Friday, December 25, 2009

winter wonderland.

Happy Holidays to everyone! Chrismukkah has come and gone, and it's time to end this year as best as possible. Since I've been home I've watched a ridiculous amount of movies, slept on a regular schedule (and on my own mattress!!), spent time with my family, fallen more in love with Los Angeles, caught up with old friends, read for fun and more. It's been a truly amazing and memorable break, though I'm afraid it'll be over before I know it, as I'll be leaving on the 30th for my travels! I'm so excited, though at the same time I do wish I could have had a bit more time at home. You know what they say, can't always get what you want! I'm honestly so ridiculously content with everything in my life, though. 2009 has been the year of ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, and the grand majority have been for the better.

I'll post more later; updating from my iPod takes forever!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

final-ly free!

Sorry for the title, but as if I could resist making such an awful pun?! Too good to be true.

In any case, last night I officially finished my first semester at Berkeley! It's so surreal to think that I only have three semesters left here. It didn't end quite as well as I wanted (an unexpectedly detailed question regarding globalization/cultural imperialism totally killed my grade in Media Studies) but that's okay. Honestly, I think I did very well considering this was my first semester here. There was a lot of change and a lot of adjusting to do, and I think that if I look at my life as a whole over the last six months, I have definitely accomplished a lot.

Official semester recap to come later; I need to pack because I'm going home tomorrow! Perfect's the last night penultimate of Hanukkah, so I'll have dinner with my family, and then I'm going to see Avatar at midnight. Perfect way to start my winter break off right.

Monday, December 14, 2009


In writing a personal lifestyle blog such as this, there's a thin line between honesty and talking too much; I want to convey my experiences as a college student as honestly as possible, but I'm afraid of putting too much of myself out into the world, especially considering that this is a TOTALLY open blog that anyone in the world has access to. Anyone! A scary thought, that anyone anywhere could be reading about my life...then again, I started this blog knowing that risk. Anyways... honesty. It's sometimes hard to be completely honest, because eventually someone would read something and get hurt, or I'd say something that someone could use against me. I have had far too many friends that have lost jobs or employment opportunities due to things they've said on blogs/twitter/facebook (though really, WHY they said some of the things they did is beyond me). In any case, it would suck. Then again, why do I bother writing a blog if I can't be completely honest about my college experience? It's not all rainbows and sunshine, not every person I've met has been amazing, not all of my classes/professors are perfect (despite that I'm at one of the best schools in the country), life isn't always perfect, etc. It's a conundrum, and I'm honestly still debating what to do about it.

In any case, tonight's the night--tomorrow I finish my first semester at Cal. I have to finish writing my advertising paper and continue studying for Media close. !!!! I was feeling pretty down earlier, but talking to my family and my best friend on the phone definitely gave me the motivation I needed to just get it done. Tomorrow's going to be a long day, but after it's over...that's it, my first semester at Berkeley will be totally over. I'm excited, but nervous! Expect a recap post once I get home. Wednesday I'll be packing all day (since I need to pack for LA, Israel, and NYC!) and then Thursday I will be flying home! I could not BE more excited.

One more crazy scholarly night, and I'm free until the 19th of January. I can do it!

P.S. - Could I have possibly used the word "honestly" anymore?! Honestly!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

just a shot away.

Pulling what I hope is my last all-nighter this semester, trying to finish my Gender midterm that's due at 11am. Yes, I know, procrastination is bad. Whatever. I don't care about this test at all, and considering that class is pass/no pass for me I don't have to worry (or care) about excelling at this exam. I've been listening to Let It Bleed all night, and it wasn't until I removed my headphones for a second that I realized that it was raining again. I love listening to rain fall; unfortunately, it just makes me want to go to bed as opposed to being productive. There are worse things, I suppose. I just need to finish this exam, go drop it off at Barrows, and then I can sleep. Nothing better than sleeping on a rainy day...I'm excited about it!

OH YEAH, GUESS WHO GOT AN A ON THE FIRST PART OF THEIR ADVERTISING FINAL!?? So very exciting!! Okay, time to motivate myself and just plow through the week!

To-Do List:
  • 4 page Advertising Paper (due Tuesday @ 5)
  • study for Media Studies (exam Tuesday from 5-8)

I'll be home in five days, I can't believe it. Honestly, the thought that at this time next week I will be home is the only thing that is keeping me going.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Please explain to me why I'm writing an essay on U.S.-Mexico Border Relations for my GENDER STUDIES CLASS?! WHY AREN'T ANY OF THE QUESTIONS ABOUT GENDER?!?!?!

I can't wait until this semester is over.

Monday, December 7, 2009

toss me a cigarette, i think there's one in my raincoat.

It has become unbearably cold in Berkeley! Well, as unbearable as California seems to was about a high of 40 degrees today...which is really cold for me, I'm used to lows of 50 degrees! Oh Los Angeles, how you spoiled me. In any case, it is an excellent excuse to get all bundled up in my cutest winter gear, which includes this hat from Peru! I love being able to get away with wearing it, it's adorable and adds something interesting to my outfits. Anyways...

It's "dead week," in which students theoretically get a week to study for all of their finals. Ha. I mean, obviously I'm studying...but it's really easy to get distracted. I've been on a Scorcese kick lately; I just watched The Departed for the first time (amazing) and I brought Gangs of New York to watch for the millionth time. I also have a million tv-on-dvds to I promise I'm studying, though! I had half of my Advertising final, which went fairly well, and so now I have:
  • the other half of my Advertising final, which is a 4 page paper
  • a take-home final for Gender Studies, which is two short essay questions and one long essay--thank GOD I am done with this class, it was the worst
  • one in-class final for Media Studies...December 15 from 5-8pm
And after that...I'm free! I fly home the 17th and I am SO EXCITED. Still need to figure out what I'm packing, since I'm packing for not only home but Israel and NYC as well. I'm so excited for life! I'm nervous because I don't really know anyone on the Birthright trip, but I guess I'll get to know them, haha. I've been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and Simon & Garfunkel lately. It's a good mix and it makes me happy.

Life is going to be absolutely wonderful once finals are over.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

tangled up in blue.

Right before I left, I was given a copy of Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, and though I knew I'd like it, I had no idea I wouldn't be able to stop listening to's been on repeat since Monday. Best gift in a long time.

In other news, my first final is tomorrow and I really don't care anymore. I'm ready for winter break, now.

back to reality.

Thanksgiving was wonderful, but now it's back to reality...a reality known as FINALS! Dun dun dunnnnnn~

In any case, stay tuned for (serveral) caffeinated updates.

ALSO! I am thinking of changing the name of my blog...thoughts? comments? ideas? let me know!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

homeward bound.

I am home and absolutely loving it. If anything, I'm extremely grateful to be able to spend time with all of my loved ones.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

raw footage from friday's protest

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

if you think you're bulletproof, you're right

  • Apparently people actually read this and reference it to my mother? Most excellent.
  • (500) Days of Summer was every bit as good as I remembered it was. The alternative storytelling format, the acting, the music, the city (Los Angeles! ♥), the story all worked. If I can see a movie twice and enjoy it equally and be willing to sit through it a third time, that's a good sign.
  • Interesting lecture the other day in my Mass Media class on how nothing is private anymore, due to the Internet and blogging...expect a post about this soon :)
  • I've been really into the Beatles lately.
  • I've been in the mood to watch Watchmen again...I have the Director's Cut on Blu-Ray at home and I am definitely going to watch it as soon as I get home!
  • I have one big project left before I'm free, I just want to get it done!
  • Bonfire tonight @ the Greek Theatre :) Exciting! I might not go though, 'cause it is cold and rainy and I really don't want to get sick before I go home.
  • Berkeley students protesting the 32% increase in student fees; read about it here

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

los angeles, i'm yours.

