The University of California, Berkeley attracts students who follow their passions, participating in many activities that help them reach their goals while also maintaining a sense of fun and community. It is not uncommon for students to be very involved in campus organizations, clubs and activities at Berkeley. In this blog, I’ll go over some of my campus involvements to give a snapshot of the Berkeley experience.
Research is a common endeavor that students focus on at Berkeley. Whether or not a student is interested in STEM, humanities, social sciences or anything else, research is highly encouraged and prevalent on campus. For me, I am a member of the Kaufer Lab in the Department of Integrative Biology. My lab focuses on stress and its effects on the brain and body. I’ve been with my lab for two years now and have been able to learn many research techniques and skills that I am not able to learn in class. Further, my research experience will bolster my resume when it comes time to apply to jobs after graduation and maybe even graduate school in the future. Research is highly encouraged on campus and is something that the university makes large strides to make available to all students.
University of California Rally Committee
The University of California Rally Committee (Rally Comm) is the leading school spirit group on campus. Rally Comm organizes the spirit rallies on campus, assists with school spirit at football games, fires the California Victory Cannon, organizes the card stunts at football games and overall helps build school spirit on campus. I have been a member of Rally Comm since my first semester on campus and have found a fun community that gives back to the school while also fostering deep friendships. Beyond the external events that the Rally Committee hosts, there are lots of fun internal activities focused on member bonding; I was actually the Director of Member Events my Sophomore year and was in charge of planning the majority of our internal events. Even more, every semester the Rally Committee puts on a Decal (a student-taught course) on university spirit, history and traditions – I highly recommend taking this Decal at least once as a Berkeley student. Overall, the Rally Committee is a great way for me to have fun in between studies.
Phi Chi Pre-Health Fraternity
Phi Chi Pre-Health Fraternity is one of five pre-med/pre-health fraternities and sororities on campus. The thing that is special about Phi Chi to me is the fact that it is a pre-health fraternity and not a pre-med fraternity. I know I do not want to go to medical school, so a pre-med fraternity would not be the right place for me. However, I am interested in the health field, making Phi Chi a good fit for me. Phi Chi and pre-professional fraternities are great resources for professional development and community. Through Phi Chi, I have learned a lot about the health fields, updated my professional side through workshops and have access to a massive network of current members and alumni who I can ask for advice. By being a member of Phi Chi, I have gained a myriad of helpful skills and resources while also joining a new community on campus.
This is a small snapshot of some of the things that are available to students on campus, but there are hundreds of student clubs and organizations available to Berkeley students. No matter what you’re interested in, there is likely a club or organization that focuses on that one specific thing, and if there isn’t, you can make your own club! Also, college is a time of exploration and growth. Throughout the years, I have had other campus involvements that I’m no longer involved with and that is ok! Even moving forward, I’m still looking for new opportunities that might pique my interest either professionally or simply for fun.