Berkeley, CA
University of California-Berkeley


425 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Bob
What is your overall opinion of this school?

When I was debating whether or not to attend Berkeley, I was eventually swayed in the right direction based on location. Ber...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

When I was debating whether or not to attend Berkeley, I was eventually swayed in the right direction based on location. Berkeley is located in the city of Berkeley which is in the east bay, which in turn is just a 20-30 minute train ride(BART) to San Francisco. I love the bay area. It's so beautiful and peaceful. City life and nature are integrated very nicely. When you live in the Bay area you feel apart of a community; it's a nice feeling. As for the university itself, it's difficult to describe as black or white. Berkeley is very large with more than 30,000 students. This being said, one can find whatever it is that he/she is seeking. I know people who never do work and party all the time. Oppositely, there are many people who study all the time. There are the frats/sororities, cooperative student housing, student clubs, etc. Whatever your heart desires. But if I had to average everything together, I would definitely say that Berkeley is an academic university. People work hard here, and I think that is part of what one should expect from their college experience, at least in part. Since the school is so large there is no babying, and you can sometimes feel like a number in terms of the bureaucracy. People do fail out of school as there are no safety nets and grade inflation is set at a minimum. There are good things though about a school of this size. It is pretty easy to take advantage of the system. Rules aren't always enforced. For example, I've taken about five classes without taking the prerequisites, and I've substituted three courses for things I felt were more alligned with my ambitions. I guess I got away with a lot of these things because of being in a smaller college, chemistry. If you are planning on entering into the school of Letters and Science, which most of you are, be prepared for fight up stream with the masses.

Describe the students at your school.

In general Berkeley students are fairly friendly, but you have to go out and seek them. You can, and will make friends from class if you try, but several people have told me that this almost never happens. For the most part people are divided by their club/house/frat. If you want friends and a guaranteed social life you almost certainly should join one of these organizations, at least for a little while. I lived in the COOOPs (www.usca.org) for a long and would highly recommend it, even though I've had my ups and downs.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

The most important thing in college is to find your passion. With that knowledge you will always head in the right direction. If this means dropping out of school, fleeing the country, and meditating for awhile, DO IT!! Not like I did anything this drastic.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

By visiting UC Berkeley, one is almost guaranteed to see some activism. Case in Point: There are people living in the oak trees, protecting the trees from Football Stadium upgrades. There is a man who stands at the front of campus, sarcastically shouting his happiness with George Bush Women for Palestine come to campus and speak often. Students dish out issues of the Cal Patriot, a conservative political news magazine. etc. Given these examples, it seems that the stories are true, that Berkeley is still very political. From my perspective, this is somewhat of a misleading statement. It's true that Berkeley is political, but mainly the city of Berkeley. The student body is more or less apathetic. If you'd prefer to go to a school more reminiscent of the good-ol-days (http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/calhistory/60s.html), I'd recommend going to a smaller liberal-arts college, or making lots of money and purchasing a house in the Berkeley hills. Continuing on... 2a. There are indeed a lot of asians, but this isn't really a bad thing. Typically, I am the minority in my computer science classes, but this doesn't really bother me. I guess the one bad thing I can say isn't directly attributed to the large Asian population. The diversity at Berkeley is lacking. The student body can be broken up into asians, Caucasians, others, where this "others" is very very small. The African American and Hispanic population is vastly underrepresented, and this is something of miss from my high school days. Much of the time I find myself wishing I could meet a wider variety of people, perhaps practice my spanish. 2b. Not everyone is a genius at Cal, this is definitely not a requirement. So if you're worried that you won't be able to compete with the college kids, just realize that everyone has the same sentiments. It is true though that students work really hard and there is a definite competitive edge**. **In computer science I find a mutual kindred respect of one's fellow student. People are very friendly and helpful. The same can not be said about other fields like Chemistry.

What are the academics like at your school?

I entered Cal as a Bioengineer, but almost immediately felt a bit out of place. It was very restrictive and I felt obligated to follow the pre-specified engineering course path. I felt rushed and without time, which is a crazy notion given that it was my first semester. The vibe just didn't fit right and the engineering advisors were horrible. Then I had the opportunity to take Chemistry 4b, an absolutely amazing class. By far the best chemistry class I have taken. This class led me to switch to Chemistry. For a while this is what I wanted to do, but after a couple years of bad teachers, lackluster students, and bad research experience, I decided to switch. The final switch was to computer science. It's a great place to be. Everyone is extremely passionate about the material, and very friendly to one another. I've made many friends from my classes, which was a rarity in my other courses. Also, the teachers are very approachable and extremely knowledgeable. I guess all of this passion and excitement comes from the fact that CS doesn't feel like a dead science. We learn about concepts that are only a couple of years old. We hear stories about people who are still alive. We create things. Its a very empowering field. Though, there are problems with computer science. There is a clear and dangerous lack of girls in the department. So, if you're a girl and if you can see past the false CS stereotypes and the social stigmas of girls in a "man's" world, you should consider computer science. As with all majors be prepared to work very hard. This may not be the case with certain humanities classes, but I don't have the authority to comment on that.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Cycling: Take a bike ride in the Berkeley hills or in the city. Berkeley is filled with bike paths that make it very easy to get around. COOPs: Check out the COOPs as a place to live after your freshman year (www.USCA.org). It is communal living with your fellow students. It's a great time. Berkeley has many other great things: Restaurants, Greek Theatre, Marina, Tilden Park, discovery, etc.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

There are, of course, the historical stereotypes that portray Berkeley as a politically charged campus: protesting, hippiedom, togetherness, liberalism, nature, drugs, the whole shebang. In addition, there are two other stereotypes that I find important. 2a.) Everyone who goes to Berkeley is Asian. 2b.) Everyone at Berkeley is smart.

