Golden Bears on Holiday

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A Successful Break

This winter, students met up with friends, did charity work with family, and spent time taking care of themselves. From traveling all over the world to relaxing at home with family and friends, Golden Bears spent this winter break being productive in the best way: by making new memories and doing the things they love.

Exploring the World

Students traveled near and far to pursue exciting new experiences abroad.

“I’m going to Mexico to visit my dad’s side of the family! We try to visit every year since he’s the only one of six siblings in the States, and we know how hard it is to be away from family. I’ll be spending a lot of time with my siblings, eating good food, and enjoying the warmer weather.”Anais P., Class of 2027, Molecular and Cell Biology

Vincent got to spend time with family and explore the culinary delights of Spain. 

“According to Lonely Planet, San Sebastián, Spain has the best food experience in the world. Therefore, whenever I go to visit my grandparents in the Basque Country (a culturally rich region encompassing the south of France and north of Spain) I make it my mission to taste some of the world-renowned pintxos. The picture I submitted showcases the beautiful inside of one of the numerous pintxos bars in the city.”Vincent K., Class of 2027, Chemistry

A selfie of Vincent smiling in Spain, sporting a UC Berkeley shirt.

Vincent in Spain, sporting a UC Berkeley shirt.

Daphne was excited to be heading to Paris “and having time to just sit at cafes.”Daphne L., Class of 2026, Psychology and Business

One Golden Bear left for the East Coast: “I went to New York to visit some of the sights!” – Rico B., Class of 2026, Molecular Cell Biology-Neurobiology and Computer Science

Rico sitting on a bench in New York. Neon signs illuminate the background.

Rico sitting on a bench in New York, surrounded by neon signs.


Some Golden Bears embraced joyful movement to stay energized during the break.

Christopher shared this photo of a beautiful trail and reflected that his break was filled with “camping and traveling.”Christopher M., Class of 2024, Political Economy

A selfie of Christopher and friends taken while walking a trail.

Christopher and friends walking a trail.

Vicky also engaged in physical exercise.

“[I went] backpacking during the winter, and it [was not] super relaxing (but in a good way)!”Vicky W., Class of 2024, Master of Laws

Maddon got to reconnect with nature and stay active at the same time.

Maddon holds up a peace sign. Desert Bighorn Sheep graze in the background.

Maddon poses with three desert bighorn sheep.

“[I relaxed] this winter by going on hikes! In this photo, I’m hiking at the Hoover Dam, and meeting Nevada’s state animal: the Desert Bighorn Sheep.”Maddon H., Class of 2027, Business Administration

Keeping Busy

Even around the holiday season, students found a variety of ways to stay productive.

A selfie of Daniella and a relative volunteering at a Christmas tree lot. The pair wear red work aprons.

A selfie of Daniella and a relative volunteering at a Christmas tree lot.

In the spirit of the holiday, Daniella—one of the students featured on Instagram for our Winter Selfies contest—took on volunteer work. 

“Every year, my family and I volunteer at our church’s Christmas Tree Lot selling Christmas trees! All proceeds go to local LA non-profits/charities like La Family Housing, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, and Paws For Life K9 Rescue!”Daniella L., Class of 2024, Media Studies

Marjan’s break consisted of “staying in Berkeley, doing research, and reading novels.” She shared that she looks forward to “finalizing [her] project and graduating from university.”Marjan K. P., Class of 2024, English

Marjan holds a painted mini canvas and poses by a sign that reads "Graduation Student Appreciation Sip & Paint Event."

Marjan holds a painted mini canvas and poses by a sign for a Graduation Student Appreciation Sip & Paint Event.

Jennifer was excited for her job back at home: “Working in my recently opened family restaurant!”Jennifer B., Class of 2027, Molecular and Cell Biology

Jennifer poses with two family members in front of their restaurant, The Boil Daddy.

Jennifer poses with two family members in front of their restaurant, The Boil Daddy.


Self-care looks different for every student but is an important part of any break!

Ilina immersed herself in a vibrant community by “soaking in the sights, sounds, and culture of the people of Rajasthan.”Ilina S., Class of 2027, Cognitive Science

Ilina smiling in Rajasthan. She holds an instrument in her hands.

Ilina smiling in Rajasthan.

Celina shared that she enjoyed relaxing in the comfort of her home, “watching [her] favorite movies and drinking hot chocolate.”Celina M., Class of 2024, Sociology

A selfie of Celina in front of a gum wall.

Celina in front of a gum wall.

Deborah summed up the ways that she took care of herself. 

“I [took] the time to enjoy time with loved ones, watch Netflix shows, and provide myself with self-care.”Deborah D. L., Class of 2027, Social Welfare and Public Health

A photo taken from the back of Deborah and two friends in gazing at a Christmas tree.

Deborah and friends gaze at a large Christmas tree.

Welcoming Spring Semester

Continuing in the spirit of equal parts adventure and relaxation, students are ready to thrive in the year ahead.

Muhammed is looking forward to new academic opportunities this semester. 

“I’m taking a global poverty and practice class that I’m really interested in. I haven’t had an essay writing class in a while, and I’ve been missing those so that should be fun.”Muhammed B., Class of 2026, Economics

Rachel is excited to connect with her community through “new classes, making new friends, and basketball season!” – Rachel H., Class of 2026, Media Studies


A selfie of Rinrada in Alaska. She wears a fur-lined coat.

Rinrada in Alaska.

Rinrada was one of this year’s Winter Selfies contest winner! After spending her break in Alaska, she shared what she is most looking forward to this semester: “The leaves turning pink in Berkeley.” – Rinrada M., Class of 2027, Data Science

What Are You Excited For This Semester?

With a new year comes a new chance to take fun classes, learn interesting things, look after ourselves, and give back to our community. Whether it’s your first spring at Berkeley or your final few months of college, here’s to a fantastic semester ahead!

For opportunities to be featured in Berkeley Life posts or to join our contests and raffles, follow Berkeley Life on Instagram or sign up to be a cast member for Student Affairs!


Reva Gokhale is a freshman at UC Berkeley majoring in Society & Environment. Feature image is a collage of four select photos from this blog post, each depicting what a different Cal student did over winter break.

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