Students Rising AboveBy Michelle Griego

by Michelle Griego and Jennifer Mistrot

(KPIX 5) — Like many college kids, Jocelyn Gama is studying online at home, but she’s also found a creative way to stay in touch with others as we all shelter in place.

“It’s definitely been a challenge,” said Gama of her time away from campus. “But, you know, as humans beings, we have to learn how to adapt to any circumstance that we’re given.”

Gama’s adapting to her new classroom. On this day it’s the common patio area of her East Bay apartment, where she’s been hitting the books since the mid-March closure of the UC Berkeley campus. The patio, and her apartment, are a quiet oasis at a stressful time for this college sophomore.

“I’ve been able to gain a peace of mind and just remain calm … The world can be very uncomfortable sometimes,” reflected Gama. “So you have to always be the center of your own universe and find that peace of mind.”

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To keep that peace of mind and stay busy, Gama’s video-blogging her favorite indoor activities like home facials, cooking and watering her plants. The videos that show her silly side. But she takes great pride in her efforts.

“And I mean, like, I know I’m trying my best,” explained Gama. “Because I know, like, my work ethic.”

That strong work ethic – and fun-loving personality – were in full force when we first met Gama back in 2018. The then-high school senior loved sharing her college plans with customers at her part-time job, telling many she intended on studying political science.

“I want to be a politician,” she said to a customer at the time. “Be on the lookout!”

Now, several years later, it’s her passion for video production that’s helping Gama connect with others as she longs for classes to resume.

“College was teaching me a lot about myself, things that I never knew or just skills that I never knew I could develop,” explained Gama. “As a human being, like, I was actually learning a lot about how I can apply myself in this society to help, you know, the world.”

And as we all struggle with what our collective future may hold, Gama has this advice: “We all have something to be grateful for … Life is joy and unhappiness, like, it is both, so you have to learn the balance … Adapt, adapt, and continue to be you, your authentic self.”

Michelle Griego