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There are some supersmart students who can answer every question in class. But most students are normal, just like me, never ...
There are some supersmart students who can answer every question in class. But most students are normal, just like me, never consider myself very smart. Some exams are tough, but are reasonable if you know the right way to study. Some (most) exams are just not too hard, not too easy. It is very competitive at UC Berkeley. You have to study hard and study smart to excel.
UC Berkeley students are smart; exams are tough; very competitive, etc.
My favorite classes are MCB 150, Immunology; MCB 62 Drug and the brain; Optometry 10, the eye and vision. My suggestion: always look up the list of the recommended classes before you register. The book tilted "Resource: a reference guide for new Berkeley students" helped a lot.
Huge school with tons of possibilities. Really your time here could either be spent killing yourself with the really tough cl...
Huge school with tons of possibilities. Really your time here could either be spent killing yourself with the really tough classes and not having a social life...or being really social, broadening your horizons, and making tons of really good friends. It all depends on what you want to make of your time at the school. The important thing is that you really can do whatever you want with your education here.
One word: Diverse. We have people from all over, from all different walks of life, and with varied interests. This means that you can meet people from all over the country, and the world, and get to know what life is like outside your own "bubble". More importantly, there are groups for just about anything, so its not hard to find some place to fit in.
Berkeley is a great school, but don't expect anyone to hold your hand. It is the number one public school for a reason. Classes are very overwhelming if you don't stay on top of your shit. Even if you flew by high school with no problem, that doesn't mean you can maintain the same habits here. Trust me, Berkeley can and will kick your ass if your not careful.
This stereotype is pretty true. There is always something crazy going on (protests, demonstrations, strikes, walkouts, random yelling).
Greek life is pretty popular, but i'm not a huge fan of it. Dorms are a great idea for the first year as it forces you to be social and make some really close friends right from the start. There are always concerts, free movies, and different kinds of shows on campus during the weekends that are either really cheap or free. Footballs games are also very fun, even when our team loses.
Well its considered the #1 public university in the country by most recent polls, so right there you know that is going to be tough. Generally the science and math classes are the most challenging during my experience, but despite the amount of student here, most professors are not aiming towards maintaining a curve. If you work hard and do your reading, its not THAT bad.
Most people tend to think of UC Berkeley and the students here as crazy, ultra liberal, outspoken hippies who rant and rave about everything.
Insane people are very much in the minority. Liberals and environmentalists are prominent but rarely come with the irrationa...
Insane people are very much in the minority. Liberals and environmentalists are prominent but rarely come with the irrationality that people claim them to have.
Everyone is insane, liberal, or radically environmental.
to this day my sister calls me a tree-hugger. when anyone hears that i attend Cal they automatically say "wow, you must be r...
to this day my sister calls me a tree-hugger. when anyone hears that i attend Cal they automatically say "wow, you must be really smart". some will even tell me a brief history of the events that went on here. there is a lot of school pride-around football season. it kind of dies down from there. most people are too busy with their studies to get involved with school spirit related activities. we do take pride in the extremely intelligent homeless men who speak wise words to us on the way to class. they are harmless and are never threatening, but they continue to preach their message to the students and visitors. there is one who waits for people to walk by with their ipods or cellphones so he can preach to them about how we are letting technology take over our lives. there is another who is called 'happy happy man' who has a giant sign with many grammatical and spelling errors on it, yet people listen to him, even if they dont take him seriously. we have some of the friendliest homeless around, and some of the most entertaining. the word is that some of them are even past students from Cal.
as a mexican american student, i sometimes feel as if i am outnumbered in a campus primarily filled with asians. sometimes it feels that since they have more people, they have more groups, and therefore they get more funding. Berkeley is not well rounded when it comes to race or ethnicity. and most racial groups stick together.
i love my school even with all of its flaws, i couldn't ask for anything better!
