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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

There is no other feeling like entering my childhood home with my mom talking hectically to the phone tucked in her shirt while plopping tortillas on the comal. Let alone my 5’8” 13-year-old sister towering over the stout 9-year-old dangling the tv remote while the third sister of our clan sits in her room, earbuds in, and creating careful brush strokes on her next art piece. And out in the yard, the familiar sound of our four dogs barking up a storm. The chaos happening under our roof always gave me the feeling of Christmas. We’ve had our ups and downs but the house of just us girls was comforting and freeing. 

Nearly a year later, I’ve been residing in the Bay Area, finding myself alone in my quiet apartment as my cat Salem sits on my lap basking in the window’s sun. It’s been a major 360 difference that resulted in tears being shed weekly and facing a fear of creating my own identity apart from being the oldest in my sister clan. It was terrifying to say the least. Tiptoeing into new classrooms, becoming familiar with the campus, and did I mention an entirely new city? The Bay Area is way different than Los Angeles where I, at first, had zero friends and had to start from scratch. I tried locking myself in my room after school in my bed rewatching the Pixar movie Luca but I was hiding from my true potential and letting fear overtake the possibility of new experiences. 

I always say when making risky choices (and during a mild panic attack), “We’re here for a good time not a long time.” I have to repeat this several times before making a choice that introverted me wouldn’t make including making friends and connecting with students on campus! Not to try to spark an existential crisis inside you but don’t you wonder how everything became and exists? Or do you dwell on yesterday blowing out your candles on your 10th birthday a reality check of being here in Berkeley thinking about applying to that internship? The point is that time doesn’t wait for anyone. I had to learn that the hard way when I realized I was becoming a couch potato and a cat lady! It wasn’t until late into the Fall semester that I got the courage to ask a classmate about their major and eventually their interests. Spoiler Alert: We were both Rina Sawayama fans. 

Slowly, the flâneur no longer was a wallflower. 

Halle Antoine

UC Berkeley '22

Halle is a Senior at UC Berkeley majoring in Media Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. She is passionate about racial justice issues in which she hopes to help the community as a tennis coach and in her articles. When not on the tennis courts, you can find her listening to K Pop or watching Disney movies!