James
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Berkeley is its commitment to academic rigor. One thing I'd change is all the construction going on (...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Berkeley is its commitment to academic rigor. One thing I'd change is all the construction going on (I can't properly walk to class.) The school size is just right. I spend most of my time on campus in class or the library. The town of Berkeley is split: south and north. South side is more a college town: loud, drunk frat boys on Thursday and Saturday nights. North side is a suburb: you'll see women walking their babies to the grocery store. There's definitely a lot of school pride at Cal. One of the most frequent student complaints is that the walk to campus always seems uphill, which is somewhat true: the campus is built on an incline.

Describe the students at your school.

I don't think any kind of student could feel out of place at Cal. What to most students wear to class? Jeans. Different types of students, for the most part, do NOT interact. That's just how we are, man: we don't like the unfamiliar. Four table sin a dining hall? What the hell? Are you a freshman? Most Berkeley students are from California as far as I can tell. (It's a good price.) Can't say what financial backgrounds are most prevalent; I don't watch my friends fill out their FAFSAs. The few students that are politically active are REALLY active; sometimes I wish they'd get out of my face with their flyers and crap. Predominantly left.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Yes and no. Lots of students in Berkeley are smart; lots of them are also dumb and manage to fall through the cracks of the admissions process. There are a surprising number of Christian fellowships on campus, and several of them are affiliated with no particular church or denomination, which, one could argue, is dangerous. What's unique about many of the Christians here, though, is that the campus really tests your faith: you fight or die. Many of the professors will outright ridicule the Bible and religion in general. A lot of student groups push for pluralism or universalism. Many of your classmates don't give two cents about the meaning of life. It's definitely hard, but it just makes you stronger. Hippies are a minority (unless you count the shirtless people who play frisbie on Memorial Glade).

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I'm in a Christian fellowship group, but I don't want to mention our name because I, unlike the rest of my fellow members, am a jerk. I don't want to give you an unfair representation of my group. My fellowship has its share of problems, but for the most part, we're dedicated to knowing God through our Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Yeah, most students seem to leave their doors open. (I didn't. Why? Because this one time, this drunk guy came into our room to ask if it's okay to put water on a laptop keyboard.) Football games are crazy. Sometimes, concerts at the Greek are crazy. (REM + The National + Modest Mouse this spring! YES!!) If I'm awake at 2 A.M. on a Tuesday, I'm probably cramming for a test on Wednesday. Wow, I can't believe I'm being asked this question: "What can you do on a Saturday night that doesn’t involve drinking?" People are pretty uncreative to have to resort to getting drunk to have fun. Meh. One man's opinion. Going to San Francisco is awesome. There's lots of stuff to see and do: Pier 39, Union Square, Chinatown, Yerba Buena Gardens, the Exploratorium, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, Haight and Ashbury, and lots of good food. The best part is the public transportation: you can pretty much get anywhere you want via BART and MUNI.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

The campus is filled with really smart and God-less hippies.

What are the academics like at your school?

For the most part, professors don't know my name because I'm usually in a class of 100+. My favorite class was ME 104 (Dynamics) with Benson Tongue; he's a funny, great lecturer. My least favorite class had to have been E 45 (Materials Science). The subject matter was too boring for me. Students' studying times vary. Some don't study at all for their tests (*cough* humanities *cough*), and others sleep in the library (*cough* pre-med *cough*). Class participation is common in discussion sections, not so much in lecture. Yes, students do have intellectual conversations outside of class, but that depends on your friends, too. Most of the people I know aren't that competitive, but I'm not in a very competitive major (eg, MCB or business). My major (mechanical engineering) is awesome. We build stuff that moves. Car? Can't have one without ME. Computer heat sink? Can't have one without ME. Fifty-story tall mech? Still working on it. There are a lot of academic requirements. It's a bit daunting at first, but you'll whittle it down. A lot of the education seems like it's learning for its own sake: lots of theory, less hands-on application.

Anton
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Berkeley is the acceptance that you receive for whatever you do. You are free here, so do whatever you w...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Berkeley is the acceptance that you receive for whatever you do. You are free here, so do whatever you want. Even the hated groups, like the NRA and ROTC have their own little corners. Just don't get too lost, because there is very little guidance or structure for a person who had not settled on a lifestyle before coming here. Berkeley, despite being a block in total area, is also huge culturally. It is the epitome of a college town, with a big city nearby. Everything is convenient and the second you leave, you miss it. If I could change Berkeley, I would make the administration actually pay attention to student needs. When something goes wrong with your paperwork, you are on your own to fight the whole campus. I will always remember the day I got an F because of a filing error that never got fixed. Caveat emptor, I guess. Controversies on campus-forget about them, they are a dime a dozen and usually no one cares after a week. Nothing will surprise you after going here. I guess the biggest occurrence on our campus...besides some suicides, were the environmentalists who lived in the trees of an oak grove that was being removed to make room for an athletic training center. Strangely, when Berkeley started making nukes again, no one cared.