I think Berkeley got its name for its radical nature during the free speech movement, but it has died down now. even on campus tours one of the first things guides tell parents is not to worry because the school is no longer as radical as it used to be. I am only a first year but in this year alone i have witnessed multiple protesters who take a place in a tree for long periods of time. Yes Berkeley students get high, but so do the students at the other universities, there are just more eyes on us because of the schools history. there are many smart people here though. at least one of the stereotypes is true.
at such a big school it is hard to get to know your professors on a personal basis, it is really up to the students to attend office hours and get to know them one on one. I however have taken the initiative to get to know my peace and conflict studies professor. first of al i loved her class, i even took another class my second semester because she was teaching it. i honestly never missed one of her classes. Peace and Conflict Studies 10 has changed my life, as cliche as that sounds. you really learn about the world issues, some of which i had no idea were going on. i think everyone should take this class, it is very unique and not many schools have this major.
i met my closest friends in my building. they are the people i see the most so i get to know them faster,then i meet friends through them and so on. most people keep their doors open unless it is finals or midterms week. thursday night is the night that most of the people i know go out and party, thats when the halls are empty and the frats are full. the co-op parties are way better though. there is not much to do besides drinking, everything here closes really early, you can however, go into san frasisco it is only a bart ride away.
most believe that we are either hippies, tree-huggers, radical protesters who are constantly getting high. or there is the other stereotypical student who is the nerd who is always in the library, being a know it all with pocket protectors and tape holding their glasses together.
UC Berkeley's a place where you can find people for whatever interests you may have, if you put in the effort and look. Howev...
UC Berkeley's a place where you can find people for whatever interests you may have, if you put in the effort and look. However, there's not much hand-holding, so prepare to work for what you want. I like the city: There is a very active community, and for a couple of blocks around campus, Berkeley is definitely a college town. Further out you can find up-scale food and shopping, but driving is a pain, so use shared-car plans like FlexCar and City CarShare. Thanks to the UC's location right next to downtown and near 2 other major cities, there's always stuff to do. The administration and financial aid departments are fairly clueless . . . or they are deliberately trying to sabotage the students.
The campus may be fairly diverse, but my major is not. The male to female ratio in EECS is as high as one would expect, so it's important to branch out into other departments to meet different people. Again, you can find whatever type of person you want to hang out with, if you look.
Berkeley food is very good. UC Berkeley's dormitory food is the worst thing in the world (rated 2nd worst in the nation or something?). While living one year in the dorms is important to meet new people, plan on moving out to save money and actually enjoy eating.
UC Berkeley: Hippies abound, hobos everywhere, weed for all Students: pretty smart, not much to look at
Since the classes can be large, especially for general requirement courses, students have to make an effort to get to know their professor. Fortunately, they are very approachable. The reason for having a few professors to many students seems to be that you'll be getting instruction from some of the smartest people in their field. As an EECS major, I find that students help each other out a lot. Old exams, courses/professor ratings, and peer tutoring are all available from student organizations, so it's always possible to get more out of a class if you put in the work.
Again, the campus is large enough that you can find groups that suit your interests. Go to school-run events like "Caltopia" to see all the clubs that set up tables.
There is a lot of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, yes. Berkeley is not exempt from any of this. However, there is a s...
There is a lot of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, yes. Berkeley is not exempt from any of this. However, there is a strong progressive community - especially students of color - that fights against these "isms."
Students are generally drones. Though it is predominantly people of color populated, much of that population unfortunately suffers from internalized racism, particularly those from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. Many students are liberal-minded but they fail to see past "pro-choice" and pro"poor-people stances. They generally do not see the systemic failures and structural oppression that they themselves perpetuate.
The best thing about UC Berkeley has been its location and the people that live in this small college town. San Francisco is ...
