I’m a shy guy. How do I make friends at UC Berkeley?
Barista Laura L.:
Hi there! First and foremost, I have no doubt that you are an incredibly nice guy and I can totally relate when you say being shy makes it hard to make new friends. I had that problem in the past, but over time, I realized that the initial phase of breaking the ice with casual conversation is scary for both you and the person you are trying to interact with. Once you get past that awkward phase of initiation, half the battle is over.
Keep in mind though that not everyone is a potential friend. You meet a lot of different people and with trial, error, and persistence, you’ll be lucky to find people who click with you! Aim to interact with people in smaller, more intimate settings as it makes it a little easier to overcome shyness.
What has worked for me here includes volunteering for events pertaining to my interests, joining a couple of DeCals, and attending social events hosted by Christian Fellowships. Although I am not Christian, they welcome anyone with open arms and good, free food brings people together. Remember to not get deterred if people already know each other and never give up because people who do not mind (and/or totally like) shy people do exist. They know through experience that putting in the effort to talk to the quieter ones can end up worthwhile because they’ll get to be blessed with meeting such genuine, fun-to-be-around people that no one else took the time to meet. Good luck!
Last semester, my roommate had a pretty tough time. On top of that, he came out to his parents which turned out well but caused a lot of anxiety leading up to it. This semester seems a lot better for him but he tends to stay pretty isolated. How can I get him out of the room and socializing more?
It’s awesome that you are looking out for your roomy and great that he has worked through such a difficult semester. First, check in with your roommate to make sure that he actually has an interest in getting out more and socializing. Decompressing after a stressful time in life looks different for everyone and he may not be ready to rekindle his social life just yet. It’s not always easy to step out of your comfort zone to make new friends, so if meeting people is something he’s interested in, it’s important that you’ve recognized that it makes take support from you, which can be super helpful. Since it sounds like you already have rapport, you can try telling him about events or clubs that you have heard of that you think he may like. Offering to go with him can increase the likelihood that he checks it out.
Considering that he just came out, it might be worthwhile for him to build some queer community. There are something like 30 queer organizations on campus. The Tang center also has a Queer Men’s group that meets weekly which is a more intimate space (the space is exclusive to folks that are at the intersection of masculinity and queerness, so if you don’t hold those identities this may have to be something he tries on his own). Again, it’s awesome that you are keeping your roommate in mind. If we all looked out for one another like that, this campus would feel that much more cohesive.
I’m a transfer and this will be my first St. Patrick’s Day at Cal. I’ve always volunteered at the parade back home. It’s definitely harder to make friends as a transfer but I still hope going out on St. Patrick’s day will be a great way to meet some new people. I don’t drink a lot though. Can I still find stuff to do and meet new people?
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t always just about the green beer. Don’t get me wrong, parties will definitely be happening, but not everyone gets wasted. It is definitely possible to meet new folks and have a good time in ways that are comfortable for you.
If you don’t feel up for a party, there may still be opportunities to socialize. For instance, who says you can’t keep your tradition of volunteering alive? Berkeley may not have a parade but there will be plenty of events happening that could use support. Also, look into non-party happenings around campus like concerts or outdoor events. You may even stumble upon something while strolling through campus in your favorite green shirt and shamrock glasses!
If you do find yourself at a party (or three), my best advice to you would be this: have a plan! Know where you may want to go, how you are going to get around, who you may be with, and how much you plan on drinking, if at all. Honor your boundaries, do what feels best for you, and that should make connecting with like-minded folks easier.
I’ve tried everything to meet new people since coming to college and nothing has worked. I’m starting to think that I’m just an unlikeable person. Am I destined to be a loner for the rest of my life?
Building deep and meaningful relationships with new people takes time, so it definitely does not mean you are unlikeable! It’s completely normal for relationships to develop after several interactions with someone new. Mama Luv would suggest not only attending campus club events, but also initiating hangouts with new friends! This can be dinner after a meeting or studying together in the library. Perhaps you may find a few friends who share the same interests and also want to study together. Through time, these relationships will develop and you may even meet your friends’ friends. In the meantime, keep your chin up, strut with confidence, and shake what your mama gave ya! Mama Luv is here to help.
