University of California-Berkeley Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?


At my high school, students of similar academic ability tended to be in similar classes each year. This meant that during the college application process — beginning with the PSATs sophomore year until senior year when college acceptance letters were mailed — the students in my classes constantly talked about their talents, their scores, and their ambitions. “How did you do on your SATs? What colleges are you applying to?” were questions students nosily asked each other. The hoopla made me feel inadequate. I compared myself to my current and future peers when I should have been recognizing where my own intelligence lay. This even influenced my college application process; I remember distinctly deciding not to apply to certain colleges because I did not think I was smart enough compared to others applying to those schools. I would tell my high school self how little the petty comparisons matter when you get to college, and that there are many forms of intelligence. I would tell myself not to worry that I would not be smart enough, because what matters is figuring out where your talents are and pursuing them. College gives you the freedom to do that — without the unnecessary competition.


Dear High School Self:FIrst of all, I know you always wanted to go to California, but heads up, NorCal isn't the sunny California you thought. SF is mostly windy and rainy. You'll never have to pay for A/C, but you won't get the warm beaches and palm trees that you expected.More importantly, don't let the public school status fool you. They cost as much as private schools for out-state's. Yes they told you you can earn your Californian residence, but they will make it as hard as possible for you. You will spend the first two years working 2~3 jobs every semester to establish that "financial independence"; yes you will earn the nearly-impossible residence in the end, but it will have impact on your grade, and you will spend the next two years of college working very hard to pull up that GPA. So please, consider loans, perhaps even consider somewhere else. Because in the future you will always wonder, is the financial benefit really worth those precious years of youth that you'll never get back? Last but not least, that prom date of yours - ask him out!


Dear Carling, This is the improved you from the future. Sorry, it’s not a letter of acceptance to Hogwarts. I am here to bring you a glimpse of college life as I lived it. First of all, it will seem like all of your classmates are smarter than you. All the classes you choose (curse you) will require tremendous amounts of effort and dedication; physics class is especially evil. Your fear of writing and public speaking will torture you more than ever. However, some of your classmates and study buddies become your best friends. You will find that succeeding with others is far more satisfying than doing so alone. The amount of effort you put into learning is proportional to your appreciation of the topic. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. You will also begin to seek opportunities to overcome your fears. Writing and speaking never cease to scare you, but you still enjoy them. In college, seek to emerge with a better knowledge of yourself, a desire to improve the lives of others, and a greater degree of curiosity than before. Lastly, if nothing else, get seven hours of sleep every night and use sunscreen every day. Best, Carling


Explore before starting freshman year. Start thinking about what interests you, and what career options are affiliated with those interests. Start examining things that are important to you more than just a school name and location, such as do you like what the school has to offer, and do you feel like you could really grow there.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior then I would have told myself to cherish going to high school instead of looking forward to getting out of it. I really regret not appreciating my small school enviornment and the simplicity of high school and the people and friends that I was so close to and also being able to come back home after school. Another thing I would have told my senior self was to not worry about my class ranking or gpa or SAT scores as much as I did because in the end nobody in college cares about what gpa or SAT score you had or what rank you were in High school.


College is not just an opportunity for you to escape the clutches of your parents. It is not a place where you can go wild and act irresponsibly. It is nothing like Hollywood's portrayal of college, where students are able to effortlessly balance binge drinking with their academic studies. College is a valuable opportunity that many young people are not able to experience. It is a luxury to be able to attend college. Your parents are making huge sacrifices for you to attend UC Berkeley, so you need to make the most of it. Do not base your college experience on going to huge frat parties, getting drunk, and chasing the sorority girls. Focus on your school work. You are attending a college with some of the most leading experts in their respective academic fields. Take advantage of it! This is a place where so many opportunities are available to you. Don't waste them by following everyone else in a pathetic attempt to live out the stereotypical college fantasy life. You have so much potential, but you must put forth the effort to live up to that potential.


