Picture this: Sproul Plaza is full of students avoiding flyers while rushing to class, crowds of people with bright yellow lanyards amble past the Campanile and giant boxes fill previously empty apartments and dorm rooms. School is back in session at UC Berkeley, and new bears are on the block! This time of year is often paradoxical — it is exciting yet nerve-wracking, exhilarating yet overwhelming, familiar yet unknown.
Treat this issue as your guide to the semester. With stories about handling impostor syndrome and finding a community on an intimidatingly large campus, we hope you feel comfortable tackling the year ahead. Read about spooky Berkeley legends, the most delicious restaurants in Berkeley, the giant introduction courses UC Berkeley is infamous for and the history of Berkeley’s activist culture.
Berkeley is a fantastic city full of layers to unpeel. So, before the sunshine fades into winter, grab a copy of this issue, lay down on Memorial Glade and start discovering your new home!
To pass beneath the stern face of Athena, goddess of wisdom, peering down from atop the north entrance to Doe Library is to enter a temple to the truth born from coexisting contradictions: sciences and humanities, objectivity and subjectivity, form and function.
— Jonathan Hale
Taking a break from classes and stepping outside the campus bubble to explore the surrounding city can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are a few suggestions for your future weekend plans.
— Sanjana Manjeshwar
We are not here to understand our role immediately. We are here to enter a world of possibility, to be the impostor and welcome the stranger.
— Gigi Laurin
Coupled with waves of excitement, anticipation and hope of a new school year, the infamous large-size courses at Berkeley awaits new and returning students.
— Ashley Tsai
Rich diversity of intellect and expression resonated invigorating notes of purpose and progress, orchestrating an ambitious yet tranquil tune to which I was entranced.
— Michael Temprano
While fighting through a crowd of people to get to their first lecture, UC Berkeley freshman F. Akeguy accidentally stepped foot on a campus seal — the first time anyone has done so since 1987.
— Chris Ying
Berkeley has some of the best and most diverse restaurants you need to try. Check out this list and go try these restaurants.
— Jovana Camberos
As I packed and headed back down the peninsula, both my car and heart felt a little more full. Staff shirts and various club lanyards shoved between moving boxes had become my own personal metrics for belonging.
— Emma Solomon
As a diverse school with students from all over the world with different types of backgrounds, styles, tastes, and interests, it can be overwhelming to figure out your niche. Luckily, there are ways to discover what aesthetic you call your own.
— Maya Jimenez
Hallmarks of UC Berkeley, education and activism have coexisted on campus since the Free Speech Movement.
— Rae Wymer
For me, like many other commuter students, where I live became the number one defining characteristic in my college experience. For all my fellow commuters out there (including incoming ones), you are never without hope.
— Alessi Ayvaz
Regardless, you’ll want a destination for your fresh air exploits. And on that note, here are four of the best outdoor activities to do around campus.
— Chanyoung Chung
Yet somehow I still had this inclination that I didn’t belong neither here nor there. What if I didn’t belong anywhere?
— Anyssa Torres
It might seem a little early to begin reflecting on how much I’ve changed since I began my journey at UC Berkeley last August, considering it’s only my second year. That said, I firmly believe that I’ve grown more in just one year than I did in my first 18.
— Zachary Khouri
Take advantage of everything the UC Berkeley campus has to offer this semester and complete this bucket list along with us.
— Jovana Camberos
Getting involved in research at UC Berkeley can be a daunting prospect as a new student, but there are many avenues available to help along the journey.
— Ratul Mangal
Take this quiz to find out which of the most popular UC Berkeley majors best fits your personality!
— Stella Kotik
And that’s where the risk comes in — not in pursuing only those communities that make us feel at home, but rather bringing the community within you to the communities beyond you.
— Adriana Temprano
Belonging is visceral and tactile, so lick everything and squish your face against every surface.
— Mahika Singhal
From an unprovoked attack on a lover to a mysterious disappearance, a blindsided tragedy to a rebound turned companion, Annie’s stay at the Campanile can be read as a pitch for a prime-time novella.
— Matt Brown and Maria Young
With a string of fizzled friendships and explosive fallouts behind me, I now understand that change doesn’t need to be a big scary thing.
— Tatum Handel