University of California-Berkeley Top Questions

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

John

Too many smart kids, it is hard to get a good GPA

Jenn

When I come across a difficult course and have no idea how to pass the class, I would feel hopeless and alone. I would feel like a failure and would lose the determination to keep going. I would be afraid of what would happen if I do not persevere. It was when I actually kept fighting through it and did everything I could with the best of my ability that I passed those courses. Since then, I've felt like I can take on any tough courses because I know now what I need to do.

Keishia

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.

Sachi

It was hard for me, as a transfer student, to make relationships with professors. I did eventually get a Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship, but I had to apply in multiple rounds. The first time, I didn't get one. I think I could have done a better job connecting with my professors, maybe going to their office hours, but so many of them continually give the vibe of being too busy for undergrads. I always felt like an email or a meeting with a professor was a bother to them.

Maria

The fees and increases in fees are the most fustrating because you never know when they are going to raise the fees and if you will be able to afford it the next school year. Aside from that, it is an amazing school and I believe that nobody should let money keep them from getting an education especially at Berkeley.

Hiromi

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!

Veronica

Large lectures prevented Professors from knowing each student.

Anthony

I dont even need 100 words for this one. Two words Finacial aid. The amout of red tape is tremondous. But it all works out.

Alice

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.

Ariane

affirmative action erodes the quality of our education.

Jennifer

The most frustrating thing would be not getting the grades you want sometimes because the professors really want to challenge the students by giving difficult tests.

Kirsten

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.

Amberly

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.

Emily

Probably how big it is. I was in a lecture of 500 students and the professor only had 1 office hour a week and no email or phone number. It's also a long process when you go to the advisors, because they don't know who you are and departments don't communicate.

Matthew

Berkeley is now one of the leading science and research institutions in the world, but this has come at a price, as there are increasingly few incentives to study the humanities and social sciences (the budget for these departments are perpetually receiving cuts), and students seem to be increasingly divided on the basis of what they study and (more disturbingly) where they come from.

Patrick

There's an insane amount of competition at Berkeley. Many times this causes one to believe they're not as worthy as others to be a part of the Berkeley community, but I've learned it's just a matter of knowing you belong here, and that you're here for a reason!

Ki

Diverse student population, very high quality of education, and vibrant environment

Joseph

It is probably really hard to get to know a professor because there are a lot of students.

Ashley

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.

Everto

The most frustrating thing about this school is the + and - grading system which can hurt your GPA since an A- counts a like a 3.87 or something like that.

Daniel

budget cuts

Kaneca

The most frustrating thing about my school is that the school tries to make the school seem diverse, even though in reality its not. There are flags and a wall with pictures of UC Berkeley students, and those flags and wall are filled with minority students. By looking at these things outsiders would think my school is really diverse, when in actuality African-Americans make up about 3% of the student population and I stand out.

Chloe

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.

Chittima

Far away from city.

Jenna

The class sizes are really big and it is easy to get lost in the shuffle and not be able to figure out all activities that are happening.

kristina

I wish I had more time so I could take more classes. The quarter system would probably be nicer.

Haein

The most frustrting thing about UCB is that some classes are only offered in fall semester and not spring semester.

Chase

It's hard to find a lot of social events that aren't frat parties.

Dustin

The most frustrating thing about the school is being able to take all the classes you want to while you're here.

Vivian

There are too many people and not enough money. That means it's difficult to sign up for classes, difficult to get advising, and facilities for extracurricular activities aren't as good/difficult to reserve.

Kimberly

It is difficult sometimes to deal with the admissions office and departmental requirements with all the requirements, and these bureaucracies are not friendly to study abroad students as many things are necessary to complete "in person", regardless of the circumstances.

Jonathan

The red tape.

Marik

the new school for social research has horrible funding, and is in new york, which is too expensive

Anna

The professors are difficult to reach outside of class.

Blake

Too many liberals, terrible style of dress, lack of social etiquette.

Meagan

That in order to be really actually social and have friends, it has to be through the living situation or clubs, people in classes aren't interested in being your friend

Brenda

balancing school courseload, extracirrculars, a job, and a boyfriend.

Emily

it is sometimes difficult to get into classes you want

Claire

The workload can be frustrating.

Taylor

i feel like people are here for academics first and foremost. i feel like people are less loyal to their friends and more loyal to their schoolwork. school spirit is cool, but the hour after a football game, its back to schoolwork for a lot of people. i haven't found a lot of people like myself that would much rather chill than do homework - people care too much about school, if thats possible

Ryan

School does not care much about how well students do.

Rachael

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.

Tiffany

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.

Brittney

The on campus internet access can be iffy. Also it is a LOT of work. There is so much information crammed into each class that a lot of studying is mandatory. Also on Saturdays when there's homegames, Berkeley is flooded and there is no parking.

Patrick

The coursework is more challenging than that of comparable universities, but this truth is not recognized.

Olivia

The competitive nature, of the school makes it really stressful

Alan

Feeling as if I made the right choice in my major.

Derek

Getting into the classes you want. The class sizes are big, but they fill up very fast so plan out what you want and also backups that you want to take. Don't always think you'll get the professor you want.

Claudia

Funding for certain departments. Classes and majors are often impacted and cannot take the course/major of your choice. The buildings are dirty.

Lily

the competition and academic rigor. Also, being such a big school, you individually have to go and seek out help if you need it instead of having faculty checking in with you to see how you're doing.

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