I think the most important thing to remember is to really think about what you want to do on campus. In hindsight, I regret being extremely lazy my first two years. It is very important to get into student organizations (even if it is a fraternity or sorority), and stay in them, so that you can get an internship over the summers, and eventually arrive at a nice job. Berkeley has the resources to get you where you want to be, but the question resides in your dedication to your cause.


Always be open to changes and learn how to interact with different types of people. Start studying earlier and go to office hours as often as you get time. Go to social events because you will meet many people there who could become some of your closest friends. Try to visit home often and set aside time for research and volunteering. Have fun doing what you wouldn't normally do but nothing too dangerous.


To be completely honest, I'm very happy with where I have come in the past year. I would not tell my high school senior self to change much about how I went through the college application process. I finished all of my essays during the summer before senior year, and as soon as the year started, I asked teachers to read over my essays! I took part in various activities as a high school senior while juggling application and scholarship deadlines. I even applied for and received one of Cal's top scholarships, the Cal Alumni Leadership Award. I would tell my high school senior self to never give up, and to believe that the efforts I put in during those few months at the beginning of senior year will eventually pay off in the end. Also, I would tell my senior year self to enjoy senior year while it lasts, and make lots of friends, whether it may be with students from other schools nearby, teachers, younger students through tutoring, or underclassmen in high school; since when you visit your hometown again, it feels really great to catch up with so many familiar faces!


“Lesson 1: Know yourself. In high school, I was too worried about fitting in and not embracing myself as a whole. This affected my ability to learn and grow as an independent woman. This relates to Lesson 2: Know your passions. Once you understand what you value, you’ll be able to focus your energy on what is most important and you’ll have the confidence to voice your opinion. You will have many passions, and you will need to understand their hierarchy so that you do not risk overworking yourself. Hence, Lesson 3: Know your priorities. In college, you will have many opportunities, both academic and social. It is your duty to make sure that you are able to balance both. Learning this early in life will be useful because different stages in your life will always require a good balance. Lastly, Lesson 4: Have fun. While you will always be an overachiever, don’t let your future ambitions keep you from enjoying and fully experiencing the present moment. This is important in order to appreciate the hard work you are doing.” These are some of the things I would tell my high school senior self.


Time management is essential to your success at this school. There are so many opportunities to do nearly any type of activity imaginable. Getting involved in too much may be the cause of your academic demise, Jayson. As a high school senior, you are already very busy with juggling your AP classes, martial arts training, working at the martial arts studio, serving as president of several clubs on campus, and being an active member of the associated student body (ASB). I am worried that you will attempt to become too involved and, as a result, your grades will suffer. UC Berkeley will not be nearly as easy as San Dimas High was for you. Join a couple clubs, but not until you realize the appropriate amount of time to allocate to your studies, which is the most important part of college. Be careful with partying as well, because Berkeley's social scene is very active and enjoyable, which will probably attract your attention. Joining clubs and attending parties is completely acceptable in moderation, but the key word is moderation. You have enough self motivation and positive work ethic, so I know that you will do what's best for you.


If I could, I would advise my high school self to be bold and explore more classes. To be fair, my school was quite small and didn't offer (at the time I attended) psychology, music theory, or many of my other interests. But I could have taken art or film -- neither of which I would necessarily excelled in, but both of which would have sated certain desires (or created new paths for me) before I entered college and had to count units sparingly. Now, I find myself wishing I could major in three different things, pick up two minors and still have room for "electives" -- obviously impossible! At the same time, I'd tell myself to learn time management habits early on! Contrary to popular belief, that means NOT multitasking, but immersing yourself in one activity for all the time it takes -- and that's not just studying. I'd remind myself to eat healthily and always outdoors (it's psychological!), get to bed at a reasonable hour, and always be fully present in what I'm doing at that moment. That's the best way to succeed, excel, and enjoy.