So there's really no way around this, but goddamn, I love LA. I hate to love it, but I do with all my heart! Not just because of who's there, or our amazing sports teams (Laker & Dodger pride!) but because of the nature of the city itself. The way it's mean to outsiders but kind to the locals; the way it feeds the tourist machine but manages to maintain a mind of its own outside the capitalist machine. One of the best days I've ever had in my life was driving around downtown Los Angeles for hours endlessly, searching for a store that no longer existed; driving on streets I had never seen before, and driving all the way down the ones I did. Amazing. I don't know how to explain it if you've never lived there, but for me it's the most magical city in the world. It's a world of endless possibilities, of dreams both shattered and realized, of film and drama and love and heartbreak. It's over-hyped and glamorized and full of sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll. It will break you and it will crush you and it will make you that much stronger for surviving it all. I'm romanticizing, of course, but how can I not, when I love it? Love involves all of the emotions, which is exactly how I feel about my city. I hate the traffic but I love exploring; I get frustrated with the tourists but they provide for my well-being; I'm annoyed by celebrities but I want to work with them. It's a city of contradictions, but instead of trying to hide it, it embraces it! If only every city was so honest. It's such a huge, diverse city as well; I made a post on Facebook a few weeks ago asking my friends their favorite places in LA, here are some of their answers:
  • Laurel Canyon
  • Silver Lake
  • Los Feliz
  • Westwood/UCLA
  • The GroveDowntown
  • Santa Monica
  • Burbank
  • Malibu/Coral Canyon hike
  • L.A. Live (Staples Center and Nokia Theater area)
  • Topanga Canyon
  • Venice Beach
  • Hollywood
  • West Hollywood
  • All the Graffiti along the 101 or the River, really anywhere with amazing Graff
  • The swings in Manhattan Beach.
  • Sunset, Santa Monica, and Beverly
  • Warner Bros. Studies
  • The Ikeda World Peace Auditorium
  • LA Zoo
  • Pinks on La Brea.
  • Olvera street/La Placita church
  • Chinatown
  • Bourgeois Pig
With such diversity, there's something for everyone! Personally, I love the Theater district in Downtown, Santa Monica, LACMA, and my absolute favorite, the Griffith Observatory. I got into an argument debate today with someone about my city; she was telling me (with such disdain in her voice) how she could never live in LA. Well, that's fine, but don't you dare make judgments about the city I love!

(this is to be the first of many "I ♥ LA" posts, haha)

let it be.

What I've come to expect from life is when everything is going well and according to plan, something has to come up and remind you that not everything is sunshine and daisies. Everything was going so well, things were bound to go awry eventually. While this may be a more pessimistic view of life, it certainly seems to work out that way, so pardon me for sticking with my cynicism. I'm not going to elaborate too much; this is a public forum, and I don't want just anyone reading about my personal issues. However, this is the first time I've had to deal with something of magnitude completely on my own, and it's really hard. Away at school and far from any family members or close friends, I am left by myself to deal with this. Luckily I'm flying home on Monday and so I'll be with the people who matter most in a matter of days, but it's still hard to be up here and completely helpless...not that I'd be able to do much if I was home anyways. Cryptic much? I suppose. In any case, what's happening is a valuable lesson: enjoy the good times, learn from the bad ones, and never take the people you love for granted.


Monday, November 16, 2009

one week!

So thanks to a friend who waited until the last minute to buy her Thanksgiving flight home, I was informed that there were still tickets available for Monday November, long story short, I switched my flight and instead of flying home the day of Thanksgiving on the 26th I'm flying home the 23rd! Super exciting...I can't wait to see all my loved ones three days sooner than expected. And, I get a week off...hooray!

you make my dreams come true.

Today, as I walking home from work, it was perfect outside. Cold but sunny, just the way I like it. My hair was curly, but it had behaved and looked cute. I was wearing my red flannel shirt and favorite jeans and boots and my wayfarers; total hipster territory, I know, but it's Berkeley, haha. As I was walking I had my iPod on shuffle, and "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall & Oates came on for the first time in forever and it felt exactly like that scene in (500) Days of Summer.

You know, that one. ^^ Except without the dancing... Regardless, it was one of the best moments I've had in awhile.

I'm going to a screening of (500) Days of Summer on Thursday for $3, I'm really excited. It's one of the best films I've seen in a long time, and I find it to be really relatable. For those who have seen it, would you say that you're more of a Tom or more of a Summer? Always interesting to see which side you fall on. In any case, what it really does is make me miss Los Angeles with a passion I didn't know I had for the city. Ten days!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

feeling this.

Upon realizing I hadn't made any school related posts lately, I decided it was time for one! School is going well, I think. I absolutely adore my Mass Media and Advertising in America classes, and although they're really difficult, I truly feel as though I'm learning a lot. Mass Media is fascinating, and it's interesting to actually study the evolution of media and how it affects society. Advertising is ridiculously hard, but to see how not only society shapes ads but ads shape's pretty intense. My Gender in America class (which I changed to Pass/No Pass because I felt that I bombed the midterm...only to get an A, ugh) is pretty boring; I guess it could be interesting, but the way the information is presented my attention is quickly diverted elsewhere. My Digital Photography decal is fairly interesting, and I'm enjoying learning to play around with the different features on my camera. I'm planning a photo post soon, so look out for that!

What I'm going to do with all this knowledge I'm not quite sure, but hopefully I'll figure it out soon. I kind of want to start looking into the LSATs and seeing if that's going to be something I want to do; if not, start looking at either grad school for Mass Comm (for which I'd have to take the GRE ugh) or film school. Publishing also interests me, as I've always been an excellent editor. I'm not sure which direction I want to go in, but I have time to figure it out...well, a little bit of time. Is it bad I also want to take a year off to live abroad (hopefully in Spain)? And that I kind of want to move back to Los Angeles a little bit? I don't know. These are the things I have in the back of my mind, all the time. It's stressful!

At least I don't have to worry about the future right now...I'm too busy dealing with the present. Last week I went to talk to my GSI (graduate student instructor) about the ad analysis I was writing and afterwards, we were talking and he commented that I seem to have assimilated fairly quickly and easily for a transfer student. I hadn't thought about it, but I suppose it's soon as I got here, I jumped in and got a job (at Berkeley Hillel), joined Apartment Association and CalTV. Schoolwise, I've always been pretty focused, so that hasn't been as much of a problem, though it's a lot more painful to procrastinate here than it was at GCC. I am having a little bit more trouble when it comes to meeting people, but even then, I am slowly building friendships. It took me awhile, but I've come to the realization that the reason my friendships back home are so amazing is because they've developed over a number of years; I can't expect the same connection up here when I've only been here a few months! In any case, I am making friends and meeting all sorts of different people and it's lovely. I've gotten homesick (especially with my family, best friends, and boy all at home) a few times, but I know that coming here was the best thing I could ever do, and that this time apart from all of them just makes me value them more. I have friends who have gone home three, four times already, and honestly, I think that just makes things harder. To truly feel at home here you've got to make a conscious effort to make it your home, and stop thinking about what you left behind. That's not to say I'm never coming back--are you kidding, I love Los Angeles!--but instead of crying over what I left behind I'm going to enjoy all the new things Berkeley has to offer that LA does not. And if I want to go back when I'm done with school I can, and I will!

In any case, things are going well, I'm doing well, and I'm fairly content. Thanksgiving is in eleven days and I can't wait to see everyone I love! Life is too good sometimes, and I definitely feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

more adventurous.

I bought my tickets!

Winter break:
-December 17--Fly home to Los Angeles! <3
-December 30--Late night flight to Newark
-December 31--Leave for Israel!
-January 11--Fly back into JFK
-January 11-15--Stay with Sam in New York City
-January 16--Fly back to school
-January 19--Spring semester starts!

