We invited students participating in Berkeley Connect in Spring 2019 to enter our Student Voice Contest and share with us a memorable experience they had in Berkeley Connect. The winning entry below was written by Michelle Zhou, a first-year Psychology student who participated in Berkeley Connect in Social Welfare.

Michelle Zhou (left) and a Berkeley Connect classmate enjoying a visit to the Botanical Garden.

During my first semester, I had my eye on the Berkeley Connect classes. They seemed interesting, engaging, and fun compared to the other more intensive courses provided on campus. I missed out on my chance the first semester but decided to give it another go during my second semester. It was one of the most memorable experience for me by far. To me, Berkeley Connect is interactive, small class that I can really be myself and connect with other people from all different backgrounds. This one-unit course was not overwhelming but a way for me to be more open and explore new things that I did not think of before. My favorite Berkeley Connect moment was going to the UC Botanical Garden. It was a de-stressor from the rest of my crazy life. This event gave me a break away from studying as well as give me a new place to explore at UC Berkeley. If it wasn’t for this class, I probably would not have discovered such an amazing garden to go visit. I got to make new friends along the way and enjoy the short but sweet time at the garden I got from joining Berkeley Connect.