4 Ways to Discover Your Own UC Berkeley Aesthetic


At Berkeley, aesthetics abound. For those who may not know, an aesthetic refers to how you present yourself to the world. You may have heard of dark university, cottage core, or other aesthetics that follow certain color palettes or carefully cultivated fashion senses. In a diverse school with students from all over the world with different backgrounds, styles, tastes, and interests, it can be difficult to find your niche. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to find out what Berkeley-esque aesthetic you might call your own by asking yourself the following questions:

What are your majors and/or minors?

Your educational background can play an important role in finding your Berkeley aesthetic. For example, if your major is in arts and literature, maybe dark or light academia is the way to go. If you’re a STEM student, then maybe the clean girl aesthetic is more your style. Even if you have several different majors or minors, they are still part of your overall aesthetic.

What is your favorite place on campus?

There are many places to explore on campus, each with a particular energy. Finding your favorite is another way to help discover your Berkeley aesthetic. If this is your bedroom, maybe a soft aesthetic is your thing. Memorial Glade — maybe you’re athletic. The UC Botanical Garden could be considered cottagecore. Or maybe your favorite spot is off campus, at stores like Feng Cha Teahouse, Anastasia’s New and Vintage Clothing, Top Dog, or Amoeba Music. Choose a favorite; it will inform your aesthetic.

What are your wardrobe basics?

Berkeley has unique weather that sometimes requires some serious layering, but also allows for fashion customization. Take a look at your wardrobe and see which colors or pieces represent you. Are there a lot of blues or corduroy? While you’re at it, take stock of your Berkeley merchandise. Understanding whether you’re a Cal banner or an Oski sweater type can add flavor to the Berkeley-ness of your aesthetic.

What’s your favorite Berkeley experience?

There are a plethora of interesting experiences to enjoy during your time here in Cal. Whether it’s lounging on the glade, studying at three in the morning at the Moffitt Library, going to the Big Game against Stanford, getting caught between (or competing) in the naked race or to take a selfie with Oski. Either way, it’s all part of your personal Berkeley aesthetic!

In the end, remember that aesthetics are fluid. Combine them, drop them or create a new one. Some aesthetics will always exist, but your experiences and personality are what define your aesthetic. So the next time you catch boba on Telegraph Avenue, remember it can become part of your Berkeley aesthetic.

Contact Maya Jiménez at [email protected].

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