Ok, first I’m you from the future. Yes I know you get bit thinner, and taller, and you develop a workable sense of style: you are welcome. Let me tell you a few things. First, you have to get over the feeling that you are the smartest person in the room, you aren’t, you’ll learn that your first day at of school, but don’t worry, by the end of your first year you will have learned to deal with it. Secondly, The most important thing in college isn’t college at all. It’s about the people you meet, and the skills you learn outside of class. You will find that a lunch you have at a Vietnamese restaurant is more important than a paper you will write on Kant’s transcendental idealism. One last thing, keep a close eye on your roommate, you are going to fall in love with him. Yes, I said him (don't act so surprised). I won’t tell you exactly how that happens, because quite frankly, I still don’t know the ending to that beautiful story quite just yet. Good luck, Godspeed oh and shave that pathetic moustache.


Follow Your Dreams .Following your dreams is the most important ingredient in life. This is what will make you happy. If you find that your dream isn't what you thought it would be, always know that you can change paths. You don't have to be afraid of changing your mind. You will find many passions in life. You can always follow more than one dream to see where it leads. The worst part about getting older is realizing that you didn't realize your dreams. Follow Your Heart,Be Careful Of Your Choices,and do whatever you want while you are young.


I would tell myself to apply for more scholarships because that would've mad my life much easier had I been awarded some. I would also tell myself to take classes all year long in college so I would be able to graduate sooner. The most important thing I would tell myself would be to start looking into internships and other opportunities to get a head start in my choosen career field.


I was not the best student in high school nor the worst. If I did not feel like studying for a test then I would not and take a failing grade. Back then I was very apathetic about school and grades. If I could talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to keep trying and never give up. Although studying is hard, that I should try to make the best grades possible. In high school, I had a very abusive boyfriend that would tell me that I would never "make anything of myself" so I would tell my high school self to dump him because I will achieve my dreams in the future. In high school I wanted to become a nurse in the future and now, presently I am 27 years old, I will be going to nursing school (Master's program) for the 2011/2012 school year. Therefore, I want my high school self to know to never stop reaching for the stars and to continue to dream no matter what anyone says to you.


Kid – I know you have been waiting to get out of high school, thinking college is the right place for you, and you are right about that. You will have plentiful opportunities to challenge yourself and test the waters of an adult life, at least if adult life were funded by your parents. You will have more freedom in academic choices, friendship, and family relations. However, you should also realize that those same arenas are ones in which you will undoubtedly have to learn from your mistakes. When choosing classes for the upcoming semester, consider your interests in addition to the requirements you need to fulfill. Sometimes those categories may conflict. Know that you are bound to perform better, and even enjoy studying, when classes provoke your thinking. Remember to balance schoolwork with extracurricular activities. You would be surprised how rewarding – both professionally and socially – joining a student organization or community group can be. Being away from your family will be easier if you involve yourself and make time to make friends. Pictures, email, and Skype help, too. Lastly, resist the temptation to do too much – you might be doing so at the expense of much needed rest and relaxation.


I think the first bit of advice I would give to myself back in high school would have been to really put in the effort to get involved, especially in that first semester. I don't necessarily mean join every club/fraternity/advocacy group that hands you a flier, but really make an effort to go out and meet new people and experience what your school/city/dorm has to offer. For me, being an extrovert takes a lot of energy, but I went to school far from home and I made friends a lot faster than some of my high school friends who would go home every weekend. Even the most outgoing people can have problems if they don't give themselves (and others) time to really get to know them, and having that group of people to interact with was extremely important when the homesickness hit. I'm sure that without those new friends, I wouldn't have been as successful academically that first semester out. Also, it was a great having that support group there when I needed to complain or cry or just be around people who liked having me there.