I think I’m a pretty well-liked guy, and I do well at socials, but I’ve been hearing by word of mouth that people don’t seem to like me when I drink a little too much. I don’t think it’s fair for people to judge me when I’m not sober. What should I do?
Hm, you shouldn’t let a few peoples’ opinions about you faze you, but do take a moment to consider whether your behavior is appropriate when you’re not sober. It’s fine to drink if you know your limits, but remember to respect yourself and others when you make the decision to drink. :) You can’t stop people from talking about you but what you can do is hang out with the crowds where you feel the most accepted while being open to opinions. Ask a couple of your close friends to tell you honestly– are you an entirely different person after a couple of drinks? Either way, certainly drinking doesn’t define you so don’t worry and be the person you want to be; not the person others think you should be. Best of luck and drink responsibly.
How do I keep in touch with CalSO friends?
CalSO is a great way to meet new students just like yourself. To this day, I am still extremely close to my CalSO friends. In fact, my current boyfriend was in my CalSO group!
After CalSO, add everyone on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Keep in touch! I admit that one of my flaws is communication; however, it is definitely worth making the effort to keep in touch with new friends during the rest of your summer. Ask them occasionally how’s their summer going. Chat about questions you have about Berkeley or things you both are excited about. It happens so often that after CalSO, people go their separate ways and lose touch. If you stay in contact, then you know that at least you have one friend (or a few) waiting for you at Berkeley when you get there. Hope this helps!
Advice: Find friends through your hobbies!
I am an avid user of lists. I love making them. I feel such a strong sense of accomplishment checking off something that I completed, and I feel much more organized having everything I want to accomplish on a single sheet of paper. Here is something small that you could do now that could really help.
Make a list of:
1. Everything that you already know how to do and want to continue doing at UC Berkeley
A. Example: I played soccer since I was 5 years old and I want to CONTINUE doing it at UC Berkeley. I did tae kwon do for 7 years and I want to CONTINUE doing so at UC Berkeley. Both will be added to my list.
2. Everything that you want to learn once at UC Berkeley
A. Example: I have never danced before but I have always wanted to learn. I have always wanted to learn how to fence and how to solve a Rubix cube so I will write those down as well.
Finally, START RESEARCHING!
You can find so much by just searching the web. Have no idea what UC Berkeley has to offer for Rubix Cube enthusiasts? Google it! You will find that (yes) there are Rubix Cube clubs and classes you can take! There are even competitions you can take part in.
Another option is that you can always ask me! Don’t know what dance organization to join? Just check out my future post on all the dance organizations offered at UC Berkeley! Ask me anything on your list and I will do the research for you. :)
Hope this easy tip for getting ready for college helps! Again, UC Berkeley has so much to offer and college is all about trying new things.
Any Advice for Incoming Freshmen Transitioning to UC Berkeley?
For incoming freshmen, college is just around the corner, and I am sure that there are a good number of you out there who are starting to get a little nervous. First, being nervous is normal. It is a new chapter in your life where you are, in a way, forced to become more independent - that is pretty scary! However, at the same time, you will grow and surround yourself with new opportunities, experiences, and peers. That is pretty amazing! You get to try brand new things that (might hopefully) put you completely out of your comfort zone.
I look at it as a clean slate. If you are going into college with a negative attitude, you are already hurting your college experience before it even started! No one will know that you did that one embarrassing thing in high school during your sophomore year or that you are “anti-social” or “awkward” or “unfriendly.” No one will know! If you go into college, however, acting like it is just another segment of high school, you will not experience that clean slate feeling that I am talking about. I cannot stress it enough, COLLEGE CAN BE FUN! As the saying goes, “your best years are in college.” Well, that is true only if YOU want it to be. Look forward to that clean slate, the new experiences, the new friends, and the new chapter in your life.
You were selected by the school for a reason, so clearly there is something special about you.
Are There Any Fun Things to Do Around Campus?
With Welcome Week only a month away, I thought I would give you ideas of what you can look forward to. So, here is a short and sweet list of fun activities to do with your friends without breaking the bank.
Go hike the trail to the Big C! First, it is free!! Second, you can exercise and breathe in some fresh air all while enjoying a beautiful view of the bay area and Berkeley. It is a relatively short hike so anyone can do it! Another option is to explore the fire trails located near Memorial Stadium.