Describe the students at your school.

Every kind of student can find a home here. African Americans are a minority, as they are in most colleges, but there are a substantial number of them here, so do not avoid Berkeley if that worries you. Also, the school is socially diverse to the point of basically splitting the various fashions, politics, and interests, so you will only interact with people you don't like in classes. Yes, there are many gay people. If you are gay, this is a great school for you. So go here, do not go to Reed. Also, remember there is SF 20 min away. 4 Dining hall tables: a table of athletes, lanky and muscular (Crew=lanky, Waterpolo=muscular). A vaguely mixed group of friends, obviously from high school. A group consisting of 4 people that look totally alike. 1 awkward person reading a huge reader with spilled tea or coffee everywhere.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Remember, a smaller college will probably cost more but you will know everyone there, and the administration will really help you connect with your future career. Berkeley is something to be handled with some care, as it is quite easy to leave it still lost and unmarketable. Chances are, you didn't have too bad a time if you actually tried to conquer yourself and get out and do something, however. If you develop courage, Berkeley will give you more than you can ever imagine. I'd do it over any day. DOUBLE MAJOR IN SOMETHING USEFUL !!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Co opers tend to be more like that. Only a minority of them.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

We are supposedly hippies. We are vegan environmentalist nuts who hate the establishment.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The Greek system and the Co ops are huge. The student government is popular. The frats and sororities are filled with nice people, contrary to the negative sentiment toward them from the rest of the community. Sure, both include some drunk rapists, as does every apartment and other living establishment. They are important in that they run the student govt and connect many people. I was a Co Op kid. I was a hippie and I ate vegan dinners and lived with a bunch of people that thought that they were unique. I made friends for life, and did not catch a single dangerous disease or STD. Do not fear the co ops. The football team is really popular, as is the rugby team. I do not like sports. The dating scene...I am a heterosexual male and was very satisfied with the hedonistic exploits that are possible here. In fact, there was just not enough time to ask everyone I wanted out, largely because I kept getting girlfriends I wanted to stick with. If you want a smart girlfriend, you will find one. A cute one, too, don't let these rumors of Berkeley goggles screw you up. The campus got cuter every day, and now that I am back in Socal I still find the girls I found cute in Berkeley attractive. Girls often complain about the lack of hot guys. They are probably right, but that's because our guys are smart. If you date a hot guy from SF, you will probably bitch about how dumb and pointless he is. Yes, I speak from experience. If you are gay, then you are envied for the sheer joy that is the gay life here. The rumors that SF is gay are usually understatements. I met my closest friends through extracurriculars, co ops, and dorms. My dearest friend I met on the first day of class, and I love her to this day. Never ever ever not talk to someone you find will listen to you, because the energy that unites human beings in friendship is beyond your understanding. If I am up at 2AM on a Tuesday, I either have a paper due at 9 am, or I am at a party. Often I am trying to get food at 1:30, and get out of the line as the last place closes at 2. If I fail to get real food, I am at kingpin. Probability of drunkenness- 70%. What did I do last weekend? If I were at Cal, I probably worked in the morning, then did things I do not want to attach my name to the rest of the day. Or cuddled my girlfriend, who purred drunkenly in torn fishnets. Sunday night was party night, because no fool goes to Monday morning class after freshman year.

What are the academics like at your school?

The professors will not know your name unless you are in a small major, in a small upper division course, or have stalked them. My favorite class was Organic Chemistry. It was at 8am, and it was long, difficult, and competitive. It really (3A and 3B) gave me a grasp on the limits of my mind and work ethic. If you can survive it, you are on your way to being tough enough for anything. I recommend it for anyone. Honestly, I do not think that I hated any class in Berkeley. My reasons for not liking classes were usually stupid, like too much reading or not liking the professor. Really, I cannot criticize the superb quality of the education I received here. My Rhetoric Department is tiny. It is intimate. Professors will stop you in the halls to talk. They love your ideas and will polish your thoughts with you. If you need a mentor, you will find one, always. Of course, there are some people there that are distinctly arrogant to the point of evil. I won't name any names, but if they are using Heideggerian methods to dissect texts, chances are that you are being taught by Satan. Stick to their classes, however, as they are the most rigorous and enlightening members of the Rhetoric faculty. Just don't expect a good grade. It is definitely a school that is learning for learning's sake. However, some majors (Sciences, business) are definitely marketable in the field. You should do your research, but know that liberal arts will often lead to joblessness if you did not make connections. UC Berkeley students talk about intellectual matters so much, that after a few years they learn to think for themselves, and begin to engage in them selectively, rather than spewing useless opinions at anyone who'd listen. Also, the students are competitive in some, but not all majors. Do your research, there is no guideline. In non competitive majors, the students are still really dedicated to their work, so you should study if you want their respect.

