University of California-Berkeley Top Questions

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

Alicia

The thing I consider worst about the school I am attending is its size. Although it is a beautiful school and it attempts to accomodate for its students, the classes tend to be too compacted. Withing your freshman year you may find yourself in classes with firve-hundred students. I feel like this takes away from the learning because you can not interact with the professor and other students as well as in a small classroom setting.

Karen

It can be dangerous. We are perceived as a place full of hippies and druggies. I've seen some odd people around, shouting or doing strange things, and students often warn each other in our Facebook group about predators they encounter. We also have a whole park where homeless people live, and one of my classmates was robbed near there. One of my friends visited me and was terrified just walking around. This place isn't for delicate people, but it's manageable.

Cassandra

Probably the preasure how time-consuming the work and studying is.

Selena

The worst thing about my school is the cost of attendance. I come from a low income family living in a single parent household, so it is very challenging for me to afford to pay 30,000 a year for my schooling. I have talked to my peers, and most of them come from a similar background as mine, or middle class, and they also agree that the cost of attendence is expensive. As a low income student in order to attend such a prestigious school I need finacial aid, work study, and loans.

Hillary

lack of free tutoring

Jacob

It is relatively impersonal and very decentralized.

Keishia

The cost of living and the financial aid process. The cost of living on campus per month was approximatlely $700 per person and this rate did not include food. When food was added to the cost I paid close to $1000 at least for my undergraduate education. This added to my student debt of over $25,000. In addition, the financial aid process was stressful. I felt like financial aid advisors were ineffiecient in providing resources for students funds and instead directed me towards loans and financial packages that increased my debt.

Mireille

Though there are many good aspects of Berkeley, it can be hard for a student who commutes and works while attending school. They are known to purposley make it difficult for students who do, like me. I cannot afford to live in the area so I commute about an hour and a half each way and I work to support myself, while going full time and participating in an unpaid Research project with one of the faculty. It is hard to find classes at a reasonable hour and only go 2-3 days a week.

Benjamin

The housing is extremely expensive. You can pick from the Units, Clark Kerr, Bowles (all-male), Stern (all-female), or Foothill. Since I'm an bioengineering major, I chose Foothill - it's closest to all the buildings affiliated with engineering. The Units are the cheapest option available. Clark Kerr probably has the best living accomodations. Singles are reserved for the disabled and upperclassmen. I'd recommend going off-campus after freshman year if you can find someone to split rent with.

Gabriella

The only bad thing about my school is that there is too much to do! Students can get overinvolved and have time-management issues if they aren't careful!

Carling

The worst thing is probably the large class sizes for many of the required lower division classes for popular majors such as biology and business. Most of these have over 500 students in one class. There is no way around it.

Vikas

There worst thing about my school is the rising tuition costs. Many people at this school are middle class and if the tuition fee keeps rising it will be hard to pay off loans and send kids to college.

Krista

The sheer amount of opportunities at UC Berkeley can be overwhelming and hard to navigate. There is always the possibility to take on too much, particularly at a campus where there is so much available to you to do. However, if you prioritize and stay organized, you can accomplish what you want and still experience a lot. Personally, I was worried that with such large lectures I wouldn't get enough personal attention to learn well. However, large lectures are broken down into smaller discussions that provide the perfect opportunity to review anything that was unclear in lecture.

Benny

As it was built in the late 1800s, the campus is old and the city around it has homeless people asking for money. Sometimes, they like to wander into the campus, specifically Sproul Plaza. Cal also has a reputation for being a 'liberal' school, as most of the students hold a liberal view.

iman

The classroom sizes were often too big which meant that students did not recieve a lot of individual attention.

Nick

The school is a public university, and as such it is susceptible to unpredictable funding fluctuations as a result of State decisions. Governor Brown is currently proposing to cut $500 million from the entire UC system. To make up for these costs, student fees have gone up over 30% in the past two years. I expect the cost of education at UC Berkeley, while relatively low compared to the rest of the country's private school costs, to skyrocket over the next 2 years. Be prepared for a rising sticker price.