Dear high school senior me, Learn to trust yourself more. You are more than capable of doing anything you set your mind to. You've proved it countless times, and you will continue to do so in college. Don't worry that you are undecided; you will soon discover exactly what you want to study. Do what makes you happy. Live on your own terms. Remember the lessons you learned from your parents and from your mistakes. Continue to grow and be independent, but don't be afraid to ask for help. Love, A slightly more experienced you.


For certain, I would tell myself to not ever take morning classes. My two roommate liked to come back into the room at random times from 2 am to 4 am, always turning on the lights or shutting the windows, waking me up in the process. They know I have morning classe at 8 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 am class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If I had known what my roommates were like, and how much sleep I needed, I would have not made my schedule into having a morning class everyday of the week. The dorm life is a crucial part of the college experience; it is where you meet people and have a better chance at developing a closer relationship with those you meet. Lecture halls are huge, and one will have a difficult time becoming friends with classmates, unless the two of you have the same discussion and even then, you may not ever have class again and the friendship will be lost. Life in the residential halls is what you make of it; it is entirely up to you how you choose to spend the time you have in the dormitories.


Make sure that you choose a college that fits your needs. For example, if you know that you like a lot of attention in the classroom then you may want to look into smaller or private colleges. Also keep in mind that it is never too early to apply for scholarships. College is extremely costly these days and the better prepared you are financially, the more you can give to your academics. Do not forget to utilize campus counselors and alumni at the colleges that you are most interested in attending. They have insight that a pamphelet or book might not be able to give you. Don't neglect the culture of the campus when making your decision. Your college experience goes far beyond the academics so make sure you choose a college in which you feel comfortable. Best of luck!


I will say do not rush to choose a university. First review all universities. Also I would say do not hurry to select a profession, first think about it and then choose what you like more, but still can take advantage of it in the future. Also that when you go to do the paperwork for the university stay positive and keep thing serious because since that day the future depends on you. Also I would say that do not not rush high schools test , I will say study hard but do not get frustrated and just enjoy the high school but in a good and fun way.


College will be much harder than high school. You are/ will not be the smartest person at school, but that is okay. There is more to school than just grades, which you will quickly learn.


Upon entering University I was determined to major in Economics. I eagerly followed the recommendations of my academic advisor. Diligently, I remained within my department, shunning courses and opportunities that I had somehow deemed irrelevant to my department and my academic persona. As a result, I overlooked my real academic interests. Reflecting back, I would recommend an openness to diverse disciplines and topics previously unvisited. Rather than marry oneself from day one to a specific field, explore the unknown. Choose classes you've never heard of and disciplines you didn't know existed! And, if and when you find a personal fundamental truth, an intellectual pursuit that pushes you, that period, idea or concept that resonates, be smart enough to change your mind. Allow yourself the opportunity to evolve, to assume a new path. Rather than wish you had done something different at the end of your education, do something different in transit. Utilize the rare moment afforded by education to create a self, to be anyone and to do anything. Use the opportunity of education to be the anima, the most honest expression of yourself, rather than a persona.


Don't take time for granted. Go out and talk to people and join any clubs that you are interested in. Networking is the most important thing in college. It is important to step outside your comfort zone that is what college is all about.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, there is a lot of advice i would give myself. I would tell myself that if you want to go to your dream school, maybe you should skip the weekly starbucks date with friends and work on the extra credit essay you need to do so you can get an B in your hardest class. I would also tell myself that choosing the right college is one of the hardest decisions you will ever make. choosing the right college can make your dreams come true. Another peice of advice I would tell myself is, you do not have to make a decision right away. Take a year and work full time, find what your passion is, then choose a school and a major based on what you decided. Graduating high school seems like the best thing in the world, but there is so much more out ther for you to experience. I just want whats best for you and what will make you happy. These are just a few peices of advice I would give myself if i could go back in time.