christopher
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love that Berkeley is a college town yet at the same time it is diverse enough to have the cute pockets of the city to esca...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love that Berkeley is a college town yet at the same time it is diverse enough to have the cute pockets of the city to escape college life. The local food, shopping, and nightlife that's available in a college town is unique to Berkeley. I love that Berkeley is a massive school! The options that are available to each student are virtually limitless. The prestige of the school is great. UC Berkeley (Cal/University of California/Berkeley/etc.) sounds great to sports fans, cultural aficionados, and people of the market place. I spend most of my times studying/relaxing in the surrounding cafes or at dance practices on campus. I don't hear to much about the administration yet am surrounded by students/faculty/staff that are content. That must be a good sign; no/little negative attention. Of course there are the Oak people, the people protesting against British Petroleum, and some campus workers wanting higher pay/benefits that hold demonstrations around campus. But the fact that people rally to Berkeley to exercise their voices is a great thing! It informs the berkeley population of the issues that are out there. One of the best things about a big school is the school pride in sports and achievement! It's always great to see the alumni in their cal gear roaming around campus with their families all decked out in blue and gold.

Describe the students at your school.

I'm in a Christian ministry on campus called the Ark. Upon my arrival in my first year, I found the Christian scene very interesting. It was appropriately directed towards the seeking population and in berkeley, that means it was a uniquely intellectually driven faith. With such a large campus and a diverse population, I was able to find exactly the right community for me even when I thought that it would be impossible. I found a community that focused on ministering to God first and loving Him and each other. I think feeling out of place in Berkeley is a normal thing for a time. College life is a huge adjustment from high school, especially for a group of high achieving students. Eventually, dependent on how willing a student is to experiencing new things and adjust, I believe every student can find their niche and be changed (for the better). Berkeley's great because it has ever option in the world. Students don't dress fancy for class as was the case at my high school. Dependent on the time of year (mid-terms/finals/papers) student's will attend class in their pajamas and look ready to learn. Class subjects definitely bring students into all sorts of interaction whether class mandated or not. Berkeley students are very open minded and accepting. Student's are politically/socially aware and active so as to understand that everyone's beliefs and individualities are interesting and deserve respect. I would say, consistent with the stereotype, student activities and mindsets are left and jokingly extreme left. We're all aware of how the berkeley population is perceived and its amusing to see instances where those stereotypes are met by us or others. I think the Haas School of Business students and may be Bolt School of Law students talk about their potential earnings more than my departments of political science and theater, dance, and performance studies. College irons out all financial stratification. Both students whose families are well off and student's who's families are more modest are given the same living conditions, same food options, same very reasonable tuition. All financial statuses are challenged to live off of a relatively similar budget. Characteristic of college student's in general is that we've all become broke when we entered college. operating out of this understanding, every student i've met is very mindful of these considerations. We all are learning to make good investments and good decisions to save.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

to a certain extent, these stereotypes are accurate. it all depends on how you look at each label and whether or not you're looking to validate each stereotype. bottom line at Berkeley: if you're looking for it, you can find it.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

liberal. infested with homeless (hobo's). drug town. intellectual. ugly people. impossible to keep the faith.

What are the academics like at your school?

For the most part, professors exert a great deal of effort to get to know the students' names. It's a matter of the student wanting their name to be known. Contributing to class discussions or providing constructive feedback to professors are ways of building a relationship with the professors. There's also the up-side of not HAVING to be known by the professor to get a good grade. You can pick and choose which classes to have your name known in and which to engage with the material in other ways. My favorite class was with professor Gregor. He didn't know my name because it was a lecture size of 300 students on Revolutions of the 20th century. His expertise and passion for the subject matter was obvious and although harsh at times, he had the deep respect of the students from day one. Learned a lot, was definitely challenged, and had fun in his class. Class participation is definitely common. Some students feel their thoughts contribute to the trajectory of the course and are excited to participate. Students of berkeley are taught to think critically about everything so intellectual conversation is inevitable in and outside of the classroom. My classes are not curved so student competition is less obvious and necessary. The general feeling is that all of us student's are in it together. I'm a double major in political science and theater, dance, performance studies. Both of my majors are cutting edge in the field and i love the level of excellence within the faculty. There's always the option to spend time with professors outside of class but I personally choose not to. I would say that Berkeley's academic requirements are definitely reasonable. Education at berkeley is geared towards learning and building critical thinkers and leaders for the world. My departments are not interested in having its student's make the most money in the field. It's about pursuing whatever is of interest to the student.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

many student groups are popular but at varying levels of involvement. A student can be a member of one hundred student groups but what really matters is the activities which require a lot of time and commitment. which groups that a student is involved in largely constitutes their social circles for the most part. This is a partying town as much as it's a studying town. Parties occur on tuesdays, thursdays, fridays, saturdays, and sometimes sundays. studying occurs everyday except friday i would say. All last weekend I rehearsed with my dance company in san francisco.