Go visit the Botanical Gardens! This is also free with your UC Berkeley student ID. You can take the bus that goes up to Lawrence Hall (bus stop located in the culdesac near Evans). It definitely a spot to visit while attending UC Berkeley. There are a wide variety of beautiful and unique plants that can grow in all sorts of climates.
Go have a picnic on Memorial Glade. My all-time favorite sandwich joint is Montague’s located on Channing Way (near Unit 3). It sells sandwiches for less than $10 that can actually feed you for two meals. The owners are extremely friendly and the sandwiches never disappoint the customer. Go grab your sandwiches to-go and sit outside with some friends either outside on Memorial Glade, the grassy patch outside VLSB, or any other place of your choice. I realize that as a student, you rarely have time to enjoy the beautiful campus of UC Berkeley.
Finally, if you are a coffee or tea lover, you must check out Peet’s Coffee. In particular, you must go visit the very first Peet’s Coffee located on the corner of Walnut and Vine streets. The atmosphere is very college friendly, and it originated in Berkeley! In my opinion, I prefer Peet’s Coffee over Starbucks any day.
I hope you enjoyed my list of cheap but fun activities to do with your friends! College shouldn’t be just about studying. The worst thing you can do is burn yourself out! Go take a break with your friends once in awhile and enjoy your college experience!
How can I get involved in dance at Cal?
As I have said multiple times, college is the opportunity to try new things. One thing I plan to cross off my list before I graduate is to learn how to DANCE. The dance community is very close and those involved become extremely passionate about their extracurriculars. There are always photo shoots, socials, dance competitions, etc. to attend. It definitely keeps you busy. If you have danced in the past, I highly recommend continuing in college! Thanks to a friend who is extremely involved in the dance community, I have a list of the different dance groups offered at Cal.
- Beginner Hip Hop: AFX Training Teams
- Intermediate Hip Hop: Movement, Dancworx, TL, Abba Modern, AFX Project Teams Advanced
- Competitive Hip Hop: Main Stacks, AFX Comp
- Beginner/Intermediate Jazz/Contemporary: Movement, Danceworx
- Advanced Jazz/Contemporary: Thrive Dance Company
- Swing: Movement
- Tap: Danceworx
- Other: Fei Tian (Chinese dancing), Azaad (Bollywood dancing), and Dwinelle Hall Breakers (Break dancing)
Hope this helps!
What Kind of Cultural Clubs are There at Berkeley?
One of the best ways to unify students and create a neighborly community at Cal is to join a cultural club on campus. Some people join a club to spend time with other students who share their cultural backgrounds. However, you do not need to be Korean, for example, to join KASA (see acronym list below). You can be of any ethnicity to join, which is great!
Cultural Clubs 101: First, most clubs assign you to a “family.” In theory, this group will become your best friends that you can hang out with at least once a week doing fun activities like grabbing food or playing games. You will also have mixers with other families within the club and big events combining all members (even some from different schools).
Second, you gain a sense of belonging. Whether it is fundraising for a particular event you and your club are hosting or handing out flyers for a philanthropy event your club is a part of, working hard to achieve something you are passionate about outside of schoolwork is very important.
Also, you have meetings, which help with formality. Not only is it for fun and games, but you are also reminded at these meetings of the goals that you and your friends share together. Also, there are leadership positions available!
Finally, it is a lot cheaper than paying for a fraternity or sorority. Yes, there are dues, but it is not an exorbitant amount of money.
Now that you know why cultural clubs are so amazing, here is a list of SOME of the clubs that Berkeley has to offer:
- Afghan Student Association
- BAC (Berkeley Black Alumni Club)
- BATS (Berkeley Associations of Taiwanese Students)
- BCSSA (Berkeley Chinese Students and Scholars Association) Berkeley Club of France
- Berkeley Club of London
- BISA (Berkeley Indonesian Student Association)
- Cal Japan Club
- CASA (Chinese American Student Association) HKSA (Hong Kong Student Association)
- Hermanos and Hermanas Unide
- IISA (Italian International Student Association) ISA (Indian Student Association)
- ISAB (International Student Association at Berkeley) KASA (Korean American Student Association)
- KUNA (Korean Undergraduate Networking Association) MSA (Mixed Student Association)
- MSA (Muslim Student Association)
- SMSA (Singapore Malaysian Student Association) TASA (Taiwanese American Student Association) The Berkeley Club of Germany
- VSA (Vietnamese Student Association)
There are so many more clubs on campus! If you don’t see a club that is right for you here, then don’t worry! Berkeley has your club! You just have to do a little bit of searching.
