5 L's I Took Last Semester

 As a new semester begins, I am, yet again, overwhelmed with new classes, new professors, new people, new clubs, new responsibilities, and most of all – the unknown: future. I had a hectic first week where I had doubts about my classes. I didn’t have all my textbooks. I couldn’t focus in class because I was thinking about what I should do this summer. I couldn’t finish any of the assigned readings because I was thinking about how I can ace this class. I know life is quite simple: focus. Stay in the present. But, in reality? We have a very noisy brain. I saw a video about Chris Evans giving his younger self an advice: shush. But somehow, the more I try to shush my brain, the noisier it gets. Anxiety just builds and builds until I’m not even sure how to explode because there was just too much going on.


However, one thought was able to calm me down just a little bit. I was reminded that an upperclassmen at Cal once told me that she took so many L’s in her freshman year, but she is just fine now. I remember when she first told me, I thought to myself, “What L’s? You seem to be doing well. And in all seriousness, what kind of L’s can you be taking? Failing all your classes?” Now, after one semester at Cal, I’ve realized how naive I was. L’s comes in all forms. Just to make y’all feel better. I’m just going to list out five of the biggest L’s that I took in my fall semester freshman year. Hopefully, on some level, it can make you realize that losses are a part of winning because I had an amazing first semester, and no doubt the second semester will be incredible as well, but these L’s are inevitable – so don’t try to avoid them. Ride with them when they hit you.


1.     I applied for an archery decal and was pleasantly surprised when I got in because I really wanted to get in (love archery because I simply watch too much Arrow) so I didn’t really want to raise false hope. But for some reason, I saw some weird additional class on my CalCentral and didn’t recognize what that was. I dropped it once. And then it appeared again, dropped it again. Emailed my advisor immediately when I saw it appeared again. She didn’t get to me until the very last day of add/drop. Turns out, that was the archery decal. But it was already past 6pm on Friday when she got to me, and the office that manually adds these decal classes was already closed. So, I couldn’t be added back into the class. I was in full panic mode that evening and was so angry and disheartened by the lack of communication from the archery decal class, and between my advisor and I. That weekend sucked. But to be honest, in retrospect, I had more fun because I got to do whatever I want during the weekend since originally the archery decal class was during the weekends.

2.     I honestly came to Cal for this club: Business Careers in Entertainment Club because I really wanted to go into entertainment while choosing colleges but my choices were not very entertainment-related, so when I heard about this club, I thought Cal would be a good place to go to. I applied to be on their committee. Didn’t get in. Super sad. Then, they told me I got into their general membership. Didn’t know how to feel about it because I’m already in a really big school, and clubs were my way of getting to know people, and the general membership has 50 plus people. Guess what, this club was the best thing that happened to me in Berkeley. I met some of the best people here and became very close with a couple of wonderful angels. I got to network with professionals in film/TV. I got to hang out with creative minds. Nothing could’ve worked out better than the way it did.

3.     I’m just going to be candid and say that I passed/no passed two classes out of four last year. Dumb decision? Yes. Because that’s a little too much for one semester, and especially since I did well in one of those two classes. But I didn’t have much faith in myself, and as any new Cal student, I was not comfortable with the idea of having a B+/B on my transcript. It won’t bolster my GPA, but it certainly won’t hurt much of it. It was a philosophy class, and while I didn’t really enjoy the class, I actually did better as the class went on. I thought changing it P/NP would actually make me work less hard on the class, but weirdly, that’s not what happened. It’s your freshman year – it’s okay to get Bs. Don’t make that mistake of not having faith in yourself. And besides, it’s better to have an increase in GPA than a decrease. But again, that’s not true in all cases. The important thing is: don’t pass/no pass just so your life can be easier because it won’t be. I have to work a lot harder this semester because I can’t really pass/no pass two classes again since I’m only taking 3 full unit classes.

4.     I was just chilling in my dorm one day, and a red laser beam hit my chest. I thought: “Well this is where I’m going to die today. I’m not sure why a sniper is targeting me, but here goes nothing.” Turned out it was just a frat getting a little too carried away with their lit-ness. Just kidding, this wasn’t so much of an L, but it’s just hilarious. All kinds of things you can see while you live right next to the Greek Row. (Live next to the Greek row if you can because it is hilarious).

5.     This story is infinitely long because of just how ridiculous the story is. I’ll probably write a much longer version of this when I get the chance. But the bottom line of this story is, I applied for an internship and got a phone interview. I was so excited because it was a television news reporting internship, which aligns with what I want to do or at least passionate about. But that phone interview couldn’t be weirder. I’ll keep it short and just leave this story with one of his many awful lines of questioning: “Was it difficult to attain your citizenship when you were born?” The answer is: No because I was a few minutes old. And for the last time, I’m American. Not any more or less than you are, and I am legally able to work for you. (This story will continue.)


That last L was definitely a shocking experience, but we all have to learn how to deal with difficult situations, especially in workplace. If the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements mean anything to me, it’s how the minority should stand up for themselves and act appropriately and defiantly in the face of inequality and injustice. I can’t wait to share another list of L’s at the start of next semester – that is, if I make it to next semester. Share your L’s too! Trust me, it alleviates some stress. :)