Students living large at Cal

BERKELEY, Calif. — The University of California, Berkeley, ranked No. 1 among public universities by U.S. News, attracts people with wide-ranging views and interests, with an undergraduate enrollment of more than 27,000. Teen Observer staffers conducted a random survey about the student experience at Cal.

The new student union on campus was where we began our search for information on the student experience. Linda Li, a rising sophomore who works at the front desk at the union, talked to us about her passion for attending Cal football games.

But she said the Cal academics are challenging: “One of the hardest parts are the final weeks, and how stressful it can be on students, and how many students suffer from anxiety and depression.”

Out on the center of campus close to Sather Gate, we came across Bo Mot eating a burrito on a bench. Mott is a rising senior from the Lake Tahoe area. The location of his hometown played a big role in influencing his decision to attend Cal.

Mott said, “It was next to the city (San Francisco), and I wanted to be close to the ocean.” Also, Mott said he enjoys the cuisine around campus. “It has to be the food; the food is the best. Blondie’s [the restaurant] is great.”  

Sather Gate-the iconic gate at Cal-a historical landmark at the campus. Photo by Etta Liu

Sather Gate, an icon at Cal, is at the center of the 1,200-acre university and near the new student union. Photo by Etta Liu

The Campanile on Cal campus-another historical landmark photo by Etta Liu

The Campanile is a 307-foot tall bell and clock tower on Cal’s campus.
Photo by Etta Liu

We then met Berkeley engineering major Anesh Akella, who is from San Jose, south of Berkeley.

“The people here are unique, very competitive students, thus you can do your best,” he said. So far, his favorite moment at Cal was when he and his friends went to Riverside, California, for an engineering competition.

Ray Huang, an incoming freshman, said he is looking forward to beginning his college life this fall. “I liked all the research and things being created here,” he said of his decision to accept admission at Cal.

“I really like all those activities,” said Li. “There are different communities for any kind of person so anyone can fit in and find their niche.”