The first week of school has come and gone, and we’ve all had a chance to settle back in to school life. That also means we’ve gotten the chance to see yet again just how different school is from our home lives. Whether or not you were pining for Berkeley after a few weeks home, there’s bound to be a few things you miss.

Unit 1 Slottman

The bathrooms. You don’t have to clean the bathrooms yourself in the dorms, but you do have to share it with a whole floor instead of just your siblings. That’s a lot of people you probably aren’t best buds with using the same facilities.

The food. Home-cooked food! Need we say more? The luxury of trotting downstairs, opening the fridge and taking out a tupperware of deliciousness — that hasn’t come from the dining commons — is one that must not be taken for granted. And now we must live without it until spring break.

The privacy. You may love your roommate to bits, but not all the time. There’s something about walking into your bedroom and having no one else there to share the space with that’s pretty priceless. At Cal, you savor the moments you walk into an empty room. Maybe you even sing a little while there’s no one there to hear (mock) you.

Television. Most kids have at least one show they like to watch and having it on an actual T.V. screen rather than a computer screen is another novelty not found in the dorms. It’s often not even found in apartments either. At home the remote can become an extension of your arm as you flip through channels and watch shows too silly to deliberately pull up on Hulu.

The people. Hopefully this is the most important aspect of everyone’s lives. There are always people we miss from home, from parents, siblings, friends or even pets (though we realize those do not literally fall under this category). No matter where you live on campus, Unit 1 or an apartment on Dwight, this is the part of missing home we hope we can all relate to. But as long as you don’t let yourself get bogged down with it, we promise the semester will still turn out great! Trust us, being the Berkeley student you are, you’ll soon be so swept up in everything you won’t have time for anything else. And we’ve found the people here to be pretty great as well…

Image source: prayitno under Creative Commons


Lately, we haven’t been sleeping too well. We know many of you probably haven’t either, since the midterm season brings more than just exam stress. It brings an entire mid-semester slump! (Maybe it’s partly due to some bad sleeping habits?)

Here’s a few tips to getting better sleep, tailored to a sleep-deprived student body:

If you need rest, keep reading.

If you need rest, keep reading.

1. Organize your thoughts in a new, systematic way.

We’ve found that writing down a “to improve” list can be helpful. Why? In general, students deal with a large number of smaller stresses — exams, disagreements with roommates, buying textbooks — versus something larger. It can often feel overwhelming to try to constantly sort priorities, compartmentalize and keep focused with so many things to remember. As a result, we feel overwhelmed and plagued by worry! Keeping your priorities accessible and clear can eliminate an urge to mentally “search” and therefore lead to less struggle in falling asleep. (Read more about sleep and organization here.)

2. Take a closer look at read more »


dorm

Dorm life is arguably one of the main aspects of the college experience, and it’s no different here at Cal. Many students see the dorms (well at least Units 1, 2 and 3) as a social haven complete with distractions guaranteed to deter you from finishing homework.

For students living in the dorms, you know that’s true … to an extent. The bustling and socializing of dorm life comes from the students; not something magical that appears out of nowhere. You have to be the one to initiate social events! (There’s no rule against it unless it’s something really distracting to others or involves anything dangerous.)

Did you know that your RA has a budget specifically geared for dorm activities? read more »