Aileen
What is your overall opinion of this school?

the campus is huge, which is great for curling up under a shady tree with some friends or a book. the campus is big enough, i...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

the campus is huge, which is great for curling up under a shady tree with some friends or a book. the campus is big enough, it's just that it still isn't big enough for the student body. berkeley gets different reactions, depending where you go, but it almost always generates a kind of respect. i used to live in a co-op 3 blocks from school so i would usually go home between breaks and have friends stop by too if they were out of class, or just lay around on the grass together. salads at intermezzo and record browsing at amoeba were pretty standard. the biggest events i can remember associated with berkeley are when 1) the chateau got shut down, 2) a bunch of kids from cloyne got rushed to the hospital for eating too many weed cookies, and 3) when the identity of a former page (a berkeley student) who was molested by a closeted congressman was publicly revealed. it's easy to get sucked into thinking that the city revolves around the university, but there's lots else to berkeley and the rest of the east bay that makes it cozy and charming. there is a lot of school pride, shown in different ways by different kinds of people.

Describe the students at your school.

there's something for everyone at berkeley. most people are from within california, since it's a state school. most political demonstrations are done for shock value. larouche, nader, and the socialist party have their tables out pretty often. the backlash to political activism is larger than you'd think and a lot of people are apathetic.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

to an extent. all of these types of people do exist (admittedly in larger numbers than other places), but it can be a lot more normal than you think. sometimes, everyone is a little bit of all. and yes--berkeley is underfunded and overcrowded. academics are only competitive in the math/science realm.

What are the academics like at your school?

i made it a point to take a lot of smaller-sized seminar classes. i became pretty close with one of my film professors and one of my english professors, who endorsed a campus publication i had worked on. "intellectual conversations" were pretty common, but necessarily rooted from previously discussed class material. the reading lists were pretty dense, so most "fun" conversation usually had to do with music, or readings and films we had done/seen on the side. my least favorite class was introductory latin. and the r1b requirement. the pre-1800 requirement for the english major was also painful. the rest of my classes were pretty great. it's a gross generalization, but anyone studying math/science/engineering/business was mostly in it for the money or future job. but they're probably as equally annoying/competitive as those deadset on graduate school. these are the annoying people that feel the need to make comments in large lectures just to stand out to the professor, even if they don't really have anything to say. the for the most part, the academics at berkeley are pretty broad and traditional. it's not career-training, it's learning for learning's sake.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

they are all hippies, hipsters, politically extremists, potheads, vegans on bikes, or extremely nerdy and socially awkward science freaks. the academics are cutthroat and the campus is overcrowded. also, crazies and homeless people abound.

Josiah
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Wow, that's a lot of questions. UC Berkeley is a great school. If you can't get something great out of UC Berkeley, you'r...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Wow, that's a lot of questions. UC Berkeley is a great school. If you can't get something great out of UC Berkeley, you're probably not trying that hard. Its size and lack of coddling require a bit of effort to find good professors, do the activities you want, not get charged unjustly by campus accounts receivable, etc. Most people put in the effort. My biggest complaint with berkeley the bureaucracy, and the lack of funding for humanities (as opposed to science), but i've probably forgotten most of that stuff now.

Describe the students at your school.

Students are famous for wearing pajama pants to class. You can't really blame them, it's warm weather and who wants to wear clothes anyway.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

1 Yes 2 Yes 3 Not really. 4 Only my friend Lacey, most people either grow pot or wear hemp, but not both. 5 Many of them are, but not all. 6 True, but what do I know.

What are the academics like at your school?

I had some truly great classes at Berkeley. Especially when I research the course and professor in advance, through asking other students, etc. Professors know your name if you make an effort and go to their office hours. Otherwise they may not. The question is, Do you know your professor's name?

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Q. If you're awake at 2am on a Tuesday, what are you doing? A. browsing the internet. Q. What can you do on a Saturday night that doesn't involve drinking? A. go to san francisco and drink.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

1 UC Berkeley students are smart. 2 UC Berkeley students are uglier than other students. 3 UC Berkeley students hate stanford students. 4 UC Berkeley students are pot-growing hemp-wearing hippies. 5 UC Berkeley students are asian. 6 UC Berkeley is one of the top schools in the world.

Lisa
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I would say one of the best things about UC Berkeley is that there is always something to do, and some way to be involved. Be...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I would say one of the best things about UC Berkeley is that there is always something to do, and some way to be involved. Because the school is located in such a urban area, there is a plethora of things to see, do and experience. Plus the people here are great, so you're always in good company. Also, there are limitless opportunities to participate/get involves in causes, groups, research, clubs, etc. Whatever you want, you can find it here if you look hard enough. If i could change anything about Berkeley, it would probably be the size of some of the classes, as well as the difficulty one can have trying to get into the classes they want. Because it is a well-attended public university, classes have to be very large to accomodate everyone. This can lead to very anonymous, impersonal settings. Another problem I've faced (particularly because I'm a Psychology major) is trying to get into the classes I want. It seems like there is a never-ending priority list that I'm never at the top of, and waiting lists for classes can be up to 100 people long. It's just frustrating to not get the classes you want, or to not be sure of your schedule until the second or third week of class. I guess that what it boils down to is that in some ways, the university is too big. When I tell people I go to UC Berkeley most of the time they seem impressed. I get the "wow you must be smart" reaction a lot. I'm proud to tell people where I go to school. I spend most of my time on campus either near the Moffitt (the undergraduate library), Sproul, or in the Psychology building. Berkeley is definitely a "college town" although not all the residents seem to have caught on to that. In general, I dislike UC Berkeley Administration. They seem very disconnected from the students. I have had some excellent experiences with a few administration members, but for the most part they are slow to respond, and can even be quite rude. Bureaucracy just sucks in general. I would say there is a good amount of school pride at Berkeley. You definitely see people with their Berkeley gear all the time, and we tend to dislike our rival, Stanford. I think the amount of pride you see really depends what group of people you spend time with. One experience I'll always remember is living in the dorms my freshman year. It was a great experience, and I met some of my best friends there. Even though there wasn't a lot of privacy, it was cramped, and the food sucked, I think every undergraduate needs to experience the dorms. I loved it! The most frequent student complaints tend to revolve around the difficulty of classes and certain subjects. I common saying is "Berkeley: Where Your Best Just Isn't Good Enough," and I think in a lot of cases there's some truth to that. Another common complaint revolves around the type of students you encounter in classes. There's the kid you always gets up on his soapbox, and askes the professor a million questions. Everyone hates that kid, but he doesn't seem to understand that no one is that impressed by him. There's one in every class.