Sunny

I consider the clustering of students based on race the worst part of my school, because it is known to be diverse, but because students tend to hangout with people of the same race, I feel that the student body segregates itself, especially with all the organizations based on ethnicity.

Patricia

UC Berkeley has a reputation of world class professors, nobel prize winners as staff members, and top ranked students around the country. Unfortunately, many of its courses are over-populated and students dont have the opportunity ti take the class they desire ot need. If Berkeley had more courses, it would benefit both the school and the students.

Michelle

The fact that Cal is such a large school and with the budget cuts means that there is less room in classes that you need. So sometimes it is frustrating when registering for classes when the wait-list is long or already full. Especially when you need classes for requirements, the outdated and frustrating registration process can leave you feeling ignored in a sea of students. Having said that, with perseverance and flexibility, you can get in the classes you need for the most time.

Tina

The administration can seem like bureaucratic mess sometimes. Because it is a public university, UC Berkeley often has its classes run out of space. Waitlists can get really unnerving, and it's difficult to find administrators to give your problems one to one attention.

Caroline

The campus is very large with a large student body and can be pretty impersonal and hard to meet people. It is difficult to make friends in class or get to know your professors really well unless you are super motivated and make an effort. The class sizes are usually pretty big and it's easy to get lost in the crowd.

Brian

I believe the worst thing about my school is also the best thing, which is that it is very difficult. Being ranked so highly it must remain competitive and it sure accomplishes this.

Valeria

I honestly cannot see anything bad about Berkeley, at first I thought it would be the hobos that live near the southern part of campus, but they are extremely friendly, interesting and wish the students luck in their exams.

Yvonne

The single worst thing about UC-Berkeley is the intense competition. Everywhere one turns one finds someone racing to the top. Although striving for the best is not bad, it can certainly be a problem when twenty five thousand other people want the same thing. The competition becomes tough and it is nearly impossible to relax in one’s academics because of the impending fear of failure. If there is one thing Cal students need to learn, it is to be content with what they have.

Alex

The worst thing about my school would have to be the immense competition. During my visit to Berkeley, I learned about weeder classes that weed out the weak students. These classes are a deterent to the progress of a student. Yet at the same time. the competition also makes people study and compete for their grades. Therefore, although there is a negative aspect of immense competition, there is a positive aspect as well.

Shantell

Just the fact that so many things are focused around the athletes, some of whom are not good people and yet they get away with things. I sorta wish it was an equal playing field. Also I wish there was more availability to talk to teachers outside of classes, I've found that some of them give great advice in matters outside of school as well.

May

I personally really like UC Berkeley's teachers, campus, classmates and more but i n the beginning, i didn't like sharing a restroom/shower with other guys. At first it was really awkward because i wasn't used to the environment, but as you get to know your floormates and becomes friends, then it really isn't such a big deal. To avoid this problem, there are also other dorms that only have single sex floors so there wouldn't be an issue with sharing the restroom/shower with the opposite gender.

Wen

My school was large and impersonal. A person who does not belong to a specific group or organization can easily feel lost and alone. When these moments arise, there is very little breathing for a student to take time to pull herself together because classes move quickly and workload can pile up. Classroom competition in certain majors and fields can be especially disheartening and exacerbate this process. In addition, very little assistance is provided to students when it comes time to search for jobs or applying for higher degrees. Students are mostly left to fend on their own.

Isabel

I have been frustrated with some of the university requirements as they require me to pay for classes that keep me from studying what I really want to study. Also due to its size, it can be difficult to actually talk to someone who can help you plan out your college career, plan for your major etc. The worst thing about my school though would have to be its increasing price tag, and decreasing public availability.

Maricela

The worst thing about Berkeley is that it is very difficult to find any club that isn?t race-oriented. There are Asian clubs, Latino clubs, White clubs, but mixed-race clubs are rarely seen. This happens because Berkeley can be a large place, and people are trying to find where they fit best. Instead of going out and exploring, people choose what is easiest, and safest, and stick to their ?own.? People choose clubs with a racial majority similar to their own because of fear of the unknown. We only unite during protests.

