Campus & community, People, Profiles

New student Liliana Rojas: ‘We are all made of the same components’

The first-year chemical engineering major reflects on how chemistry helps brings her back down to Earth

portait of liliana rojas

Liliana Rojas is a first-year student majoring in chemical engineering at UC Berkeley. (UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)

“In high school, I knew I wanted to study chemistry in college. Chemistry is all around us, literally everywhere. I will be walking down the street, and I’ll stop for a moment and think, ‘Oh, wait a minute, these huge obstacles in my path, they all come down to basic matter, basic particles.’

The other day, I tripped over a piece of concrete, and I started to get mad at myself, like, ‘How could I have not seen this?’ But then I began to realize, what I had actually tripped over was a piece of molecules bonded together to help us walk. If you break it down and ask yourself, ‘Why did this happen? Why was I able to collide with this?’, it’s a nice, positive way to think about it, and it helps bring you back down to Earth.

At the end of the day, we’re all just one. We’re all just made of the same components. And I just think that’s really cool.”