I am so very excited about winter'll be here before I know it! I mean, Thanksgiving is in a little less than three weeks...and after that, the semester will fly by. Though I'll only get a couple of weeks at home to actually relax, be with my family and see all of my friends, I definitely think it's worth it. I can't believe I actually get this amazing opportunity, but I'm so glad I do, and I'm going to take full advantage of it.

On a sidenote, I AM SO EXCITED TO GO SEE AVATAR AT MIDNIGHT! It's the first thing I'm doing once I get home, opens December 18. Lucky for me my finals end when they do! :) If you have no idea what I'm talking about, watch the looks amazing. Fangirl much? I don't even care. I am a total nerd and I am super excited to go see a movie at midnight (my first since Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last summer), especially because I'm going with people who are as nerdy as I am. Awesomeness.

Back to writing my papers...I just realized I won't have time on Monday or Tuesday to write at all, and they're due on Thursday/ I'm staying up tonight. Just me, my energy drink, and the Beatles. It's going to be a long night, but it will be Thanksgiving and Winter Break before I know it, and that's motivation enough to keep me going!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

get back.

I feel overwhelmed. By school, by friends (or lack thereof), by the future, by monetary issues, by new feelings, by having to make decisions, by having to grow up.

For the most part, I'd say I'm doing okay; in fact, I'd even venture as far as saying that I'm doing well. But then I have these moments where nothing is clear, and the lack of clarity terrifies me. When I was going through the transfer process, everything made sense--essentially, I just had to follow a list of steps, and if I did everything right, I would end up where I wanted. Easy enough. But now that I'm here, at Berkeley, my goal since I was twelve...where do I go next? I know, I need to stop worrying about the future and focus on the present. Hell, if the universe ends in 2012 it won't actually matter if I end up going to film school or law school, right? So I can just take the year off until the apocalypse? Yeah? Awesome.

I don't even know what I'm talking about. I have two major papers to finish, that I HAVE to do well on. HAVE TO. If not, I risk not getting A's...and goddamn I'm going to get those A's if it kills me. See what Cal is doing to me? Sigh.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm going to Israel over winter break for Birthright!


I just have to survive the rest of this semester first, haha.

Monday, November 2, 2009

save tonight.

My love for 90's music will never die!

In other news, this weekend was EXACTLY what I needed; I feel ready to take on the world.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Other than my family, I would say that these two ladies probably mean more to me than anyone in the world. We talk at LEAST once a day in some form or another, and if it were not for them I would not be the person I am today. I love them SO MUCH and miss them even more :( I have to wait another month before I see them, hopefully it won't drag on too much.




Monday, October 26, 2009

i cannot WAIT until this week is over.

the way we were

"You think you're easy? Compared to what, the Hundred Years' War?"

Such a great film, though Babs gets a little annoying (this is who they cast as the nice Jewish girl!? we're not all like that!), Robert Redford is amazing amazing amazing. It's also ridiculously quotable, something I definitely love about a movie.

In other news, I have a midterm due at 4 and I'm not done yet. Whoops! :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

she's losing it

So this past week has been one of the most challenging in recent memory, and had it not been for the support of my amazing roommates and close friends back home, I really don't know how I would have made it. I went through the lowest low I've had in awhile on Tuesday, and it was definitely the first truly shitty day I've had since moving up here. However, Wednesday was extraordinarily wonderful, so I suppose it balances itself out? Thursday was just an average day; nothing special, nothing awful. I did find out that I was wait-listed for the Israel Birthright trip, but apparently I'm first on the wait-list and usually three to four people drop out, so I have a very good chance of still going. I'm honestly okay with the idea of going or not; if it doesn't work out this winter I'll just have a month to spend either up here or back home doing nothing. Also, that means I'm pretty much guaranteed to go over summer, which would be awesome as well. Really, win/win in any case, and at some point in 2010 I will be in Israel...amazing! Friday was...interesting. I had my first real "college experience"...considering this blog is public, I'm not going to elaborate too much, but it was definitely an interesting night, haha. Yesterday I spent recovering and studying, and today I've been studying and writing all day...I've got a midterm due tomorrow I need to finish! Speaking of that midterm, I'm debating changing my GWS class to pass/no pass...I don't want to risk a low grade hurting my GPA, and I really don't see myself getting higher than a B- in this class. I'm not sure yet, I'd like to talk to the professor about it.

Oh! And I registered for some classes (you can only register for up to 10 units through Phase I and then the rest during Phase II) and my schedule next semester is going to be INTENSE. By intense, I mean class from 8am-5pm Tuesday & Thursday. Kill me now please? I'll be taking MS101 (Visual Communication), MS103 (Understanding Journalism), MS104A (First Amendment and the Press) and a decal on Woody Allen films that one of my friends is teaching! Possibly adding another class as well, but this is going to be a pretty full load to begin with. Currently, I'm only registered in MS103 (though I had to register through Journalism 141!), and waitlisted for MS101 (since I'm not officially declared as a Media Studies major). Hopefully I get 104...I should, though.

I have SUCH A BUSY WEEK! Lots of reading, lots of writing, lots of work, lots of walking all over the place. Saturday is Halloween, which should be interesting...personally, I'd love to stay home and watch the X-Files (is there anything scarier?!) but I might get convinced to go out. I'll see what happens. Sunday a friend is driving up to see me, and I couldn't be more excited! Have to make it through this week first, though.

And now, pictures!

We're studying Noam Chomsky. Chomsky sounds like a Pokemon. I got bored in discussion. This is what happened...haha! And yes mom, I WAS paying attention and can elaborate on the Propaganda Model if you want ;)

Maria redecorated our living room and I LOVE it. So comfy/cute.

We made Princess Cupcakes!

and a cake...decorations courtesy of Maria.

Pasta :) Doesn't it look so good??

Also, "She's Losing It" by Belle & Sebastian has been on repeat for the past week, it came up on shuffle and I've been on a B&S listening spree since. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I filmed the in-studio parts (look at how nice and tight those shots are!), as well as the Indigenous People's Night of Resistance piece (though really, that's the footage they chose...?!)...yay for CalTV!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Note to self: No matter where you are in the world, or who you're with, you still have good days and bad days, and that's okay, and the way things naturally flow.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

carpe diem!

Nothing like some good ice cream and good conversation to remind you of the simple pleasures in life.
It's important to remember that not everything is about school. I have to keep reminding myself this, because it is way too easy to get caught up in what I call the "Berkeley mentality" of "study study study; future future future!" There's something to be said about living in the present, taking the time to enjoy yourself and just live. Yes, I need to think about next semester/next year/my future. I need to figure out if I want to do law school/grad school/film school/none of the above. I know I need to deal with my reading and my essays and my financial aid. I know I should get caught up where I'm behind, I should even try to get ahead. I'm really good at getting caught up in the bullshit that is school; I tend to get ridiculously stressed easily and I forget that by this time next year, I won't care about the grade I got on a paper this semester. Life is so much more than grades! I mean, they're important, but my mental health and sanity is much more important. It's okay to not know what I'm doing next year or once I get my degree, and it's okay to not have a fact, maybe that's for the best. I've had a plan since high school and although it's terrifying to not have one, at the same time, it's absolutely thrilling and exciting. Besides, there's no knowing what the future will hold, so why focus all my time on it when I could be enjoying the present?

Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero
– "Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

first rainy day at berkeley!

views from my apartment! IT WAS SO WET. seriously, i have only experienced rain this intense once in my life, and that was six years ago, when i was in rome for christmas with my dad. absolutely ridiculous.

considering it was raining all day, i still managed to stay pretty decent (meaning not wearing a hoodie, though i was tempted...) and i have figured out how to (somewhat) tame my wild hair against the forces of nature.

cardigan, all-son, thrifted.
flannel shirt, forever 21.
jeans, levi's.
boots, target.

not pictured is the rain jacket my daddy gave me that saved my life & my pathetic leopard print umbrella that is not built for actual rainfall.

also, i have been listening to bon iver all day because it is perfect rainy day music.

here's looking at you, kid.

