If we close our eyes, we can still imagine a typical Cal Day: large groups of wide-eyed students coming from around the world to visit campus for the first time and current students swarming at backyard parties blaring music, enticing or intimidating the prospective students (and their parents) passing by.

In contrast to the spirited, crowded chaos many of us were able to experience as prospective students, this year’s Cal Day, now extended into Cal Week, is virtual. The chancellor’s address will be streamed online, tours will take the shape of Zoom webinars and the closest many of us will get to donning Cal gear is accidentally waking up in a pair of UC Berkeley sweatpants. Nonetheless, our writers — whether they have been students for two semesters or four years — have a lot to say about our campus. In this issue, you’ll find pieces about our fondest memories, our advice for incoming students and our hopes for coming back. We hope you enjoy it.


Oski the Bear: The history of UC Berkeley’s mascot

Infographic about OskiThis iconic bear has been gracing UC Berkeley’s sports games since his initial live debut in 1941. However, to get to our modern, infamous Oski, it’s been quite the journey.

— Stella Kotik


It’s not for the faint of heart

That California spirit never goes away — and neither do we. As the COVID-19 pandemic (hopefully) wraps up, that blue and gold wave will ride its way into UC Berkeley once again, ready to embrace the unexpected wins and inevitable losses.

— Kabir Rao


Paul Nicknish talks about playing bass in UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra

Photo of Paul Nicknish holding a bow in front of Sather GateNicknish has been one of the seven bass players in the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra since his freshman year. He also plays in UC Berkeley’s Chamber Orchestra and a campus jazz ensemble.

— Merve Ozdemir


A look forward at the return of Berkeley’s live music scene

Photo of Vampire Weekend performingOne of the most heart-wrenching casualties of the pandemic was the loss of in-person concerts, as the performances that used to animate restaurants, bars and late-night venues seemed to vanish overnight.

— Luke Stiles


Why I will never grow up

It’s been more than a year since I became a legal “adult,” and yet, I have not experienced that sense of clarity toward life that adulthood supposedly brings.

— Jenny Lee


A check box for the little things

Looking back now, the perception I had of UC Berkeley as a senior in high school saddens me immensely. A Cal Day visit and four years later, it is safe to say applying to UC Berkeley was the best box I ever checked.

— Allie Coyne


An introduction to startup culture at UC Berkeley

Illustration of a person walking through Sather Gate, holding a briefcase and with a lightbulb over their head

UC Berkeley’s reputation for its students having founded more companies than any other university in the world is one of the main factors that influenced my decision to attend.

— Amrita Bhasin


An analysis of popular UC Berkeley stereotypes

Infographic about UC Berkeley stereotypes, by Aasha TurnerBoth UC Berkeley and the city of Berkeley are home to a slew of stereotypes. We’re here to confirm or debunk some of them from a local standpoint, once and for all.

— Angelina Yin


Finding my place

Photo of Annie LinMy first year at UC Berkeley, although virtual and 2,905 miles away from home, has been an experience that might not be unique — but it’s certainly been enlightening.

— Annie Lin


A tribute to game days

Photo of Mia HorneBefore I came to college, I knew that football games held a lot of significance to the university experience, but I could not have predicted the lengths I would go to in order to celebrate a football game with my friends.

— Mia Horne

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