So you got rejected from Stanford. You know what? I realize now, having had the opportunity to visit both campuses, that the undergraduate experience at UC Berkeley is actually a lot better than it is at Stanford. UC Berkeley is surrounded by the richness of the city of Berkeley. The freshest produce in the Bay Area is available right in your backyard (Berkeley Bowl), the dorms are less than 2 blocks from food of a dozen different cultures, and UC Berkeley has no shortage of student groups and activities going on on campus (thanks to its 30,000+ student body). The undergraduate years are your time to develop as a human --develop a list of values, make new friends, learn to take care of yourself, etc. You will definitely have the opportunity to do this at UC Berkeley. Remember to budget your time, and don't get involved in activities that waste time. There are plenty of time wasters available to you at Berkeley --partying, videogaming, over-socializing, joining lots of clubs... Get involved in what you find important. Stay focused on school and remember to have fun.


I would have told myself that college is a great experience and that I need to look forward to it. I would have told myself to enjoy senior year of high school a lot more as college is more demanding than high school. Instead of working all of the time in high school, I would have been more involved in the school and spent more time with my friends as those relationships have been severed due to the distance that we have between colleges now.


Keep in mind that the first semester is always the hardest because you are trying to get used to the transition. Stay in touch with family and friends through Sype, email, or by phone because it will make moving from home a little easier, especially if you live far away. College life will vary depending on the person. Yes, you are no longer under the control of parents, but that doesn't mean you have to go wild. For housing, live in a dorm. I recommend choosing the quieter dorm housing, which is away from the downtown area because it's easier to study and get sleep. The people there are not antisocial, so don't worry. As for grades, don't always expect to get perfect grades. There will be times when the tests are extremely difficult and you may get lower grades than what you are used to now, but that's okay. There will most likely be other people in the class that didn't do as well either. Just study more and try harder next time. It's not the end of the world. If needed, ask for help! Go to office hours, ask classmates, etc.


I have only been in college for a little over a semester. When I was younger, I thought that the first day of college was going to be the most terrifying of my life. That turned out to not be the case at all. I felt instantly comfortable. Not quite "at home," but excited that I would be challenged in a way that would allow me to learn and grow intellectually and as an individual. I feel more like myself than I ever have in my life, and I owe that to my entire college experience thus far. I have gotten to be a sports fan like never before, get into the spirit of Berkeley traditions, join a sorority which I never would have pictured myself a part of, and make amazing friends with my roommates. I believe that college comes in stages, and in this opening stage of my experience at this university, I have gotten to do everything that I dreamed and some things that I had never dreamed. My college experience is just as valuable as my college education. While my education will open up possibilties for the future, my college experience is happening now.


Most college graduates would say that the most important experiences they took away from college are the knowledge, the memories, or the lifelong friends. These are all true for me, but the most valuable lesson I have taken away is learning how to get along with different personalities. It is important that young adults learn to understand others' cultures, customs, and characters. Last year as a freshman, I had the privilege of dorming. I am grateful that I got placed into a triple room, because it was the challenge of living with two other roommates in a small cramped room that made me learn how to better communicate and cooperate with others. I do admit that I am by no means perfect, for at times I still struggle to understand other cultures or communicate with my roommate. Nonetheless, I do believe the multiculutral community Berkeley fosters has allowed me to grow tremendously from the two years I have been here. I hope that all college students challenge themselves with living with strangers and interacting with different cultures, so that the young people in this world grow to learn to love and respect one another, making the world a friendlier place.


The college experience has definitely brought out who I really am. In high school I was still stuck as a shy, young asian boy who did not voice out or stand up for anything. But as the years in college progressed, I slowly learned to become heard. Being afraid of rejection and put downs was no longer a concern, no longer a threat that prevented me from doing what I really wanted to do. Also the club involvements I've had helped me mature as a person. Being in clubs in college actually encourage a lot of leadership and communication actions. Having to step out of my comfort zone in order satisfy those requirements, I become matured. In terms of academics, I feel I will have more than enough knowledge to excel in the field that I am interested in--finance. The classes here has taught me to think critically and outside the box, and they have taught me to see things in ways that most people without an education would otherwise not have seen.