Hope this helps!
Is there a place to find classmates online?
College is just around the corner! I cannot believe how fast it is approaching. I hope you all are a part of your class’s Facebook page (if you aren’t, then go join it RIGHT NOW)! The notifications might be poring in from fellow students and it might seem a little much; however, I want you to focus on being active on the Facebook Group Page starting today!
Here are things you can do based on your comfort level:
LOW: If your confidence level is low and you do not feel comfortable putting yourself out there, I want you to simply comment on peoples’ posts. Questions could be something like: “Where is everyone from?” or “What dorm are people staying at next year?” or “Is anyone interested in playing soccer up at Cal?” This is a great way to find people you have some similarities with/follow up on posts that may involve you.
MEDIUM: If you are semi-confident, then take the initiative to post in the Facebook Group! It can be one of the questions I stated above.
HIGH: If you are extremely confident, then write an entire post describing yourself! I had friends who inserted lengthy posts onto the Facebook page when they were about to start their Cal experience. State your name, where you are from, what you plan on majoring in at Cal, what you are interested in, and EVERYTHING else you want to share with your new class. In fact, you can even include a picture with this post - give your classmates a face to the person you just described.
***Additional advice: I recommend mentioning how excited you are to meet everyone and to make sure they say “HI!” to you when they see you around campus. This makes you seem very approachable and friendly!
Hope this post helps!
Is Student Government at UC Berkeley for Me?
Are you interested in leadership? Were you heavily involved in your student government back in high school? If this is what you are passionate about/this is something you wish to become passionate about, I highly recommend you look into the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC).
The ASUC is the largest student government in the nation that controls the funding for student organizations and takes charge of most of the on-campus events. The ASUC is highly modeled after the US government. There are various positions such as 20 senators, President, the Executive Vice President, the External Affair Vice President, the Academic Vice President, and the Student Advocate Office.
If this interests you, I recommend you consider the ASUC Internship Program.
The ASUC Fellowship will include 200 exceptional UCB students to join our organization’s mission in ensuring that UC Berkeley students are adequately represented and that our campus is the leader in pushing growth for the future. The Fellowship program is specifically designed for First Year and Transfer students who have just come to Berkeley and are looking for a way to cultivate their leadership skills and gain valuable work experience.
The ASUC Fellowship program aims to recruit around 200 UC Berkeley students who have demonstrated leadership or have strong leadership potential. The program’s goal is to cultivate this leadership potential by allowing fellows to take part in implementing lasting transformative policies that will affect students from this year and in future students to come. The Fellowship is a one-year program that begins with a kick-off event in late September and ends during RRR week in Spring 2015. As the only student government in the nation to be a 501 © 3 organization, fellows will gain valuable non-profit and advocacy experience through unique hands-on projects that are recognized in future endeavors.
After accepting their offers to the program, Fellows will be placed as interns in various offices throughout the ASUC and will work on projects that are most in line with their interests. Fellows will also receive guidance and mentorship in relation to both academic and professional interests that will carry on to future endeavors.
Applications are due SEPTEMBER 4; however, they are accepting applications NOW. This is a great way to get your foot in the door if you are interested in becoming a part of the ASUC student body.
Hope this helps.
Should I Join a Fraternity/Sorority?
One of the most popular questions I get regarding the start of college is “Should I join a Fraternity/Sorority?” Hopefully, I can give you a general idea of whether or not rushing is right for you.
Why should you join a fraternity or sorority?
1. There is no doubt that the Greek community is extremely close-knit. Not only do you form close relationships with people in your fraternity/sorority, but you also develop strong bonds with others in different fraternities and sororities through the many exchanges, philanthropy events, etc.
2. If you find yourself to be shy and you want to break out from your comfort bubble for college, I highly recommend giving rush a try. It will definitely push you to be more social, which could be a good thing for some people. At times, the hardest part is putting yourself out there.
3. Fraternities and sororities offer a great means of networking! Being a part of a brotherhood/sisterhood creates a strong need to help one another out, which helps reduce the “competitive” atmosphere at UC Berkeley.