I finally saw Casablanca...absolutely amazing. I can't believe I had never seen it before, but I am absolutely thrilled that I finally sat down and watched it.

Tomorrow is Tuesday, my long day, and it's also supposed to be the first rainy day of the year...should be an interesting one.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


as promised, pictures of my various birthday gifts. i'm so lucky!

classic white button down, $20, b-day gift from my momma, target.
jeans, levi's, urban outfitters, $20.

new flats :)
black studded flats, urban outfitters, $20.
leopard print flats, target, $12.

riding boots, target, $50, birthday gift :)

what my parents sent me for my birthday, i love them!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

why isn't love enough?

This is basically how I look all the time: curly hair (way too lazy to straighten it), bags under my eyes, leggings, a flannel shirt (or an AA Deep V, not going to lie, I totally live in them) and an energy drink in hand. I used to be a big fan of Red Bull but as of late I've definitely been drinking more Monster...I wonder why? ;) Probably because that's all they sell on campus...probably. Anyways...

I had my first Berkeley midterm yesterday and despite the fact that I studied really hard, I don't think I did as well as I wanted to. It was a really hard exam, I thought, and it didn't help that I totally blanked the first fifteen minutes of the test. Ugh. There's nothing I can do about it now, so I'm just trying to enjoy my weekend, but it's still frustrating whenever I start to think about it.

However, the rest of yesterday was awesome! My American Studies 110 class was really interesting and got out early, and then my discussion section was cancelled, and THEN I got my birthday package in the mail from my parents! And they really outdid themselves...not only did they get me the first season of True Blood, but they bought me three books (a book of witty quotes, Rebel Without A Crew by Robert Rodriguez, and Scorsese on Scorsese by Martin Scorsese) and two documentaries on filmmaking (A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies and Cinematographer Style). Thanks guys, you are the best :D

All I have to do this weekend is read...A LOT. So far, I've caught up on Glee, watched two episodes of True Blood, and watched Closer. Right now I'm watching part of Empire Records and in twenty minutes I'm meeting up with some friends and my roommate to go to a screening of The Hangover at Wheeler...for only $3! So much for productivity.

Also, all prospective transfer students should read this article in The Daily Bruin about the increase in difficulty transferring. I will try to do some more research on this and let you know what I find out!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Self-promotion? ALWAYS.

Check out the October 6th edition of "The Calbear Report", of which I helped film!

For other videos and shows, check out :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

twenty years!

So, birthday weekend...the weekend itself was awesome, my actual birthday, not so much.

Sarah arrived on Friday! It was so wonderful seeing here again; I hadn't seen her since I had left for Berkeley! And as much as I love video chat, it is definitely not the same as actually hanging out with my best friend. So we go back to my apartment and get dressed to go to Jupiter's Pizza for dinner. Another one of my good friends from high school, Misha, came down from San Francisco to have dinner with us, along with my roommate Haley and my good friend Mike (though he had to unfortunately leave early). Good times were definitely had, and the pizza was amazing. Definitely going back there again! After dinner, we got some gelato and took Misha back to the BART because he had to go home. The three of us ladies headed back to the apartment, where I prepared some delicious mojitos...I'd like to think it's another trait I've picked up from my dad, haha. We caught up for awhile and then went to bed.

Saturday we woke up late, because we could. It was gameday, Cal vs. USC, and we were ready to have fun! I went with Sarah, Haley, Maria (one of the other girls living in my apartment) and Maria's friends to a bunch of frats...and it was an interesting experience, to say the least. We left very, very...happy...haha. Then Sarah and I went back to the apartment to watch the game and watch Cal lose in the most ridiculous/pathetic way ever to USC. Oh well. It was fun, though! And then I went and got my nose pierced (shhh, daddy doesn't know yet) and got some coffee and went to sleep.

Yesterday, the anniversary of my day of birth, I woke up at 6 am to walk my best to the BART station...only to find that the BART doesn't run until 8am on Sundays. Public transit I gave her a little bit of money and she went off in a spirited~ cab. I went back to the apartment to sleep, only to wake up and go to the library. That's right...I spent my birthday in the library, studying. Oh well. That was pretty much all I did, though I did go home to eat lunch and some cookies...haha. It was an okay day, it just didn't feel like much of a birthday. I guess that's what my 21st is for, right? So close! :) I was in an odd mood all day; every little thing was getting to me, but talking to a couple of people from back home definitely made my day a lot better.

In any case, this week is going to be a little crazy...I have my first midterm and I am terrified. I'm currently applying for a second job that I am in desperate need of and I'm scared I won't get any callbacks (though it is work study, so someone should call me). I need to go to the doctor today because I pulled a muscle or popped something (I don't even know) in my leg a week ago and it still hurts, and then I'm filming another episode of the Calbear Report and then class. Honestly, I just want to lay in bed, drinking tea and listening to Bon Iver and Rilo Kiley and staring off into the fog, but I know I need to get up and be productive.

Friday, October 2, 2009

  • Work, 10:00AM-12:00PM
  • Lunch
  • Study, 1:00PM-5:00PM
  • Birthday Dinner, 7:00PM

This is bound to be the best birthday weekend ever.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Best way to procrastinate? CLEANING.
You think I'm kidding, I'm sure...but's relaxing, grants instant gratification, and you still feel productive even though you haven't gotten any reading done! Yay!

I cannot wait for this best friend is coming up from LA, it's the Cal vs USC game (GO BEARS), and it's my 20th birthday! So very excited :)

Monday, September 28, 2009


So, I survived last week, but just barely! Four papers in one week...crazy. Definitely learned some lessons about time management...less time researching, more time actually writing. And note to self, just because I *feel* like I know what I want to say, I don't necessarily! Ugh. But anyways, I turned in my last paper on Friday and then began to get GO HOME FOR THE WEEKEND! That's right...I lucky enough to be able to get tickets to fly home and surprise my Daddy for his birthday! Best idea ever. Usually my Friday's are laid back, but for some reason I was ridiculously was so hard to get through the day, haha.

I flew in Saturday at noon, and in summary, this weekend was awesome. Surprising my dad was definitely hilarious (he had NO idea!) and just being home was good for me...even though it feels weird to go back after living up here? I don't know, but it was weird going home...for vacation? An odd concept. Saturday I saw my parents and the boy, and Sunday I was with my family all morning, and then I saw Marie :) And, since it was the weekend before my birthday, I got spoiled by my wonderful parents! My mom definitely reads this blog (hi momma!) and got me some AMAZING boots (that weren't $400 haha) and the perfect white shirt, as well as a bunch of other stuff. I'll take pictures soon to post, but trust me, I am the luckiest girl in the world. :) I was able to see some friends as well, so it was great. My only complaint (and honestly, it's my own fault) was that I didn't really have a chance to just sleep...but whatever, sleep is overrated! Though I had the worst caffeine crash of my life, it was awful. Awful...oh god. Even just thinking about it makes me feel sick. But other than that, my weekend was amazing and I'm ecstatic about my life right now.

Well, except for the fact that tomorrow is Tuesday, and Tuesdays are ridiculously long...but whatever, I'm happy.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

First all-nighter? CHECK.
Best part? I'm STILL not done with my paper. No worries, it'll be ready by 11:00am, when it's due...whether I'll be capable of getting it to class, that's a whole other story.
Also? I have another paper due Friday, that I've worked on but isn't done yet. AWESOME.

