Reflecting on My First Year.
Now that Hispanic Heritage Month has arrived, I’ve realized that this is my second year at Berkeley (a little late for the realization, I know). The past year has really flown by — I remember being an admitted freshman and virtually attending bridges’ Senior Weekendand listening to the Raices members discuss their experiences with being Latinx at Cal.
Hearing their stories was incredibly helpful and inspiring for me. In the hopes of doing that for someone else, here are my own reflections a year after I became a Berkeley student, and some clubs I have recently discovered.
First Classes at Berkeley
I took two very important classes my first semester at Berkeley: Chicano 50 (Introduction to Chicano History) and History 8A (Latin American History). I didn’t fully realize how important these classes would turn out to be until they were over and I was able to reflect on my experience of taking them both. The classes fulfilled breadth requirements, but they were also topics I hadn’t fully explored in high school that I wanted to learn more about. So I was excited that the opportunity to study these topics was now easier for me to access and actually participate in now that I was in college.
A lot of other Latinx students were in these two courses, which ended up making my transition to Cal easier. I never felt out of place or alone like I thought I would feel or how I heard other Latinx students felt when they first started. My professor for Chicano 50 and the GSIs for both classes were also Latinx and would discuss research they were conducting, which was both enlightening and inspiring for me. They also made it clear that they were here to help us outside of class as well. During the semester, my Chicano 50 professor sent out a flyer for free tacos that the Latinx Research Center was giving out to community members, which I was very grateful for because it was during RRR week and I had been craving some good Mexican food.