The best thing about UC Berkeley has been its location and the people that live in this small college town. San Francisco is just a 25-30 minute BART ride from the campus, there are beautiful views of the the Bay Area from the Campinile and Berkeley Hills, and the campus is surrounded by diverse foods, stores, and people. Residences of the town are friendly and welcome you with open hands. It is a pedestrian friendly town and everyday you see people walking the streets and enjoying the beauty of the weather and environment. There are various different types of foods available to try and the many restaurants in South Berkeley, Downtown, and the Gourmet Ghetto in North Berkeley. People respect the environment. There is hardly ever litter on the floor and the town is very clean for the most part. If I could change one thing it would be to make our student population more diverse. We need more students from different backgrounds and an effort for more funding in social science departments like Ethnic Studies. Furthermore, our university needs a real multicultural center. We currently claim to have one that only features on small mural on about 5% of the wall. We need a more welcoming university for students of color and show that our campus truly is a public university and every student has the potential to be accepted.
NEEDS TO BE MORE DIVERSE! More people of color need to be given the change here. The use of SAT scores are not an accurate form of measuring who can succeed at a school like UC Berkeley especially when many students are not able to attend private schools or more economically privileged public grade schools.
Majority of students definitely make time to have a social life outside of classes. However, I do feel that the university needs to be more diverse and make a better effort to outreach to underprivileged high schools.
Ethnic Studies is an amazing department, which will open your eyes to a different view on the world. My favorite class has been ES 101B: Humanities Methods in Ethnic Studies. The class has enabled me to rethink my perception of the world. In my experience UC Berkeley students love to have intellectual conversations and relate their lectures to their real lives. But it is not in a way where you feel obligated to have something "intellegent" to say. It is in a way where you are constantly learning from your peers and appreciate the new knowledges you recieve. It some cases students can be competitive. This is a competitve school that has competitive majors. It is an environment where one may sometimes question their place and feel like they have to justify their intellegence. It is important to remember that everyone belongs here and that everyone has worked hard to make it here regardless of how you make an argument or if you make struggle with certain readings.
Mission District is the best place in the city to go dancing. Laid back and everyone is friendly and eager to meet new people.
Students do not have a life outside of classes. They overstress about grades. UC Berkeley is primarily White and Asian.
People usually find it quite an accomplishment that you are a UC Berkeley student... but at the same time there are pressures...
People usually find it quite an accomplishment that you are a UC Berkeley student... but at the same time there are pressures to attending what is considered one of the best public universities in the world... people expect you to be incredibly intelligent all the time. I found that people, especially my friends would tease me about making mistakes in speech or asking "stupid" questions, usually with a response of "GO BERKELEY!" or "Is that what you are learning at Berkeley?!" "How'd you get in?" While at first it may have been funny and it is obviously in good humor it gets quite annoying when you hear it often and more than once or twice from the same person. You also hear, oh there are a lot of hippies or oh its so liberal up there when you tell people you are going to Berkeley. Even when informing people about my interest in attending before I applied and was accepted I heard all the same things. Obviously it all comes from common stereotypes and seems so ingrained into people's mind, but it gets tired and old. The reputation of Berkeley in the 60's has really shaped people's perception of what the institution stands for and what it means to go there, even though decades have past and things have changed.
Most students are very casual in their style of dress and appearance. Being from Southern California i found there was a clear distinction between the atmosphere up in the bay then where I grew up... it is very relaxed here. People seem less interested in what other people are wearing in the bay. I think there is less pressure to "look good" and impress, which was a nice change. Most students are politically aware and very involved in student groups and issues. It can be quite intimidating how driven and determined some students are, even if they are not involved in social issues like say my roommate who was a Business major...they can be very involved in their education and active in extracurricular activities that pertain to their area of study like internships, professional fraternities, jobs, etc. Many people are very aware of where they are, where they want to go and how they are going to do it (and they certainly do a lot to get there!!)