Things to consider.
Being in a fraternity/sorority can be a huge time commitment! I know people who are barely affiliated with their fraternity or sorority and say it is “alright” and then have others who are really passionate about their brotherhood/sisterhood and say it is the “best thing that has happened at college.” Also, it is very expensive. Finally, and I think most importantly, join the fraternity/sorority that makes YOU the happiest. This means ignoring all the stereotypes! Do not join a Greek house just because it is the “coolest” or the “prettiest.”
***Word of warning: This environment is not for everyone! Do not think that this is the only way to meet friends - it is just ONE way to make the Cal community feel smaller.
This link has all of the fraternities/sororities offered at UC Berkeley.
Hope this helps!
Join a Professional Fraternity/Sorority?
During the spring semester of my sophomore year, I joined the professional medical fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon. To this day, I still believe that it is one of the greatest organizations that I have joined at UC Berkeley.
Why I chose a medical fraternity over a Greek sorority:
Being a pre-med student at UC Berkeley, you will surround yourself with high-achieving, ambitious students. Understandingly, this can be discouraging. The key to staying on track is to never give up. What I loved about the medical fraternity was that I was able to surround myself with like-minded people who were ambitious and shared the same end goal as me. In addition, I found a way to avoid the “cut-throat” nature of UC Berkeley premeds through this family-like organization. Professional fraternities offer a wide variety of resources from past exams to upperclassmen with advice.
Do Professional fraternities haze!?
This honestly depends on the fraternity. True, because this is supposed to mimic a professional environment, you are not forced to do anything physical you do not want to take part in (ie: drinking). However, this does not mean that pledging is easy. It is very time-consuming (depending on what organization you join). As the saying goes, treat pledging like a 2-unit course.
Lucky for me, Phi Delta Epsilon enforces a strict no-hazing policy, which really appealed to me. Everything I did was to help push me one step closer to reaching my goal of medical school.
Can professional fraternities be social?
YES! Just because you are in a professional fraternity does not mean that you are not going to miss out on the social aspect of a fraternity/sorority. In Phi Delta Epsilon, you are put into families (much like Harry Potter). Each family has a strong sense of pride, which makes things extremely fun. Also, you are guaranteed to have a lot of social opportunities when joining ANY organization.
Coed vs. Non- coed Fraternity/Sorority:
Yes, if you do not want a co-ed organization, you can always join an all-boys or all-girls fraternity/sorority (if offered). It really depends on your preference. If you are unsure, I highly recommend talking to the members in each organization during rush (the week when fraternities/sororities invite you to check out what they have to offer) or when you see them tabling on Sproul.
List of ALL Professional Organizations on Campus:
- Medical: Kappa Gamma Delta: Female Health Sorority Phi Chi: Co-ed Health Fraternity; Phi Delta Epsilon: Co-ed Medical Fraternity Sigma Mu Delta: Male Health Fraternity
- Alpha Kappa Psi: Co-ed Business Fraternity; Alpha Epsilon Zeta: Male South Asian Business Fraternity; Beta Alpha Psi: Co-ed Business Fraternity; Delta Sigma Pi: Co-ed Business Fraternity
- Engineering: Theta Tau: Co-ed Engineering Fraternity Triangle: Male Engineering Fraternity
- Chemistry: Alpha Chi Sigma: Co-ed Chemistry Fraternity
- Law: Phi Alpha Delta: Co-ed Law Fraternity; Sigma Alpha Nu: Co-ed Law Fraternity
Hope this helps!
How to Appear More Friendly?
Guest Barista CT:
I have a face that appears to be upset even when I am not. All my friends tell me that I look upset all the time and I am constantly being asked if I am okay. Some of my friends have even admitted to me that the first time they met me they thought I hated them. This is actually not the case. If you had the chance to get to know me you would see that I am actually quite friendly and nice. Unfortunately, not many people get a chance to see this side of me because my demeanor intimidates them and prevents any further bonding opportunities. Sure sometimes I am distracted and late to class and the last thing on my mind is how my face looks. I wanted to know if there is anything I can do to seem more friendly and approachable in general even though my face is naturally upset looking.
Hey! I understand that school is stressful at times and the last thing on your mind is how your face looks but if you want people to approach you, try smiling more! One thing I recommend is to not be so absorbed in your classes. Take a minute to admire the beauty of nature and realize that you are at the best public university in the nation. You have a lot more to smile for than you think!