Christindaravy

At first I thought dirty and broken bathroom stalls and mysterious looking cafeteria food were evenly the worst things about my school, until I thought about the homeless people throughout the school's neighborhood. Personally, homeless people make me feel useless and uncomfortable. There were times where I was scared to walk alone because every corner there is a homeless person begging for food or fighting another homeless for food. Other times, I felt so useless and guilty because there were homeless teens or young adults my age.

Heather

The sheer size of the school makes everything somewhat of a battle: getting into good /popular classes, parking, getting to know your professors, etc.

Jiayi

The work load is a lot. Hard to get good grade. A lot of homeless people around.

Sasha

The bureacracy, the random clashes with narrow minded individuals or groups, and the appropriation of liberal images and aspects of revolutionary movements that were opposed by the university initially being co-opted as propaganda decades later to promote Berkeley as a "liberal" place.

Chittima

Where it is . Because I am studying in college of management , it is not in the city , so I would like to study where I could have a job and do something interest.

Bee

nothing. ilove my school

Jennifer

It's easy to get lost in the crowds of students. Don't worry about standing out, just make a connection with as many of your professors and TA's as you can. Also, don't think that whatever you study in college will determine how the rest of your life works out because believe me, people that are actually working at whatever they got their 4-year in are few and far between! Use college to develop your analytical skills and explore your options.

seamus

All the hills I have to walk up to get to classes.

Benjamin

Currently, the worst thing about UC Berkeley is the current financial state in which the president is enacting budget cuts and increased tuition. The great amount of research, for which Cal is renowned, may be in jeopardy, and the quality of our education is also in peril. As zealous students, we believe that there are better ways to allocate funds and manage the budget in order to improve our experience, even in the current economic crisis.

Alejandra

A lot of people are hypocritical in their supposed open-mindedness; people have strong opinions.

Keyvan

The worst thing about the school is the competitive nature of the grading. What happens is that there are students who all their lives have been the best and all of the sudden get bad grades and this destroys them as a person. This makes them lose hope and lots of their previous dreams like becoming a doctor for instance. However, if you suceed its great.

Tara

I had a difficult time with sports. I have a very high GPA and struggled with what I perceived to be falling behind normal students in that I was not able to take extra courses or engage in activities having to do with my major. This was especially difficult with an unsupportive head coach.

Vivian

Berkeley is supposed to be such a great school, yet much of the student population is disappointingly unmotivated/not so great. Also, lower division premed classes can be really tough; sometimes test material is extra hard, beyond the scope of the class, just to weed some people out.

Kimberly

Too many students are depressed and will party to run away.

robert

It is pretty easy to feel alone at such a large school.

Rachel

The worst thing about UC Berkeley is that there is little guidance for students. Incoming students are largely left to choose courses themselves, and it can get confusing. While there are counseling services available for new students, there is more help for students who have already declared their majors of study. However, while that is helpful, it would be more constructive to have counselors more available to new students who are unsure of what they would like to study.

Namquyen

UC Berkeley is a bohemian sanctuary that lets you come out of your shell and explore a multitude of different academic studies and meet a variety of other students from varying backgrounds.

Andrea

The tuition and the difficulty of finding nice, affordable off-campus housing. How sometimes you might not get the classes you want to sign for.

Kate

The only downfall to Berkeley is the size. As an undergraduate, it can become overwhelming how many other students are present in the lecture hall. But because UC Berkeley students are determined to achieve a valuable education, they should have enough spirit and dedication to personally see professors at office hours. Lectures can become daunting for the new student, but this is also part of the beauty of Berkeley because you are surrounded by so many other brillant and interesting students. The administration can also pose a problem and create stress.

Zoe

It can be really hard to get the classes you want. Study areas, such as the library, may get crowded and it can be really hard to find seats during exam weeks. What also bothers me is that a lot of students don't really care about learning the material--they only care about getting good grades.