I would say that most stereotypes are not accurate. The issue of diversity is one that I find most intriguing... because although I do feel that Berkeley may exhibit a more "diverse" population than say, UCSB where you see a sea of blonde hair- girls in jean skirts wearing uggs and guys without shirts carrying their surfboards, minorities are still highly underrepresented and Asians make up about half the population...which is about the same as basically all the other UC's. So perhaps it is that diversity is pursued at Cal more than in other institutions and there are more outlets for this diversity to flourish. While there are students who are clearly at an intellectual level beyond most other people in that age group, I found that most of the time you could also find people right in the middle of the spectrum who may not be as "intellectual" but have so much to offer in regards to personal life experiences and personality. Not all Cal students are geniuses... to be honest I've run into people who I thought.. hmmm, interesting they come here because they arent all there it seems. You dont have to be a genius to come here, i think that is where the diversity comes in. Cal appreciates students for more than one typical intellectual backround and i think this is most apparent in its transfer student population. Some of the most intelligent people i have ran into are transfer re-entry students who seem to come in with a different perspective which can be quite refreshing. And no, not all professors are marxist-loving socialists. While there are clearly marxist sympathizers on the faculty it is not something that you can always expect. I think for me, most professors have been more of center, with a couple on the far right, and a couple on the far left. The good things is, professors usually welcome a challenge. While there may not be a ton of hippies on campus i think that students who are looking to be politically aware and active come here because of the reputation of free speech and protest, and this fraction of the population who is very passionate often is magnetized by the media and the general public and are the perceived "tree huggers." But there is more to Berkeley than that.
I once heard from a student of UCSB whose ex-girlfriend attended Berkeley "When I would visit her, everyone was like studying on the weekends... it was super quiet, not like here [in IV]" That was before I came to Berkeley, and when I came here I came to find out that it held to be pretty true. No, not everyone is always studying on the weekends but it isnt uncommon for people to stay in some nights during the weekend to catch up on studying and reading. During Finals week Berkeley is literally dead... and the libraries which are open 24hrs during that time are packed. I found that the idea that you are just a number in large lectures is not true... I've been in classes with over 200 students and then there where classes where there were only 30 or 50 students. Usually with large classes you have an extra section where you meet once a week outside of lecture in a graduate student lead discussion which for the most part have always been a great complement to course lectures and quite beneficial. Since these students are UC grad students they can be a wealth of information, easier to talk to (than really busy professors), very accessible and very intelligent. But i have found that many professors can also be very approachable. I had a health problem my first semester and I was surprised at how compassionate and understanding my professors and GSI's were. They were very accomodating and I was so relieved. While some professors clearly are not approachable and seem quite involved in their research rather than teaching, I found that for the most part this was the exception rather than the rule.
Berkeley is pretty boring in regards to nightlife. If you want a good night of dancing, drinking and crazy fun then you head to the city. Basically the hotspot here is Triple Rock on thursdays where they serve their own brew of beer for a very cheap price and people flock. Mostly going out in Berkeley will consist of bars on Shattuck. There is a very cool pool hall on shattuck where you can share some drinks and play some billiards, or just do one of the two. In Berkeley the party scene is mainly small parties where you have to know someone to go... you cant just walk around and show up to parties (like in UCSB or UCSD). Frat parties are okay, but after a couple of times they were just annoying because some of the guys there are just gross. The co-ops will have some large themed parties now and then but I find them flooded with freshman who are just ready to get plastered and be obnoxious.
That all students are geniuses, liberal, and there is a large hippie population among students. Professors are all liberal and those views are obvious in classrooms, specifically the social sciences where many faculty are pro-marxist lefties. Also, that the UC Berkeley student population is "real diverse."
To some extent. UC Berkeley is academically challenging but there are many resources and clubs that warm the campus up and he...
To some extent. UC Berkeley is academically challenging but there are many resources and clubs that warm the campus up and help me feel supported here.
That it is a cold, competitive environment.
Berkeley isn't quite what it was in the 60's, so don't come expecting a die hard liberal institution.
Berkeley isn't quite what it was in the 60's, so don't come expecting a die hard liberal institution.
The students are hella competitive, and the girls are fine, as long as you like Asian.
Too damn hard. Undergrads are so competitive. Classes are usually huge, at least the intros. But its not that bad, as office hours are plentiful and easy to come by.
Students are ultra-competitive and the girls aren't hot.
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