Describe the students at your school.

I would say that it would be difficult to feel out of place at UC Berkeley. Nearly every kind of person or group imaginable is represented. I have never seen as much diversity anywhere as at UC Berkeley. I've had experiences with many different groups on campus, and for the most part they're been positive. My only concern is that sometimes such groups can be rather exclusive, and not open to individuals who are different from them. Most students wear casual, comfortable, or fashionable clothes to class. It's pretty much what you'd expect college students to be wearing, with nothing too out of the ordinary. Most students at UC Berkeley seem to be from either Northern or Southern California. I would say middle to upper-middle class backgrounds are most common. Students are very politically aware and active. I would say there is a slight bias towards the left politically, but most people are probably moderate, and there are a fair amount of conservative individuals. Students don't really talk about how much they'll earn one day. At least not eh people I associate with.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Berkeley is pretty awesome. I highly recommend it.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

I think that many people believe that Asian groups on campus are rather exclusive, and isolate themselves from other, racially different individuals and groups. The standard "athletes are dumb" and "fraternity/sorority types are dumb/jerks/sluts/mean" is one that is also generally held (and that has gone unchalleneged in my mind). People tend to dislike hipsters because often times they come off as snooty, with an attitude that they are better/smarter/have better taste than most. Co-opers are where you see the "hippie" stereotype live on. Many of these stereotypes are somewhat accurate, but there are always counter-examples if you look hard enough.

What are the academics like at your school?

Most of the classes I've taken are so big that the Professors don't know my name. My favorite class currently is a sociology class on social psychology. The professor (Robb Willer) is great, and makes the class material super interesting and extremely accessible. My least favorite class is Research Design and Statistical Analysis, an upper-division requirement for my major. The material is really dry, and the professor is just completely inadequate. It's more or less an exercise in futility. Berkeley students ALWAYS have intellectual conversations outside of class. Students are competitive, but it really depends on what major you're in. The most unique class I've taken was a decal (and student facilitated class) on the band Radiohead. It's great that in addition to all the demanding classes I have, I can also break it up and earn units with something fun and interesting. The Psychology Major/Department is great. No complaints there. The professors are wonderful, the advisors are extremely nice and accessible, and the classes are always interesting. I don't spend time with professors after class. Office hours are often inconvenient for me, so I usually don't get to know professors one-on-one. I do know people who spend time with professors outside of class though. UC Berkeley's academic requirements seem very fair, but once again I think it depends on your major and interests. I would definitely say that, for the most part, UC Berkeley is geared toward learning for its own sake, and not toward getting a job. This is not to say that there aren't opportunites, like career centers and career fairs. It just seems that in general, what you learn in class is more theory and concept, rather than something that can be directly applied in a job.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The most popular groups and organizations on campus seem to be those that are either racially/ethincally affiliated, or those that are political. I was involved with a Sexual Health Education Group run out of the Berkeley Student Health Center. It was a great experience. We provided students with the opportunity to get their sexual health questions answered by means of appointments or drop-ins. We also did outreaches to interested groups. Stedents in the dorms do tend to leave their doors open when they're in their rooms and not studying. There is great interest in just about all activites UC Berkeley offers, including atheletics, guest speakers, and theater. The dating scene seems to be good. I met my former boyfriend in the dorms and dated him for over two years. Many of my friends are happy in their relationships. If I was awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I would be hanging out with my roommates probably. Every year there is a big bonfire before the Big Game against Stanford. Also, during finals week there is a "naked run" through the undergraduate library in which people literally run naked through the building, and people come to watch. People party every weekend (Thursday through Saturday usually). I don't think fraternities and sororities are very important, but I guess to some people they are. They're kinda lame in my opinion. Last weekend I hung out at the campus pub with friends, had a friend come over to hang out, and studied because I had two midterms this week. Next weekend should be more fun, because I'm done with midterms for now. On a Saturday night, you can hang out with friends, go to the movies, go to the city...you can pretty much do anything and have a fun time without drinking.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

I think that many people still believe that UC Berkeley is full of hippies or that it's still as radical as it once was. While there are probably more "free-spirited" people here than I have encountered anywhere else, overall Berkeley is pretty tame. I would say there is a good mix of differently minded individuals, and that nearly everyone could find a group here to identify with. In terms of UC Berkeley students, there are a lot of ethnic and racial stereotypes, as well as stereotypes concerning athletes, fraternity/sorority types, hipsters, and co-opers.