I’ve been feeling really down this past semester. My friends will ask me to go out for lunch/dinner/coffee, but I’m always too busy with class, work, and studying. On the flip side, I have been feeling lonely and know that I can really benefit from being around others.
Berkeley makes everyone busy: don’t worry, you are not alone! I know how hard it may be to set aside time for friends on top of your busy schedule. If you are starting to feel lonely and you can’t seem to make time for other people, try combining your activities. One of my favorite things to do is to study with friends in coffee/tea shops. That way, not only can you get all your work done, but you can also do so in the company of your friends. If you guys go to a yummy coffee/tea shop, that’s another bonus. It’s the best of all worlds! Another thing you can do is to have dinner with your friends after a midterm. Think of it as a little reward for yourself and something to look forward to throughout studying or even during the midterm. Hope this helps! Best of luck, darling.
Honey, that sounds like the midterm blues and we all feel that way. However, this is not to say that you should just let your feelings be and wait for them to fade away. I suggest taking time out each day or maybe a couple of times a week for about an hour or two and dedicate them to spending time being with friends, maybe grabbing coffee or simply going on a donut run. These short periods of time off are really beneficial and can improve your studying as it lets your mind take a breather. A study grind is not always the best type of studying and from what you said, you have been studying continuously so you are a step ahead already. Best of luck!
My friend has been having irregular mood swings and cannot seem to find stability within her emotions. I’m super worried for her and I wish I could make her forget about all her worries. What more can I do?
I think all you can do is continue to be there for her because when someone is sad, social support is something the person may value more than ever in his or her darkest times. Sometimes the person may want plenty of space too, so don’t take it personally if that happens. It can be draining to constantly have someone’s negative vibes bombard you, but be aware it isn’t your job to make sure she remains happy. Do your best to comfort her/ be that shoulder she can cry on. Everything that is causing her to have this emotional roller coaster ride has a lot to do with her internal turmoil and perceptions so give it time and patience. If nothing seems to work, it doesn’t hurt to lightly suggest that there are resources at UHS like counseling sessions that may help. Wishing you both the best!
I still don't have a solid friend group, and as a sophomore, I feel like no one's looking anymore. On top of that with school getting extremely busy I don't have much more time to seriously spend trying to make new friends, so I really don't know what to do. I tried a join a club, and I feel like I've made friends, but I feel like no one is really open to adding more people to their friend groups anymore. Any suggestions?
Hi there, I completely know how you feel, anonymous and I want to tell you it’ll only get better with time. It may not seem like it now, but if you constantly search for people to be your friends and find yourself not having much luck, it’ll potentially hurt more. As for school being busy, remember to allot some time to relax too. Try reconnecting with your high school friends or former floor mates in the meantime, and ultimately, focus on bettering yourself. Once you concentrate on pursuing your passions and stop worrying about fitting in, people will enter your life when you least expect it. J I’m sure you’ll make some amazingly genuine friends soon. Sending hugs your way.
It’s true that making friends takes time and effort, especially after the initial scramble of freshman year. Maybe consider joining a couple of study groups–meet people while studying for the classes that are taking up so much of your time. Above all, stay hopeful! There are definitely people still open to making friends, and given more time and enough commitment, I’m sure you’ll find people that you’ll connect with.
I just don’t understand. I was close friends with someone last year, and now we don’t even talk anymore. How can two people share so many wonderful memories and disappear the next? Should I try to reconnect with this person or would that be awkward?
I don’t know the specific details of your relationship with this person, but generally, I think we’ve all been there. Having that new wave of excitement wash over us as we find someone we have common interests with and want to spend a lot of time with when suddenly we “lose” that person. A lot of people have told me that when it happens, you have to just accept it and move on, but to me, that’s a quick defense mechanism; a way of putting your guard up and saving yourself the trouble of not having to think about why things went bitter with certain people. Certainly, it works for some people, but not necessarily for everyone. In my opinion, if you really care about certain people, you’ll always find a way to make time for them or at least gently tell them you’re busy and will make it a point to catch up soon. Try reaching out to that person if it means that much to you because sometimes, you never know! Maybe he or she is also wondering why you two aren’t close anymore. Communication is key!