sanchez 

“It’s not a cutthroat environment. Everyone will help you out, even if it’s just a Google doc or a study group — there is a sense of community. I feel like that stereotype of ‘every man for himself’ has been defied.”  


Romy Attias  

“Don’t plan too much, which is very easy to do, and it’s a personality thing as well, like I need to know everything that’s going to happen within the month. But when you plan too much, you limit yourself and there are so many opportunities out there, but you restrict yourself from doing those things because ‘they’re not part of your plan.’ I feel like if you go into something without a plan you will find your way anyway, and it will be more about what actually interests you in the moment as opposed to set ideas that you’ve made about yourself. Be careful looking too far into the future.”


Andrew Midyett 

–When was a time you felt out of place?

“I went into the women’s locker room on accident once.”


Isabel Bickford  

“I’m trying to make sure my grandparents are proud of me at all costs. There are some things I won’t ever tell them just so they have a high opinion of me, even if it would be better that I did share these things with them. I’m the oldest grandchild and the oldest sibling in my nuclear family and a lot of people are looking up to me. Even my extended family will say ‘my kids are watching you so you better do well and stay on the right path.’ It’s a lot to live up to.”


Joon Lee 

“After school I have to serve in the Korean military. Its obligatory. I want to go to grad school but there are other things I have to do first. But being here has definitely made me more liberal. South Korea is a lot more homogenous, in terms of race and even in terms of what people want to do with their lives. Everyone wants to go into public office.”

What is it that you want to do?

“Go into public office.”

Contact Elizabeth Gordon at [email protected] and Jessica Gleason, the visual editor of the Weekender, at [email protected]