The class of 2021 has a lot to complain about. In lieu of a typical senior year, students have been finishing their last undergraduate classes with a click of a button in their bedrooms, quarantining with family or friends in homes around the world and (probably) getting through it all by listening to folklore by Taylor Swift. This wasn’t the end we imagined — it feels as though our time at UC Berkeley slipped away.
But even during a time when nothing is certain, graduating still means we’re moving on to the next stage of our lives. Many of us have learned lessons and formed friendships as UC Berkeley students, virtual or otherwise, and that is something worth celebrating.
UC Berkeley and its surrounding city have gifted us with countless stories to tell and retell. It might be hard to let go, but at least we will still carry these memories as the years go by. Fellow Golden Bears, it’s time to go.
Even when I’m away from Berkeley, butterflies will remind me of the people who made college happy and golden.
— Sarah Harris
I’m grateful for my voice, and I’m grateful we are no longer strangers. We are old friends, finally reconnected.
— Amanda Bradford
In four years, there won’t be anyone here who knows my name, probably. The fact of the matter is each student is just one of tens of thousands, and our time at this university ends.
— Alexander Hong
As my time at college, and at the Daily Cal, comes to an end, I can’t help but wonder about what the future holds once more.
— Maia Alviar
I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me and who have continued the advocacy and fight for equity, inclusion and liberation.
— Victoria Vera
When I look back on college, the things no one knew are what I remember most.
— Hanna Lykke
Slowly I’m learning that it’s OK to write words my dad will never know I’ve written because I know he must have always known I would write them.
— Alex Jiménez
There is value in a good ending, in characters learning the story’s lessons and shifting the direction of their fictional lives going forward.
— Grace Orriss
I look forward to what lies on the other side of a lifetime of thought and effort, that conscious understanding that will never leave me.
— Matthew DuMont
— Jordan Harris
But now I’m not so sure my experience here consists of years at all. It’s more like a disorganized mosaic of feelings.
— Jake Souza
It is important to recognize our proximity to power and serve those who brought us into this position — the student community at UC Berkeley.
— Melvin Tangonan
For as long as I can remember, there are milestones to hit, major events that marked stages in my life.
— Alex Zhao
While it’s not my fault that I’m ending college in isolation, as I spend my days doing exactly what I vowed not to, it’s all too easy to feel like I’ve failed in my original goal and overlook all of the ways in which I have, in fact, fulfilled the promise I made to myself at the beginning of college.
— Jessica Fierro
For the past four years, perhaps ever since my brother’s graduation day, Doe Library has been my favorite building, despite a year passing since I last actually set foot in Doe and other Berkeley places I have come to love.
— Surina Khurana
Once you step through the gates, you are overtaken by a cacophony of barks and the happiest tails. Being outside in the fresh air, surrounded by lots of dogs is (for me, anyway) a true, uncomplicated bliss.
— Rochelle Gluzman
If I had to pick one word to sum up my time at UC Berkeley it would be this: belonging.
— Zara Khan
I will tell my kids that in my final days here, all I wanted was someone to tell me that my quiet mourning — for this very short time in a very small place — was warranted. Something real happened here. Something real was ending.
— Edrick Sabalburo
I will always have a burning torch inside my heart to light my way through darkness, to the bright side of life, to the light of a clearer self and world.
— Raina Yang
What I failed to realize was that I was scared of accepting what has already happened.
— MJ Harris
My advice to incoming students would be to explore as much as you can — sometimes you have to grow your hair long in order to find the style for you.
— Cate Valinote
I hope that you too realize that you are your own biggest asset, and people appreciate what you authentically bring to the table.
— Derek Imai