Allison
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Before I came to Berkeley, I didn't know who I was. I didn't even want to come to Cal. Four years later, I have been shaped b...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Before I came to Berkeley, I didn't know who I was. I didn't even want to come to Cal. Four years later, I have been shaped by this place like no other experience in my life. I don't know now if I am Berkeley, or Berkeley is me. Sounds cheesy, but as I am about to graduate I very much like I owe Cal for what it has made me. Berkeley, on a sunny day (which is usually all of spring semester), is the most glorious sight. Students are littered across the various grassy areas of campus, sitting in groups, as the bustle of classes beginning or ending flows around them. Sitting on campus gives this feeling of happiness and belonging I cannot describe. I have school pride because my experience here has been wonderful and exactly what I would want out of college. Yet, I have only been to one sporting event in four years. That part of campus life, which is very popular, doesn't really appeal to me. I love Berkeley because of the people I met here. This place attracted people who are smart, interesting, and unique.

Describe the students at your school.

This campus is incredibly diverse. It is not just Asian, as people like to say. Campus groups are very active and their tables line Upper Sproul, the main square that extends from Sather Gate. In fact, it is hard to get through that area on a regular school day without ten people handing you a flyer about their improv show or local protest. Looking around campus, one could quite literally see every single variation of dress - from hippie to hipster to sorority Barbie. The Berkeley campus is quite a stylish one, which is contrary to my image of the student body when I was applying to Cal. Birkenstocks are NOT the only footwear worn on campus. Bikes are very popular among the student body for transportation, but it is part of the culture of this town as well. Most students, despite the image they project, are middle class. Living in the dorms or the coops, however, is a very equalling experience and a student's financial background is not obvious. Students are smart. They just are. Even people that don't pontificate about French politics or labor practices in Bolivia have a knowledge of a wide range of subjects and could converse about almost anything. My brother came to visit me one weekend, and couldn't believe the conversations my friends and I were having at a party. Students here like to learn, or they wouldn't be here. When I have to do group projects for class, it isn't like high school where one person does all the work while the other people lay around. At Cal, people participate. I constantly feel dumb here. But in a good way. In a way that makes me want to be as smart and work as hard as other people in my classes.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

I didn't want to come to Berkeley when I got in. My parents made me because it was cheaper than an Ivy. And so I had no expectations when I moved into the dorms. This university and this town won me over. I loved every minute of my time here. I love it so much that when I graduate, I am staying in the Bay Area rather than move back home to Los Angeles, but this place is so great.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There are people who ascribe to these stereotypes at Berkeley, but they are not the common Berkeley student. Everybody is a nerd, obviously, if being a nerd means being uniquely interested in life. I think there is a little bit of everything at Berkeley. Whatever you are (even if you don't know who you are yet!) you will find your niche here.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Went I was applying to Berkeley, I thought all students would be hippies, liberals and nerds.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Many students here live in the dorms their first year. I am so glad that I did because I met my group of friends I have to this day. I've known people who hated the dorms because they found it overwhelming, because they hated their roommate, and hated the small spaces. I, however, got extremely close with MANY people as a result of the dorms. Living in the dorms a second year is usually for nerds...because who would want to pay for an overpriced room when you could find a cool place to live in the city of Berkeley? In my third year, I moved into the University Student Coops, which are AMAZING! They are houses varying in size - close to Berkeley's campus - that emulate the cooperative funky ethos of Berkeley. I lived in the largest coop, which was an old hotel converted into a coop. The housing in cheap, the people are fun. It is a place of belonging and a place to collectively make decisions about the house. Also, everybody knows coops have the best parties...Coops have events like house bbqs, casinos night, room to room parties, bounce houses, intramurral sports teams.

What are the academics like at your school?

I have had very close relationships with a handful of professors. The professors at Berkeley are always available, but you have to use them. They won't hold your hand. I found that out my freshman year. You can skip class and no one notices! It first this seemed cool, but then I realized that getting good grades was really easy if you read all your readings, went to class and discussion section. But the most important thing, in order get the benefit of the doubt by your graduate student instructors - who run discussion section and ultimately grade you - is to visit them in their office hours and show interest in the class. I have had so many great graduate student teachers. They are close to my age but know the material like the back of their hand - just more approachable then professors. When I was in the dorms, I realized how hard some people studied. I was never one of those people. I saw college as a holistic experience rather than simply an academic one. My only complaint about Berkeley's academic requirements are their breadth requirements. I came to Berkeley to study humanities. Yet, I had to complete a biological and physical science requirement. I know I came to get a liberal arts education, but NOBODY is benefitting by me taking science and math. I found it frustrating that I had to waste two classes worth of units on topics that I hate.