Yay college!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ruby tuesday

My Tuesday Schedule
  • 11:00AM-12:30PM--Media Studies 10, aka Mass Communications 101
  • 12:30-3:30PM--Break (aka time to catch up on reading/finish writing papers)
  • 3:30-5:00PM--American Studies 110, aka Advertising in America
  • 5:00-6:00PM--DINNERTIME
  • 6:00-7:00PM--Media Studies 10 Discussion Section
  • 7:00-8:00PM--CalTV Cinematography Meeting
  • 8:00-9:00PM--CalTV General Meeting
  • 9:00-10:00PM--Apartment Association
You can see why I'm worried, right? Thursdays are the same, but I'm done at 7:00PM. And today, I also have actual papers I have due, two "mini" 1-2 page analytical responses tomorrow and two actual 4-5 page research papers due Thursday. I'm not fully done with anything yet. Can you say FML? I've been working all weekend and I'm still not done, there's just too much! Thank god I dropped that history class, otherwise I'd be ready to kill myself. Ugh.

I am counting down like no other for this weekend...can't say too much here (yet), but it is bound to be amazing...especially since I'll be paper-free!

Monday, September 21, 2009

product placement at its finest

yay for caffeine addictions! yay for four papers! yay for avoiding procrastination (staying up tonight instead of tuesday/wednesday)! yay! my momma told me sleep is overrated, i'm starting to agree.

also, i was accepted as a member of the cinematography team of CalTV; so excited!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

a juxtaposition of thoughts

Do you ever get that feeling that things are going too well, that everything is too good to be true? I've been feeling that way a lot lately, just waiting for everything to fall apart...not a good feeling, to be dreading everything going wrong! I hate that I think like that. I have everything I have ever wanted: my dream school, living on my own, amazing friends back home and up here, someone waiting for me back home, finally getting closure on something I had always wondered about, eating healthy, walking everywhere, taking care of myself, etc etc etc. I have everything I could ever want and I'm ecstatic; at the same time, I find myself waiting for that plot twist, the "dun dun dun!" moment of doom that everyone goes through, because perfection is unreal, inhuman. I mean, I wouldn't say life is perfect...I have two papers to write, an additional two response papers, and a ton of reading, for starters, all of which is majorly stressing me out. Or there's the fact that the one person I've actually developed feelings for in the past two years is back home, or the underlying pressure of knowing that I cannot fail, that I have to succeed up here. Yet all of those problems sort of fade away when I see how ridiculously happy I am, happy to be at Berkeley, happy to have someone at all, happy (even ecstatic) to actually go somewhere that challenges me. I'm sure you can see the weird sort of balance going on in my brain, trying to create a sort of ultimate pro-con list of good vs evil~ in my life, and obviously the good is winning, but I just have the feeling the evil is getting ready to plan a secret attack that the good isn't expecting...but I'll be ready, I am ready, and I will make sure the good prevails, because it simply has to.

"There was no point in worrying yet.... what would come, would come... and he would have to meet it when it did." ~J.K. Rowling, "The Beginning," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Taken after the first football game against Maryland by my roommate. Just a quick post to note that Cal is currently undefeated after beating Minnesota today, 35-21! Go Bears!

i love la

and they carried me to a place without words; and there was nothing but there was everything

Friday, September 18, 2009


Happy New Year to all of my fellow Jewish people! The time to re-analyze the past year is upon us once again, and as I sit at my desk at work I've got to wonder...where has the time gone? I cannot believe it's been a year, because although so much has changed, it's all happened so fast. Due to my two papers, I decided not to go to services this year (sorry Mom, priorities) but I still want to look back...I suppose a flashback (a la LOST) is in order...where was I a year ago?

I was starting my second year at Glendale, after officially switching my major to Mass Comm/Media Studies (I had been a political science major before; can you imagine?), and I was taking Speech, Astronomy, US History and Sociology. I surprisingly hated Speech (due to a biased ass of a professor), but ended up loving the rest of my classes. My history professor was a guy who protested Vietnam, and he was just so cool, not to mention ridiculously knowledgeable. Astronomy was difficult but really interesting, and Sociology was, well, Sociology. I was a member of the Scholars Cabinet, as VP of Communications along with Naira, and we, along with the rest of the Executive Cabinet and a new Director, were ready to make that year the best year ever !!!!! Unfortunately, that's not quite the way things panned out...not to rehash anything, but although I ended up gaining some great friends from Cabinet by the end of the year, I also ended up losing many, and there was a lot of unnecessary drama and tension that had me questioning why I ever joined (the Cabinet) in the first place. I began to bond with the First Years, and many a game of Egyptian War was played in the Garret. Meanwhile! I was working on my UC and USC applications, and debating whether or not to apply to NYU (decided not to). It was intense, but I got through it alive, though I've got say, that moment when I submitted my applications was absolutely terrifying. I had done everything I could, and at that moment, it was completely out of my hands. The holidays came and went, and then it was Spring.

Spring semester brought me Art History, Observational Astronomy, Russian History and Spanish 2. It was a hard semester, but I loved every minute of it. Russian History is definitely my passion, and I don't care what anyone says, it's absolutely fascinating. Art History was also an incredible class. Continued to bond with the First Years, many a party was held at my house :) Avoided people in Cabinet, it was bad news bears all around. Luckily, second semester flew by and before I knew it the time to receive admissions decisions from schools had arrived. Much to my surprise, I had been accepted to every single school I applied to. Though for a second I debated going to UCLA, I knew that wasn't where I was supposed to be, and within a couple of days I decided to go to Cal. The Scholars Banquet came and went, and I left Glendale with my head held high, my dignity intact, new friends and great (or at the very least, enlightening) life lessons learned.

With friends, it was a good year. Many parties, many adventures, many movie nights, many late night trips to Coral and Bourgeois Pig, rediscovering LACMA, discovering Alcove (ahhh I want an Apple-Brie Panini now!), and many of our infamous late night talks were held. We all stayed close, visiting each other at our respective schools, including a couple of trips to USC for me. As far as relationships go, I didn't really have any, and this was intentional. I knew that at the end of the year I would be leaving, so what would be the point of starting something? Besides, I'm really picky, and no one really caught my interest.

Summer came and went, and was filled with movies, friends, swimming, cameras, iced tea, 80s metal, driving around, live music, and good memories. My friends and I grew closer than ever, and luckily, we're still that close now. I spent a lot of time at home, reading and writing and just taking a mental break before the "big move." It was a Potter summer, so I re-read all the books and re-watched all the movies before Half-Blood Prince was released...we went at midnight, of course. (And yes, I realize how nerdy this is, haha.) Right before I left for Cal, I went with my family to Puerto Vallarta for a week, and it remains one of the most amazing, relaxing experiences I've ever had. I read Ken Follet's The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End in 4 days, and it was the first time I had truly read for fun in years. They also happened to be two of the best novels I have ever read in my life, so if you haven't already, go pick up a copy, I promise you won't regret it. Summer also meant reconnecting with an old friend, and that has been one of the best and most rewarding things to have happened this year.

Then, I moved. Moved away from everyone I loved, everyone I cared for, everything that was familiar and safe, and I moved by myself. Two suitcases was all I had to pack up my entire life. I know that coming to Cal is the best decision I've ever made, but that doesn't make it any easier to start over. It was hard, at first, but I'm okay now. I would actually probably say that I'm better than I've ever been, because I'm happy and focused and healthy.

I can't believe I've already been in school for almost a month. I can't believe that I have friends and a small community up here; I can't believe I haven't been in a car since August 17; I can't believe I stopped eating meat; I can't believe I'm almost twenty; I can't believe I actually have papers due! I can't believe I just summarized an entire year into a few short paragraphs. It's ridiculous how quickly time passes.

