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 Arelli Adams, a first-year Media Studies student who participated in Berkeley Connect in English. 

Berkeley Connect Associate Director Michele Rabkin congratulates Arelli Adams on her winning entry.

English has never been my forte. Which is why I decided to participate in Berkeley Connect in English, in hopes to become a little better at understanding the subject. When I am writing, I am always second-guessing my strategies and my structure. I always thought that certain people are just gifted at English and it comes easy. In early April, I attended this oddly surprising and relatable Berkeley Connect class and experienced my favorite moment yet.There was a panel of wonderful writers, and I heard something I never thought I would hear from talented English professionals.

Listening to Professor Mark Danner talk about procrastinating his senior thesis until the very last week it was due not only made me laugh, but I felt this relief and a connection to him, because it’s something I probably would have done. Yet, the purpose of the story was to embrace our disastrous sides. He explained that although he’s wrote books, and even published articles for The New Yorker, and New York Times Magazine, he is a normal writer with distractions and hardships. His honesty and the way Danner talked about his writing experiences, gave me hope that I don’t have to have a perfect writer or even have a perfect writing structure. I just need to learn embrace the writer that I am now and keep pushing forward to improve.