dwight
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Great school- it has every opportunity you can imagine but unless you actively pursue them you will not recieve shit. Student...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Great school- it has every opportunity you can imagine but unless you actively pursue them you will not recieve shit. Student body strikes me as largely sheeplike and boring, seems like the state has doen a good job pacifying the campus with the exception of the coop system which more or less singlehandedly manages to keep student protests going and the fire department scared out of their wits: a friend of mine revealed they refer to CZ as the "animal house" (this may have been after someone repeatedly shot 20 foot flames off the roof with a bathtub and gasoline). Biggest controversy is the tree people who I think have the right general direction but are in truth making a big deal out of a small issue and giving the whole of the environmental movement the image of shortsighted, selfish attention hounds while simultaneously alienating the campus. There is some school pride but it is mostly from Rallycom who from as far as I can tell are the Dumbest People On Earth. They have the idea that shouting a lot in groups and wearing all the same clothes makes them cool- well, I guess everyone likes to participate in the mob mentality sometimes. Experience I'll always remember. Huh. Well. I set myself on fire with a molotov cocktail once in the Foothills parking lot. It melted most of the flesh off my lower right leg and even after I waited three days to go to the Tang center and the flesh was rotting they were totally cool with it. Also, in Norton some girl fell down the garbage shoot which was funny if tragic as people from the eight floor didnt know and dumped yogurt all over her before we could haul her out with a rope. ONce we broke in the powerplant from teh steam tunnels and me and my one friend were let go, but our third friend is an engineering hippie and they help him because they thought he was homeless (needs to shave more or something). Oh, and getting arrested at the naked protest was very interesting. I would like to say that on numerous occasions the Berkeley University POlice has treated me with the utmost respect and dignity: this includes being handcuffed for breaking into BAM through the ceiling ventilation ducts, that protest, being trapped on the roof of that one building that starts with an H next to McCone by seven police cars, naked bicycle police chases . . . theyre pretty nice guys. Although this ne time they confiscated my rollie office chair because we had twenty of us doing races down past Pimentel and I refused to leave. Complaints: very hard and huge classes.

Describe the students at your school.

Frat- large, well dressed. Probably wealthy, all aroung good kids, can be shallow. Hipster- small, often bad haircuts and tight jeans. Don't look great by themselves so they make up for it by being witty and cultured. However, despite lots of wierd looking small people also has the REALLY REALLY beautiful people. Asian- studies, premed. Coop- dirty, friendly, probably more promiscuous sex than in the frats but hard to say. Lots of drugs besides booze. Not necesarilly presentation focused although stong alliance with hipsters.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Um, I always wanted to release Emus into Crossroads and we had Emus and a Van but we decided it wasnt fair to the Emus. Oh, also Honors Physics at Berkeley is the hardest most awesome set of classes ever.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

The University is actually fairly mainstream on the liberal to conservative spectrum. While both the city of Berkeley and the Cooperative Students are still very radical in their positions, the average student seems to care mostly about good grades and their social life more than any conceptual agenda. The most common groups encountered on Sproul (the main plaza) are ethnic or religiously based and serve to raise awareness while providing a networknig chassis for the students of that culture. For the next rumor, students at Berkeley generally really dont look as good or act as cool as UCLA or UCSB kids. Berkeley goggles, the permanent lowering of standards to allow an acceptable frequency of physical intimacy, is a common condition which Berkeley grads acquire. That said, your competition for the few attractive souls goes way, way down. Berkeley is the best public institution reputation wise, although unless you actively take charge of your education you may do better going to a smaller, less prestigious school where you will have more time to actually engage with your professors. I personally have had at least half of my classes from brilliant, inscrutable professors who essentially forced me to teach myself the subject from the book; however, the genius of your fellow students in promoting thought and competitive motivation should not be underestimated. Finally, Berkeley (at the very least int he sciences) gets most funding frm research rather than teaching.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

UC Berkeley is thought of as a chrysalis point and haven for liberal thought and activity. Also, most Berkeleyites are not as charismatic as their UCLA or UCSB counterparts. It is possibly the most prestigious public universtiy degree obtainable within the United States and the University is structured to discover more than edify.

What are the academics like at your school?

Like two profs ever knew my name. Most dont. E45 is great with Gronsky. Students study from all the fucking time to almost never and their grades oare often uncorrelated. I wish I could take my professors out to lunch like it seems is easier at other colleges . . . this might just be me slacking though. UC Berkeley is geared to job and learning for its own sake equally.

Van
What is your overall opinion of this school?

UC Berkeley has so many students, it is both a good thing and a bad thing. The key is finding a niche and growing from there!...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

UC Berkeley has so many students, it is both a good thing and a bad thing. The key is finding a niche and growing from there! Berkeley, as a city, is definitely a college town.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not at all. UC Berkeley's past may be liberal, but much has changed since then. Plenty of activities abound for the liberal, moderate, or conservative. UC Berkeley students may not care much about appearances, but even smart people can be sociable. As for the drug use or hot students (or lack thereof), one should come and make a decision for himself/herself.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

UC Berkeley is ultra liberal, and UC Berkeley students are either nerds, potheads, or ugly.

What are the academics like at your school?

Most classes are big, so don't expect all of your professors to know your name. Nonetheless, once you graduate from UC Berkeley, you are geared for success!

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