It's weird, not only knowing I'm not going to services, but that I'm not back home going to services. I always loved the church where we held services, I remember as a kid before they used to have kid's services we would just run around and explore and it was just fun. I know, not what the holiday is about, but hey, can't blame a kid for having a good time!

L'shanah tovah, everyone, have a good one.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

overwhemled (1)

I'm overwhelmed. Talking to a good friend, they suggested I go to bed, rest, and wake up refreshed and ready to take on my workload one piece at a time. Good advice...given to me two (unproductive) hours ago. Whoops.

Honestly, why is it so hard to be productive? I'm smart, so why is this so hard? I'd like to blame the media for creating our short attention spans...but really, I hate that I can't just sit down and focus. I'm trying so hard not to put everything off, but at the same time, I can't just sit down and get it all done. I have two papers due a week from tomorrow, and though I have outlines for both (one on the iPhone campaign and one on Studio 60) I haven't actually started writing either...and let's not even get into the reading I haven't done. It's not like I'm going out and partying, though, I just sit at home and get distracted! Whether it be writing in my journal, updating my blog, or emailing my best friend, there's always something else that I'm doing. I know, I know, discipline, and when that doesn't work, there's always Self-Control. Goddamn. And the thing was, even though I didn't get what I needed to done, I did a lot: went to work, talked to GSI's for two different classes, made a new friend to study with, sat in the grass under a tree (which consequently reminded me of that Gilmore Girls episode, when Rory is exploring Yale to find the "perfect tree" to study under), did some reading for GWS, wrote two letters, wrote a four page journal entry, went to class (and paid attention...intersectionality is so intense!), studied with friends, went to's just when I got home that all of the sudden I just...stopped. I don't know, I guess this is something I'm going to have to learn to deal with, and overcome. It's just hard.

I should go to bed, I've got a long day tomorrow.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Per the request of my mother, I'm posting my birthday wishlist's less than a month away, and I'm going to be twenty! Yay.

I'd like the first season of True Blood on DVD...not only because I need a new series to watch, especially living without a television (*melodramatic tear here*), but it is my Media Studies professor's favorite television show...which is a great reason to watch it. Research! Right? Right.

I really love these Frye Shirley Riding Boots...but they're way out of my measly college budget. However, this is the kind of boots I'm looking for, so if you spot cheaper alternatives, let me know!

I love these Latin Rings that Marc by Marc Jacobs came out with...not only are they affordable at $3 a piece, but they're classy and interesting. AND, they make them big enough to fit people that don't have miniature hands...exciting! I had bought one but it already looks totally beat up :( Only downfall? They're only available at the MBMJ stores (but there is one on Melrose!) Actually, most anything from the MBMJ store, accessory wise, anyways, is cute, stylish, and affordable, so if you have a chance to drop by...I'm just saying, don't forget about me!

I've been looking for the perfect white button down for awhile, and this Boyfriend Oxford Shirt from the Gap seems to be what I'm looking for. I'd have to try it on, of course, but it looks sharp and professional, while at the same time it'd look cute with a pair of jeans and my converse. Speaking of which, I'm also on the hunt for the perfect blazer (ideally, thrifted)...hmm.

A nice new purse would be great too (oh, I'm sure you saw this coming, you all know me too well) but I'm pretty picky so we'll see where my hunt goes.

Overall though, the best gift you could give me would be cash. I'm a broke college student, I need to pay for everything, so why not do a mitzvah and lend a helping hand? :)

Thanks for reading!


(P.S.-this is not to say that I expect anything from the above list; they're just ideas. And besides, the very best thing you could do is just give me a call on my birthday!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

y control

Here are some miscellaneous pictures from my first few weeks...I'm aware there aren't very many, I surpringly don't bring my camera everywhere...yet. :)

First football game of the year, Cal vs Maryland. We won 52-13!
I missed the second game today, Cal vs Eastern Washington, because I have so much work to do. However, I've been checking the score updates and it's currently in the 4th quarter, 52-7 Bears. FINAL SCORE 59-7. AWESOME.

So last Wednesday I went to my first Bay Area Concert to go see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. AMAZING.

Karen O, the lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, is amazing; she came out as a ZEBRA. Such an amazing stage presence, I'm so happy I got to see her! She can do no wrong in my eyes.

yeah yeah yeahs; maps from Andrea Zevallos on Vimeo.

yeah yeah yeahs; y control from Andrea Zevallos on Vimeo.

Please excuse the horrible shakiness of the camera, it's hard to film when you don't have a tripod, are dancing, and everyone around you is dancing too!

Now, back to my essay...which I'm pretty sure I'm writing on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

busy bee!

I really shouldn't be posting right now, but hey, isn't that what us college students are known best for? You know, getting online and putting off our reading and papers, then reading the news, checking out our favorite blogs, texting our friends, calling our mothers...basically, procrastinating.

I'm not going to even try to say that I've never procrastinated; in fact, I became pretty efficient at procrastinating my first couple of years of college. I mean, it got to the point where I wrote a ten page paper on stem cell research the night before it was due...and was then able to convince the professor to give me an extension, edited it, and got an A. I was really lucky, but not the best strategy, right?

Right. Especially since at Cal, you really can't do that. You can do a lot of things (and get away with a lot of things, just ask the people smoking weed on the corner of Channing & Telegraph), but you simply cannot get away with putting stuff off, not anymore. At least, not with any of my professors! I have so much to do it's ridiculous. Here's the basic summary of the stuff I need to do/start this weekend, for those of you who care:
  • Media Studies Discussion: Response Paper on different news sources' covering the health care debate (due Sept 15)
  • Media Studies Lecture: 4-5 page paper analyzing any one piece of media (due Sept 24)
  • Advertising: 4-5 page paper analyzing one individual piece of advertising (due Sept 24)
  • Gender in America: Newsmedia Journal (collect one article/week and analyze it using our reading) (due Nov 18, but need one entry/week)
  • Reading for Advertising (Total Package ch 3, 4, 7; Land of Desire ch 1-3; Advertising the American Dream ch 5-8)
  • Reading for Media Studies (MediaMaking pg 65-132, 135-160, 219-232; Convergence Culture: "Origami Unicorn"; "The Problem of Knowing"; "Predicting the Unpredictables")
  • Reading for Gender Studies ("Removal"; "Cherokee Women"; "Crafting Feminist"; "Katrina & Social Justice"; "Natural & Social Meet"; "Crossing the Line"; "Ethnic Scarring")
So, I'm going to get started tonight and GET.IT.DONE. I don't really have any other options...I want to do well, so I'm going to invest all of my time into getting everything done to the best of my ability...which happens with time, and therefore no more procrastinating (I hope). Wish me luck!

Oh, I guess I never mentioned that I dropped my History of Latin America class? I didn't really need it (unless I decide to double major in History), and the Professor was awful (honestly, I never thought it was possible to fall asleep in a history class, especially at Berkeley...I was wrong), and there was SO MUCH READING. So, why invest time in a class I don't really need or like when I can focus more on the classes that actually apply to my major? To make up for my lack of units, I'm taking a class on Digital Photography, which starts on Monday. I'm so excited!

Also, I decided to take my own advice (for once) and get involved~. I'm running (unopposed) to become the secretary of the Apartment Tenant Association, and applying to get involved in CalTV (applying for the Cinematography department & the Marketing team...we'll see where/if I get in!)

Basically...I need to get off the internet. Bye!