So far, my college experience has been great. I love the school I go to--my classes have been both interesting and rewarding and I have learned so much from them. Taking different courses has allowed me to explore what major I want to pursue as well as helped me to discover both my strengths and what I need to work on. The sheer number of groups and organizations on campus that you can join is great as well. I have found several clubs that could potentially be the "perfect fit" for me, and will make my big campus seem a lot smaller. It's truly worthwhile to attend such a school, for as much competition and stress I experience in my classes, I also enjoy every moment that I am here.


Cal has been valuable to attend because it has given me a sense of independence and self confidence. Cal offers so many opportunities to become involved, both inside and outside of class. Nobody at Cal is going to baby you or take care of all your problems, but it has taught me to be self sufficient and self motivated. While nobody will baby you, people are encouraging and willing to help if you are willing to actively pursue them.


My college education has equipped me with the experience and skills I need to pursue my dream: a career in pediatrics. Attending UC Berkeley has given me the invaluable opportunity to complete a summer internhsip at a successful biotechnology company, where I assisted in the development of vaccines for the Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and H1N1 influenza virus. Cal has also given me a chance to serve the community: I participated in a week-long service-learning trip to the Kumeyaay Native American reservation, where I explored the socioeconomic, historical, and ecological contributors to disparities in healthcare in this underserved population. I also volunteered at the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic, a non-profit organization that provides free alternative medicine treatments to low-income women with cancer. My experiences at CMCC and the Kumeyaay reservation showed me the importance of accessible healthcare in achieving a basic quality of life and strengthened my determination to help make high quality health care accessible to everyone. My resolve to address the health needs of underserved communities has become a motivating factor in my pursuit of a career in medicine and the education I received at Cal has prepared me to succeed in medical school.


The most important thing that my college experience has taught me is independence. In many ways I have learned to be less dependent on others to do work for myself and instead, to be more accountable for all the actions I make. I have learned to be more organized with both my academic work, volunteer work, and administarative work in the clubs I participate in, which is key in being successful at this school and what I believe to be key in life. I think that Berkeley's environment has successfully helped me accomplish this independence because of it's environment. Professors, supervisors, and employers are there to support you when needed, but they also don't hold your hand the whole way through every process, but rather they help you start and let you learn your way through. By allowing us to figure thing sout on our own, we mut really think critically about situations and learn that the decisions we make do have astounding affects, whether they are good or bad. I think this independence will allow me to succeed when I graduate in finding a job and being able to live or survive on my own.


MasterCard might like to argue that life’s greatest lessons are priceless. My parents would disagree. However, one semester at college, thousands of dollars, multiple sleepless nights, and ten pounds later, I can say the following with confidence: I am not who I thought I was, and that's not a bad thing. As a kid, I knew my ideals were not necessarily the accepted norm, but having to defend my position as a college student caused me to rethink how I formed those opinions to begin with. I met people that have questioned my personality, my intelligence, my career choice and my religion and left me feeling doubtful. Yet with that doubt comes a motivation to learn, experiment, and form my own informed opinions without hesitation or fear of being unaccepted. People often say that you find yourself at college but they forget to mention one key idea. You have to lose yourself before you can discover who you truly are. A building with new paint is not really a new building. In order to make it stronger, one has to destroy it and rebuild it from the foundations. The first cracks have been made, let the construction begin.


My school has changed me. My professors have motivated me to seek righteousness for those uncared for, to be the change I want to see, to make artwork unseen, and to just keep fighting through. I now aim to promote action from my work. My family and my life struggles have given me a unique identity enabling me to be no longer ashamed of my status, but instead, to desire to promote it because without self-expression and awareness, society is hindered from forward motion and my school has helped me see that lower-middle class minorities can do something, can make a difference, and can impact communities.


