University of California-Berkeley Top Questions

What is the stereotype of students at your school?


we're all asian. and nerds. or at least closet nerds.


Inevitably, people over 30 say, "Hey, Berzerkeley! So you're voting for Nader?" when I say I went to UC Berkeley. People of all ages think that campus is overrun with dirty hippies with long hair, fleas, and a fervent desire for the Man to shed blood.


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.


Some stereotypes are that Berkeley is an extremely liberal place where everyone is very politically active.


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.


Majority are Asian and super competitive.


1) Crazy driven Asian pre-meds. 2) Crazy hippies.


Within the UC Berkeley community, there seems to be a two way stereotype -- that berkeley students who are science/engineering are intense, overzealous and antisocial, and that humanities majors tend to be apathetic slackers who just want to party. At other colleges I've visited I've definitely picked up on the feeling that berkeley students are "too good" for other schools, and not that smart anyway, though they believe they are. In the larger world, Berkeley students are seen as intelligent, but super-liberal and football oriented. I can't think of many emails from my relatives in Iowa that didn't include several lines about how hurt I must have been at the loss of the Golden Bears to some other team.


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.