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

Let’s talk about independence.

Does it exist in our world?

“I am free, unique and non-dependent,”

I wouldn’t say so. Here’s the thought. 


Let’s not forget about culture,

Enculturation – if precisely.

Evolving like an agriculture,

It is affecting us. Concisely…


I am, for instance, an example,

Society’s product and creation.

My “I” in this case was not trampled,

But formed under the norms of nation.


My childhood happened in cold country,

That’s famous for, indeed, harsh winters.

Its name is Russia, and abruptly,

it shows up in your news like splinters.


I learned to be secretive person,

As people tend to be neglectful.

And in the end, if  life is worsened,

I handle it until it’s dreadful.


I handle it because ancestors

could endure hunger and privation.

Since WW2 ignored protesters,

their life was full of the starvation. 


I am proud being a descendant

of those who could defeat that evil.

My memories of them like pendant;

they stay and follow me like eagle.


Do not give up! Be brave and risky!

That’s lesson history has taught me.

And if it is bad, the cup of whiskey’s

at tough time going to support me.


Regardless of my admiration

and being part of Russian culture,

I can’t accept a clear dictation

that was created by an old vulture. 


Its way of treating those less powered

Is cruel, should be banned forever.

But Russians, being so devoured

By it, unluckily trust whatever.


I wasn’t one of those who trusted

My parents taught me truth, not lying.

Politics made them so disgusted.

It left with nothing us but flying. 


While traveling too far from city

That played a big part in my growing,

I thought of leaving with a pity

While bright, upcoming stars were glowing.


I thought of wisdom that’ve been sharing

Between grandparents and the children:

Implied restrictions on the swearing, 

The love of reading under linden,


The understanding of the minor, 

And looking through the eyes of others, 

Remaining silent in the diner,

And taking care of the brothers, 


Being polite, respectful, cheerful, 

Sarcastic, generous and funny, 

Not greedy, neither very fearful, 

and loyal to my friends, not money…


I’ve learned a lot due to my parents; 

Society helped me and the culture. 

Thank you for caring and your presence

and let’s avoid being like vulture.

A passionate and sarcastic writer-poet.
After three years at Cal, Brianna Brann graduated UC Berkeley in 2020 with a double major in Economics and Media Studies! She is originally from Santa Clarita in Southern California, but she loves the weather, nature, and people in the Bay Area. In addition to her unmatched passion for film and television, she also enjoys visiting the beach, playing with her dog, and hiking outdoors!