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University of California-Berkeley

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What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

The most frustrating thing about Berkeley is also the most rewarding aspect. It is very "sink or swim," with hardly any guidance for incoming freshmen in regards to majors, classes, social life, health care, and the community. This can (and often does) lead to an adjustment period the first year and can cause some academic difficulties and depression. There should be a stronger support network with upper classmen, advisors, or professors being more involved. However, if you do learn to make it here on your own, there is a strong sense of accomplishment and pride.

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The most frustrating thing about Cal is the difficulty getting into classes. I am currently on the waitlist for over half of my classes, and will not find out until possibly the fifth week of instruction whether or not I will get in. I went to try to get into a class with an enrollment maximum of 15, and over 200 students showed up. The fifteen students will be chosen based on a lottery system. Cal also employs the typical first come, first served method with preferance given to upperclassmen. Either way, the uncertainty it is extremely frustrating.

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The one thing I found to be most frustrating at UC Berkeley was the Veterans Affairs Department. While I attended Berkeley I did not receive VA scholarship counseling or assistance. The VA told me I did not qualify for military scholarships and they couldn't help me. So I had to search for scholarships and contact my VA to get them to sign off on paperwork. I was successfully awarded two scholarships through my own efforts. Sadly enough, the VA was not there to help me during my college experience and for that I discredit their efficiency and ethics.

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When attending such a large and competitive university, it is easy to get lost in your thoughts, dreams, motives, etc,. This in turn often results in great confusion. Sometimes this confusion is beneficial, as one is able to truly discover their passions. At other times it is the complete opposite outcome; one can easily become engulfed in competition that he/she loses sight of what it is they love. It becomes more a competition of how much better you can look than your peers, versus a coming together of great minds to solve the worlds problems.

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The most frustrating thing about my school is that since there are so many students (which I find is a good point!), the class enrollment system, called TeleBears, tends to freeze up and malfunction during class enrollment periods. Also, it is difficult to get all the classes you want, in the schedule that you want, because there are hundreds of students vying for the same spot in that particular class. With some planning and creation of backup schedules, you can get over this obstacle though, and spend TeleBears period in relative sanity!

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As an over-zealous and energetic freshman in Berkeley, my first real dilemma was having way too much to do and not enough time. At Berkeley, you will find millions of options flying your way. And if you're anything like me, you'd want hold on to all of them. This is not possible and will negatively impact your priorities. Instead, what your should do is decide what's most important to you and schedule the exploration and fun after these priorities. Work hard, play hard. And trust me when I say this, Berkeley is never short on play.

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Getting food. The dining hall nearest my dorm (which is the main dining hall for over 1000 students) is not open three out of seven days of the week. Plus, it opens at 10:30am every day, making breakfast options limited. It's a pain trekking over to another dining hall-- the closest being several blocks away-- and the little school-run cafes nearby only offer things like coffee and chips. While there are a lot of great restaurants near campus, they cost money, and my meal plan here only covers dining halls and campus cafes.

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Possibly the most frustrating thing about my school is the competition. When you put a group of people who are used to being the best, you know the top of the class, valedictorian students, together it is hard for some students to ajust and understand that they are no longer going to necessarily be at the top of the class anymore. From what I have seen, it makes the students way more competitive and less likely to help eachother. I think this is sad because sometimes the best way to succeed is to ask for help.

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Because UC Berkeley is a competitive school, classes become both challenging and intimidating. As a student, it makes it difficult at times to keep your mind in the right place and focus on only you and your schoolwork. For me, the most frustrating thing is feeling as if I am no good and I do not deserve to be in a great school like this. The name of the school itself seems to have high expectations and living up to those expectations makes it difficult because of the type of students that you work with.

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There isn't much that I dislike about my school. Having to pay for school is, and always will be difficult for most people. I also find the weather of this area frustrating, because I love being in the sun, but that has nothing to do with my education. The most frusting thing about my school might be the fact that I am majoring in music, and that is not Berkeley's strong suit. But I love that my school is supplying me with a very well rounded education. That's the way Berkeley does it.

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