Attending the University of California Berkeley helped me realize that living in a city like Pacoima (my hometown) exposes its residents to fight for environmental justice. While being a co-instructor at Pacoima Beautiful, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the creation of a healthy and sustainable community, I had the opportunity to expose students to the environmental injustices in Pacoima. While working in the Office of Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes, I realized the lack of community involvement and awareness. My ultimate goal is to major in political science and go on to law school. Whether I become a politician or a lawyer, I want to bring change to my community. Limiting the negative advertisements, educating our community and encouraging individuals to pursue a postsecondary education, are just a few of the elements in my plan to change Pacoima’s negative stereo-type. One of the most successful steps towards creating change is education. I have observed how my peers underestimate their ability to succeed. Ultimately, I want to make sure individuals feel safe where they live, work and play. I know for a fact that with a thoughtful and committed group of people, change will come to Pacoima.


I learned how to navigate the world and find my own answers. Berkeley has given me a mental compass that will serve me for the rest of my life.


In the time that I have been in college, I found that college is the perfect time and place to explore. You have the freedom to search what you are passionate about, what you want to do with your life, what interests you, and what kind of person you want to be. You don't have parents behind your back dictating what to do with your life but intead, you have the responsibility. The opportunities and experiences available in college are rich and diverse. Not only do you expand your knowledge to different fields of study, but you also mature in a way that is unprecedented in your life. College provides a bountiful array of education and resources that you are unable to get elsewhere. In the short time that I've been in college, I found myself transform in ways I didn't think possible. You are also able to network with a great range of people which helps you to get a foot in society. It is definitely a life changing experience and sets the stepping stones for the rest of your life.


The most valuable thing I have gotten out of attending UC Berkeley is that I have learned to be a leader, something of which will make me successful in all my life pursuits. Berkeley has taught me the true meaning of leadership. To me, being a leader means motivating others to do all possible to strive towards a greater common goal, and also aiding others to see how beneficial and important their contribution is at all levels. All of the leadership work I have done and will do is concentrated on ending injustices that people face due to sexism, hatred, racism, and other diverse prejudices. Although I am grateful and privileged to be appointed as a leader in student organizations, these are activist areas in which I believe all people involved are leaders. I admire something about every single person I meet while volunteering, interning, being in the classroom, and organizing in these fields. I will take what I have learned about the meaning of leadership and the actions of being a leader into everything I do in the future to foster free living and equality for all people regardless of their identities.


I am currently enrolled in Sullivan College of Technology and Design, where I am completing my Associate's degree. My anticipated graduation date is June 2011. Being the first in my family to attend college is a great privilege. My degree gives me better knowledge of how people interact with their environment. My education taught me how light, color, and both private and public spaces can affect a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. After finishing my Associate's, I will begin an entry Bachelor/Master Occupational Therapy program at Spalding University. There are numerous people in the Louisville community who have disabilities and who are unable to complete even simple self-care tasks, such as putting on their socks, brushing their teeth, and even recognizing certain textures in their mouth. With your funding, I will be able to help people with disabilities learn how to live in their environment, as well as aiding the development of skills that will better allow my clients to live their lives independently, which most humans beings desire to do. Continuing my education will help me change the world one person at a time.


I have gotten the shock of my life here. There is no one here to baby you at a 4 year university and although there is help you do have to do alot of it on your own. The most rewarding thing however is just the entire experience in general. There is nothing like the feeling of being out on your own, studying with some world renoun professors, getting experience in cutting edge research, and meeting some pretty interesting people. It has been very valuable to attend because it has helped me grow into a more responsible individual as well as making me become more involved in things that affect the world. Being at UC Berkeley makes you want to help the community in any way you can and challenges you to excell where you never thought possible. It is humbling to be among so many important individuals, and to have followed so many others. However, being here at UC Berkeley has made me want to become one of those individuals who changes the world. I believe that kind of inspiration is found here, and no where else.


