Written by Tia Chen-Wong.

What are you passionate about and why?

Something I struggled with for a while was finding something that I’m passionate about,  Coming into Haas, it seemed like each person had one area that they were passionate about and focused on, whether that be a childhood hobby or a meaningful project from college. However, in my experience, I’ve found that being passionate about something doesn’t have to be a singular thing. It’s about eventually finding those things that make you excited to take part in, and I’m starting to realize the things that I really love doing by being adventurous. I am not afraid to throw myself into an unfamiliar area anymore, a trend that I saw myself following after I came to Berkeley all the way from the Middle East. This started through seemingly small things ,like putting my  hand up in a 200 person lecture hall or more extreme ones like being in a poetry slam course to an open audience, or a public speaking class where we had to present 3 times a week the whole semester about very personal topics. It’s always really interesting to see myself go through that process, knowing that I’m about to do something I’m terrified of and then looking back realizing it’s actually not that scary once I put my mind to it. A lot of my friends always ask me how I manage to find such fulfilling and “cool” classes, and simply put, I just go after the unknown and step out of anything I’m familiar with. So I guess you could say I’m passionate about self-growth and challenging myself, and eventually I put the pieces together and see what it points towards.

What has been your favorite Berkeley memory?

Last summer, I was interning in the Bay Area and I decided to go on a bunch of road trips with some friends who were here as well . We went to Point Reyes, Stinson Beach, Tahoe, Carmel by the Sea, and so many  more. We basically covered the PCH Highway over two months. It was just so amazing because we had all of this free time to explore after work, and we had literally everything in one area from mountains to beaches, all within a couple hours drive. Being here without the stress of classes and commitments gave me a newfound appreciation for the Bay Area and has turned me into the unofficial tour guide for a lot of my visiting friends!

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