Dear Freshman Year

May 5, 2020

Dear freshman year,

With the end of my freshman year approaching, I've been looking back on what made it so great, regardless of how it was unfortunately cut short.

A lot of those great memories have to be credited the UC Rally Committee. Rally Comm gave me my friends, my future housemates, my job, and a great deal of happiness. Looking back on how scared I was to join makes me laugh, I can't imagine my freshman experience without the UCRC. I've come so far and I'm excited to give back to the committee that gave me everything I wanted and more as the new Director of Security. What is this you might be asking?  Well, let me tell you all about it. My job as DoS, as it's called, includes some very important tasks. I'm now in charge of keeping the Big C the beautiful shade of queen bee yellow, and I guard the California Banner that goes up at different sporting events and Cal events. I'm lucky enough to be in charge of the upkeep and protection of two important symbols of this university, and I'm so ready to represent Cal in this position.

I was fortunate enough to meet the best people through the committee, who also made this year as extraordinary as it was. These people are my best friends, and I'm living with seven of them next year! Simply writing that out brings a smile to my face, I have a family of golden bears that this year gave to me and I love them so dearly.

The good things don't even end there. All the classes I took this past semester were so rewarding. I was lucky enough to learn from the iconic Laura Nader in her last year at the school, I met some amazing GSIs I know I'll be able to reach out to if I ever need their help, and I realized that there's no reason not to double major in two whole fields that I am just so passionate about. I'm going into my sophomore year confident and ready for what's to come, and I can credit that entirely to how this past year helped me grow and progress, not only as a student, but as a person.

Academically, I can tell I've grown. I've went through the anxiety of almost failing a class and the rush of getting a hard earned A, and from both I can take so much away. Turns out, I had no idea how to study effectively, but that's a skill I've greatly developed through these seven months (although, between you and me, I still have a ways to go). I discovered that I'm kinda good at writing, and I have the confidence to help others, so I plan to apply to the Student Learning Center as a writing tutor to help others where I can.

Most importantly, I learned that I belong here. Every student here will experience that feeling of uncertainty, impostor syndrome. Two hundred and forty six days ago, I sat down in the very last row of my first ever college lecture and couldn't stop fidgeting. I felt like I stuck out among all the other students, I didn't belong there. If I could go back to that version of myself I'd slap her across the face. I was crazy to think that, Berkeley students are Berkeley students for a reason, we belong here. Period.

Freshman year, you did me good. I wish we could have spent more time together, but the time we did have was unforgettable. Continue to be amazing for all the freshmen to come.

Shout out to my freshman term, the first one. And here's to the next one. I'll see you in a year. And, of course, go bears.

Much love,