I couldn't be more glad that I chose one of the top schools in the nation. From being the top student in my class, I am only an average student here among the best, and it is one of the most valuable things I've learned and had to adjust with. Everyone comes into this school the same way and spends their first year learning this thing. But I have also found so many things to help me learn and be one of the best in my own way. The access to research, publications, opportunities for internships and careers that UC Berkeley provides are invaluable and should be taken advantage of. I have, and it has helped me decide what I want to do with my life and has helped me reach my goals. I truly don't believe I could have done that anywhere else in the world.


Coming to UC Berkeley was by far the best decision I've made in my 18 years. Even in half a year, it has taught me the value of self motivation and time management. The exposure I've had to different subjects, from International Relations to Philosophy, has made me a more well-rounded person overall. Not only am I exposed to different subjects, but my professors are the best in their fields. My philosophy professor, Hubert Dreyfus, has written books that every one of my friends taking philosophy courses in their respective courses have come across in class, while my Wealth & Poverty professor was Bill Clinton's secretary of labor, Robert Reich. Each course I've taken has been both challenging and rewarding, and the instructors seem to take great interest in both the subject matter and their students. Aside from the classes, UC Berkeley offers an array of student organizations and a diverse student population. It also has great weight in the career field; as a freshman, I have already been hired into the marketing department of Kaplan Inc. I can see my future falling further into place each day I spend here.


It's hard to describe what I got out of college, because it's mostly abstract. Sure I got a degree, friends and some awesome stuff for my resume, but really it was all about the experiences. I went into college unsure of anything - Who did I want to be? Who did I want to be with? Where would I live? How would I survive? 3 years later I came out ready to rule the world, my world! College made me realize I wanted to be a teacher, made me realize I could be a teacher and it got me a slamming husband! What more could I ask for?


I have gotten so much out of my college experience. I've learned how to be independent. I've learned how to think for myself. I've learned that my opinion matters. I've learned that I can change the world, and that change can start small and at my own school. Going to school at UC Berkeley opened my eyes to the possibilities I have in the world. I can do anything I want to, but at Cal, I learned that I have to reach out, I have to step forward to take the opportunities. I learned the valuable life lesson that everything is not going to be handed to me.


Setbacks have been the most valuable part of my college experience. Since coming to college, I've had to learn how to deal with situations and life when it isn't easy or streamlined. When I couldn't get into a required class for my major, I had to take initiative to figure out a solution to the problem myself since no one was going to hold my hand and guide me through it. I've had to learn a great deal about persistence, completing assigned readings and studying diligently for my classes in order to earn a satisfactory grade; this lesson was quickly learned after slacking in a few difficult classes and suffering the consequences. Additionally, time management has been a crucial skill that has become invaluable as juggling classes, homework, a research position, excercise and a healthy social life becomes an increasingly difficulty feat. The stress that comes from managing all of my responsibilities is invigorating though, and managing my life has become a testament to my independence. After experiencing college, I'm confident when saying that I feel prepared to take on a job and the problems of life-after-college.


The whole college experience at UC Berkeley is an amazing memory. Berkeley equipped me for my next step on so many different levels. I received a high quality education that honed my critical thinking skills and helped me get accepted into Hollins' graduate program for Children's Literature. My college education has given me confidence to pursue writing. Through Berkeley's Education Abroad Program, I also had the opportunity to study abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. It was a life changing experience, reconnecting with my motherland, learning Korean, and exploring Seoul with exchange students from all over the world. Berkeley's 'liberal' environment also helped me explore passions that I would never have pursued. I co-founded a dance group on campus called The Movement having never danced before. I performed for the Berkeley campus and surrounding community with my group, which opened doors to my first internship at World Arts West, a non-profit dance company in San Francisco. In college, I also made relationships that 10 years later, are still some of my closest friends. With these friends, I studied, danced, explored the Bay Area, and lived with together after college in San Francisco.