Avatar characters as UC Berkeley students

still from Avatar The Last Airbender
Nickelodeon Animation Studios/Courtesy

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“Avatar: The Last Airbender” is an anime series that follows 12-year-old Avatar Aang and his friends on their quest to end the raging Hundred Year war and bring peace to their nation in a fantasy world divided by four elements: fire, air, earth and water. If you haven’t watched it, take a break from your first week of schoolwork and start watching! 

Given the recent news of a live-action Avatar remake and the start of classes at UC Berkeley, we at the Clog were inspired to take the “live-action” a step further and explore the lives of the characters of Avatar if they were to attend UC Berkeley.

Aang (The Avatar):

As an air nomad, Aang is harmonious and kind-hearted, always looking for a peaceful solution and never resorting to violence even in the most dire of situations. Aang is also the last surviving member of the Air Nation, leading him to greatly treasure preserving his culture and heritage. Hence, it may come as no surprise that Aang would choose to double major in history and anthropology, with a minor in interdisciplinary human rights or buddhist studies. He would also carry his spiritual traditions from training as a monk with him to campus and join Mindfulness at Berkeley. Meanwhile, Aang’s love of animals (and penguin sledding) would lead him to volunteer with student organizations such as De-stress with Dogs. In his free time, you’ll find Aang playing a pickup game of soccer outside of his dorm room or training to become a Golder Bear Orientation Leader. 


Katara is a strong-hearted, opinionated and brave character. Throughout the show, Katara holds a strong sense of social justice and is constantly saving the day and helping the underdogs. Given her passion and strong will, Katara would definitely major in legal studies or political science. During her time at UC Berkeley, Katara would write passionate, outspoken articles about controversial local issues as an opinion columnist at The Daily Californian, Berkeley’s independent student newspaper. In fact, she would be front and center at every Berkeley protest (and she was probably the one to organize it in the first place). As a master waterbender, you would also find her surfing or paddleboarding at the Berkeley Marina over the weekends.


You know that one obnoxious mansplainer in a Socratic seminar who thinks they’re the most intelligent person ever but actually just takes up the entire discussion blabbering nonsense? That would be Sokka. As both the designated brain and the designated comedic relief of Team Avatar, Sokka would probably be a mechanical engineering major and a gender and women’s studies minor (Suki would have made him sign up for a class and now he’s into it). Overall, Sokka has a very extroverted and outgoing personality, so he would participate in as many school activities as humanly possible. Sokka’s skills with the sword would lead him to join UC Berkeley’s Intramural Club Fencing team, while his humor and sarcasm would turn into a passion for theater and lead him to Berkeley’s Improv Troupe, the TBD Comedy club. However, while he holds a strong passion for academics and extracurriculars, there’s also no mistake that he would be a regular on the infamous Frat Row.


As both a UC Berkeley student and an earthbender, Toph would most definitely be an environmental engineering major. Toph’s connection to the Earth would lead her to join the Cal Hiking and Outdoors Society and organize monthly backpacking trips and outdoor adventures. On the weekends, you can find her thrifting at Anastasia’s Vintage Store or hiking the fire trails. Toph would also take advantage of her earthbending powers by joining the BearWALK community and helping students get home safe.


You know the UC Berkeley horror stories you hear about aggressive, competitive students who steal people’s notes and sabotaging grades? That would be Zuko. As a legacy kid whose entire family graduated from UC Berkeley, Zuko will do anything to achieve his goal of graduating in the top one percent (including avoiding stepping on the campus seals at all costs). Zuko would be pressured into double majoring in business and electrical engineering and computer sciences by his strict tiger-dad, Ozai. He spends his weekends studying at the Doe Library. And then studying some more in his room. And let’s not forget interning at Google, Amazon or Facebook. After graduating, Zuko would become a Bezos-style CEO and inherit his father’s booming (and probably unethical) Silicon Valley startup.


You know that one Bay Area friend who drinks boba tea for breakfast, lunch and dinner? That would be Iroh. While studying at UC Berkeley, Iroh would work part-time at Feng Cha Teahouse; but he would soon get fired for trying to drink the customer’s tea. Outside of his boba addiction, Iroh would quickly become dubbed the “dad friend” and the “unofficial psychologist of his friend group” and his friends would flock to him for advice about anything and everything — from homework help to dating. Due to his fantastic intuition and fatherly words of wisdom, Iroh would soon declare a major in psychology. After finishing his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, Iroh would return to school to become a professor and pass his wisdom on to his students (although we suspect his classes would look more like a therapy session). On weekends, you’ll find Iroh playing chess and sharing a cup of tea with his professor buddies at Caffè Strada.

So there you have it! Don’t you wish your favorite characters really did go to UC Berkeley?

Contact Katherine Kudriavstev at [email protected].