Monday, September 7, 2009

homesick (I)

i love it up here, i really do. i love the school and my classes and my professors and my apartment and my roommates and my new friends and the weather and everything, but i can't help but miss my family, my best friends, a certain gentleman caller, going to the movies (which is a totally different experience up here, not as comfortable but a hell of a lot cheaper), bourgeois pig, the observatory, walking around burbank at night, my library at home, all of my movies, having a big television, hugs from people who love me, the ability to call and have someone be over within ten minutes, driving (!), all my glendale friends (the ones i had left at the end of the year, haha), porto's, in n out within driving distance, someone to geek out about movie trailers with, my mom waking me up, not having to buy my own groceries, my mom's cooking (i do miss it! though i'm enjoying my new accidental vegetarian diet), my little brother poking me, my dad nagging me about having a clean room, living somewhere that was never (ever) messy, talking in marie's car until two in the morning in front of my house, making bracelets + biscuits with sarah, someone to sing along to my 90s playlist with, etc etc etc.

tomorrow i'll have to make a post about everything i love about cal, there's a lot! but tonight i'm feeling homesick, as is natural, so yeah, this is what you get.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

80 days until I fly home to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving!

It's funny how I already refer to my apartment as "home," and how I cannot imagine living anywhere else (or with anyone else, hmm), but at the same time, there are so many important people in my life who aren't here, and as they say, home is where the heart is, so as much as I dread leaving Cal for any amount of time, I cannot wait to fly back. You see where this gets complicated? It is. Sort of.

this is BEAR territory

52-13, go bears!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

there's a moment when you realize that everything you expected is totally different, and a pause, and then another moment when you realize that it's okay.


cal is good. it's hard, and intense, but it's good. i like three out of my four classes (and who knows, maybe i'll come around to the last class once i attend more than one session) and though the workload is ridiculous, i'm enjoying learning. hopefully my eagerness doesn't wear off, because i've got a ridiculously intensive semester ahead of me, including seven essays. seven! ridiculous.

the hardest part about starting over is just that; starting over. i don't know about you all, but i've had the same group of best friends since i was in high school, and we've remained close even though we all went off to college. since i was at home for two years, it was easy to stay in touch; when they'd come home, they'd come see me as well. easy enough. now that i'm away, though, it's not as simple, and though i'm grateful for innovations such as skype and ichat and my cell phone, it's just not the same. i miss going out to coffee or grabbing pancakes at two in the morning with my bests. i knew that coming to cal would mean starting over, and i know it's what's best for me, but that doesn't make it any easier.

i've met some interesting people, and i'm excited to get to know them, but at the same time, it's hard not having those who know me ridiculously well here. no one here can read me just by looking at me, and that's both a blessing and a curse. i guess that's why they say you should be careful what you wish for, right?

as for living on my own, i'm enjoying it. my roommates are all pretty awesome, and we all get along, which is ridiculously lucky. i've become more obsessively organized since coming up here, it's all sorts of ridiculous, but better clean than messy. i like taking care of myself, and making my own food (screw the meal plan, i can cook just fine) and feeling like an adult.

i guess i should go read now. you know when they tell you when you go to college you're going to have a lot of reading? it's true. i have at least 300 least. i'm too lazy to count, i'm just taking it one chapter at a time.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

and so it begins.

Today is the first day of my new job (a receptionist at Berkeley Hillel) and class. It's finally hit me that I'm going to Cal, that I've actually accomplished something I'd only dreamed of. This is what accomplishment feels like, kids, and it's the best feeling in the world.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

happiness is a new apartment

So, I'm here, and I've got to say, I'm in love. I don't feel homesick at all, because this place already feels like home. My apartment is amazing (I'm sure I'll get around to posting pictures soon), my roommates (so far) are chill (though I've only met one of three, so far), this city is beautiful, the food is delicious, the campus is all around. I can't wait to start classes, but at the same time, I'm enjoying having a week to just explore. If you read my joint blog with my best friend Josephine (found here), you'll see my list of top ten things about why I moved to Berkeley, at least so far. I'm so happy to finally be here, it's honestly everything I've ever wanted. I'm so ready to start! Community college was great, and it's so worth it when you end up exactly where you wanted to be. So, so worth it.

Anyways, I'm off to explore campus with my new friend (we're going to go find our classes so we don't get lost the first day, ha!) but I'll post a thorough update soon. Oh, and also, I realized I have emails I haven't responded to yet...I'm SO sorry, between the packing, vacation, more packing, and moving, I haven't been good about getting to emails. I will respond soon!


Monday, August 17, 2009

moving, part one

I'm moving TODAY. I'll be boarding a plane in about seven hours...

I cannot believe this is actually happening.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

almost there

I move in August 17th. It's so soon! Especially since I'll be out of town from August 8th-15th. The 16th is for seeing my best friends one last time and going to go see the Gin Blossoms in concert (despite what anyone will tell you...the 90s will never die! at least, in my heart). I'm almost all packed, there's just a few things missing...honestly, the hardest part is going to be saying goodbye to everyone I love.

But that's then and it's now, and right now I'm just dealing with things day by day. That's how you've got to do it! Otherwise, everything is really, really overwhelming, haha.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

orientation and related musings.

I had written up an entire blog about CalSO (the new student orientation) but I deleted it; it felt too wordy without saying anything. CalSO went well, it was a long (12 hour) day with WAY too much information but by the end of the day, I was sure of a few things:
-I desperately want to be a Media Studies major
-the campus is ridiculously hilly
-there is SO MUCH to learn
-the people there really, truly admire transfer students, and will do anything to accommodate them and make sure they don't feel left out
-the College of Letters & Sciences having a 13unit minimum is seriously weird (why not 12??)
-good shoes/socks are a must
-a LOT of cute fellas
-community college DID prepare me for Cal
-I'm going to be okay living there
-I made the right choice regarding what school to go to

This summer has flown by, and to think I only have a month before I move is ridiculous. There's so much to do and not enough time! Also, the fact that I know the next time I'll be in LA will be Thanksgiving makes me want to explore my city even more.

I've been thinking about the way things panned out a lot lately. I didn't want to go to a community college, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20 and I can definitely say that going to a CC was the best decision I've ever made. If I didn't, I'd be at CSUN or at the Los Angeles Film School...definitely not on my way to the the best public university in the country. Not that there's anything wrong with those two options, but they just weren't right for me. I've met some of the most amazing and some of the most terrible people the last couple of years, and both sets have taught me valuable lessons in honesty, compassion, kindness, and group leadership. It was a hard couple of years, not knowing where I was going to end up, but the uncertainty was totally worth it.

To any of you going through the CC system...don't give up. It's a good system, once you know how to navigate it, and it's one that's there to work for you. Trust me, you'll make it, and you'll be a better person for it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

tricks are for kids.

The school year is over, and my time at a CC is done. It's ridiculous how fast these two years have just flown by! I'm in a state of shock that I'm actually done--like, as of now I can read what I want, watch television,'s amazing. The banquet for the Scholars program is tonight and after that I am totally and completely free. I cannot wait.

ANYWHO. The most common question I've been asked are ~tips for community college~ and luckily for you I've got a list!

