Berkeley is known for its smart, free-spirited, strong-willed student population. Berkeley is known for its student protests, co-ops, and general hippie atmosphere. Personally, I think this is too much of a generalization. The thing about Berkeley is that it allows each student to decide how to define themselves. And yes, some of them choose to be hippies. Perhaps it is because of the large student body, but I feel that Berkeley allows for people to self-actualize. There are opportunities for every possible interest in the form of classes, clubs, organiztions, and teams. Classes are competitive, meaning students have to work their butt off just to get a B. I always say, "B for Berkeley." However, tough classes aside, Berkeley is a center of activity. You will never be bored.
Berkeley has, in the eyes of most, retained its image from the Free Speech Movement of the 60s as a hotbed of political dissent and extreme social liberalism, populated by those who define themselves by in what manner they defy the norm. Balancing out these perceived eccentricities, however, is a respect for the academic excellence that Berkeley, as the best public school in the nation and the second (or fourth, depending on who you ask) best school in the world, is said to have. Berkeley students are either very smart or very crazy-- or both.
I come from a more conservative area, and a lot of people I know think Berkeley students are a bunch of pot-smoking, uber-liberals. Several people from my hometown warned me "not to get to crazy" when they found out I was going to Cal. As for me, I was afriad that the classes would be really difficult and all the students would be really smart. I was a little intimidated by the fact that UC Berkeley is basically the top-ranked public university in the nation.
It's difficult to pinpoint stereotypes of UC Berkeley students because the school is so huge - you are bound to encounter many kinds of people, most of whom won't fit into some mold of what you might expect to see in Berkeley. I loved meeting new people every year - whether it was through courses, extracurriculars, or other friends. I don't think it is even makes sense for me to go into stereotypes of students because I don't really think they exist.
Before I went to Cal, I heard that it was filled with studious, intellectual, nerdy grunge kids. Even the frat boy and sorority girls weren't supposed to escape this stereotype; although, in their case, studious was supposed to connote ugliness. Berkeley goggles - the infamous invisible accessory that any Berkeley student must wear in order to preserve their sexual desire.
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.
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."
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.
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.
People are constantly telling me that I go to "that liberal school with all the hippies," and I can't stand this ignorant comment. Occasionally, I also hear that my school is "full of Asians, just like every other UC" or that "all the students at Berkeley are really smart."