  • HAVE A PLAN. I cannot stress this enough, have a plan! Plan your major, what classes you need, what semester you're taking them in...and try to change it as little as possible. It's ridiculously easy to get sucked into your community college and stay there for a few years, but you don't want that!
  • Research the schools in your area, and find which has the best transfer rate.
  • Look to see if whichever school you apply to has a "Scholars" or "Honors" program--not only are the classes higher level, but being a part of a group of kids within a program who are taking similar classes to you is a great asset. Also, it looks GREAT on college applications.
  • Get to know your counselor. They see a lot of students and it's easy to just be a number to them, but if you make an effort to know them (and bring them chocolate!) they'll make an extra effort to help you.
  • California students! Your new favorite website will be Here, you can enter the name of whichever community college you're at, the name of the school you want to transfer to, and your major, and it will tell you all of the specific classes you need to transfer. It's is extremely handy, especially since different schools require different classes for the same major.
  • If you're not in California, talk to a counselor at your school and see if you have the equivalent to It WILL save your life.
  • If you're attempting to get an AA degree (which is not required for transfer, but always looks good), that requires certain classes, so make sure you take those alongside the GE classes you're taking. Don't leave them to the end!
  • IMPORTANT: make sure you take ALL the classes you need for your major before transferring. Colleges look at your GPA and your major classes FIRST.
  • Don't leave your personal statements to the night before.
  • Have someone you trust look over your personal statements, but don't let too many people read'll get conflicting feedback and that makes it harder to edit.
  • Try to keep at least a 3.0 (B average) if not higher. GRADES MATTER, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You're not going to have as good a shot of getting into UCLA with a 3.1 as with a 3.9...just the way things are.
  • Try and get's hard to meet people at community colleges but this really helps out. Also, again looks great on transfer applications.
  • Find someone to talk to, who knows the system and can share tips on your specific school.
Hope some of these help...I'm sure I'll think of more later!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009


In the fall of 2009 I'll be attending the University of California, Berkeley. I can't even begin to describe how absolutely thrilled I am to have this opportunity, and I can't wait to move up there and start afresh. I've worked extremely hard to get to this point, and although it wasn't an easy decision, it was the best one I could make.

These last few weeks have been tumultuous, to say the least, but I only have a week of class and finals left so there's no point in worrying about people and things that I can't change. It's been an interesting two years, to say the least, and even though I'm not leaving community college with many friends (most lost due to politics, sadly), at least I'll have the memories. I've learned more about myself than I ever could have imagined--cliché, I'm sure, but true. It's been a tough road, but it's nowhere near over--I'm just starting on a new path now. Hopefully, everything I've learned the past two years will be put to good use in the coming years.

Anyways. This blog will serve to show my adventures in transferring to anyone who's interested--from moving to roommates to the cold (after living in LA my entire life, the constant bay breeze will be an interesting experience) to new classes--this'll document it all. Due to the economy and the rising cost of higher education, I feel as though many more kids are going to have to go the route I did, and go to community college first and then transferring, and maybe this'll help answer any questions they might have. This blog is for my friends, my family, and anyone else who cares: read my adventures, learn from my mistakes, and enjoy the ride.

I just bought my plane tickets for move-in day...I'm so nervous! But more than anything, I'm excited...bring it on!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

and so it begins...

Yesterday afternoon, I was notified that I was accepted at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The anxiety had really gotten to me--I had felt sick all morning, because the stress between UCLA releasing notifications (which weren't actually released until late afternoon) and my two midterms was too much.

Somehow, through some miracles, yesterday ended up being amazing. My Russian history midterm was moved to Monday, I'm sure that I aced my Spanish midterm, I was accepted to UCLA (!), and then went out to a wonderful dinner with my family.

I honestly could not be happier. Being accepted somewhere out of high school is amazing, yes, but it's also a game of luck. I know plenty of ridiculously smart and qualified people that didn't get into where they wanted to go (myself included, ha). gives me a true sense of accomplishment; I know that I worked hard and truly earned my acceptance. There are still no guarantees, of course, but it's a much sturdier ground to be standing on while waiting for these decisions to be made. And I'm not saying that people who got somewhere out of high school didn't earn it, I am SURE that they did, but to be rejected and still work another two years and attempt once again is a trying experience that not all are able to do.

I know that there's a lot of people who thought it was "beneath me" to go to a community college for two years, and at first, I had that same mentality. I was an Honors/AP student all throughout high school, head editor of the yearbook, co-director of the school's literary magazine--and I was going to a community college? No way! My best friend was going to USC, I had friends that were going everywhere from Berkeley to UCLA to Princeton...and I was going to a community college? It just seemed a bit out of the pattern, and it was definitely not where I envisioned myself.

However, as the weather began to cool down and the leaves began to change colors that fall, things had slowly started to fall into place. I was accepted into the Scholars Program, which I can most definitely say changed my life. I met other people who were going through exactly what I was going through, who knew what it felt like to be rejected, who knew what it felt like to be stuck when everyone else seemed to be going places. One of my better friends had been salutatorian of her graduating class and her unlikely rejection to UCLA broke her heart*. All of us came with these sorts of stories and burdens and it really helped us bond a close friendship. To have people going through the exact things that I was going through at the same time was a blessing.

At the end of the day, to a community college ended up being the best thing I've ever done. I not only saved TONS of money, but I made lifelong friends, matured, got my license, got an incredible education, figured out what I want to do with my life, and really began to get a sense of who I am/who I want to become.

I'm still waiting to hear back from Berkeley, and although it would mean the world to me if I got accepted...I've got options, and a future, and I am so, so excited to experience it.

*She just found out she got accepted to UCLA too! :D

Thursday, April 23, 2009

anxiety vs excitement

You know that feeling when you're trying to fall asleep and you know something exciting is going to happen the next day, like a trip to Disneyland or your birthday? You're trying so hard to fall asleep, because you so desperately want it to be the next day but your mind is filled with all of the exciting promise that tomorrow holds and you can't sleep. As a child, this is one of the best feelings in the world, because anything and everything is possible.

It's definitely what I'm experiencing right now, as tomorrow UCLA will start to send out admissions notifications. However, I wouldn't say that it's one of the best feelings in the world anymore. I'm a transfer student, so I get the pleasure of not only waiting two years to transfer, but a whole extra month* of waiting to find out where I've been accepted. UCLA isn't my top choice, that would be Berkeley, but it's still one of my top options and something I really want. I've worked ridiculously hard over these two years, and to see my achievements recognized would be wonderful.

The thing is, as you grow up you don't just think of all the exciting things that are going to happen, but all of the bad things that can happen as well. You learn that "anything and everything" isn't always necessarily a good thing.

For example, take Disneyland. As exciting as the idea of a day of fun, friends, Space Mountain, Mickey Mouse, and churros is, I can't help but worry about the traffic, the crowds, and the weather. As a kid, you're oblivious to all of those things, but as you grow, you start to realize they've been there all along. You start to realize if you're one of those people who gets excited or anxious, if the glass is half-full or half-empty.

I realize that admissions are a different story, and something with more at stake than a trip to see Mickey, yet the feeling remains the same. UCLA can say yes, or they can say no, and I'm going to have to deal with the reality of either situation when it arises. I can't help but be excited on the one hand--I've been waiting since I submitted my application at the end of November to find out the results. On the other hand, I'm totally anxious and scared to even think about checking because once I know the results, I'm going to have to deal with them.

UCLA starts to update tomorrow, and I should know by Monday. By April 30, I'll know about Berkeley and UCSD as well. I don't hear back from USC until June 1, so I'm not even going to worry about that. Worst come to worst, I've already been accepted to UC Irvine, UC Davis, and Cal State Northridge, and I'll figure it out from there. In the meantime, I'm going to focus on my classes right now--I have TWO midterms tomorrow, which are currently distracting me from thinking about UCLA and Cal. I guess studying the demise of the Romanov dynasty does that for me. After I finish with the Romanovs and the Bolsheviks I'll study Spanish and then finally go to bed, hoping for that childhood excitement to come back.

*Freshman applicants find out end of March, transfer applicants find out end of April.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Hi there!

I've decided to scrap what I had and start this blog from scratch...hopefully I can find a niche that will attract a few followers. My name is Andrea, and I'm an average college student, currently attending a local community college and transferring in the fall. I enjoy going to the movies, going up to the Griffith Observatory, reading about tsars, and taking pictures of everything I see. I like art museums and theater, but I also like video games and television. I'm a pretty well-rounded person, and I like to think that I give out decent advice based on real life experiences (although I'm not the best at taking my own advice).

I think this blog is going to be a potpourri of opinions, reviews, life lessons~, and the such; I hope that you enjoy!