University of California-Berkeley Top Questions

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


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself a lot of things, but I'm not quite certain my past self would listen. Firstly, I would tell her that she shouldn't worry too much about the prestige of the college, and that she should concentrate more on a school that had a good program in the sciences. Also, I would tell her that moving away to a college dorm would be distance enough from her parents, and that 500 miles away from her hometown was more than necessary to create that distance. I would warn her that the separation from her friends and family would more difficult than she would anticipate, perhaps one of the most difficult experiences she's ever had. Finally, I would tell her that she would make it wherever she decided to go, as long as it was a good university and that she studied hard. I still believe though, that I, as a high school senior, would still be dead-set on Berkeley. That girl was very determined on heading there.


The college experience in my opinion nutures the growth of a person from a child to a young adult. When I was in high school, I went through my senior year by doing the bare minimum and sliding through the cracks and holes. The saying, "Old habits are hard to break," remained true as I tried to complete my first semester of college the same way. I found the holes and the cracks, but they me led to nowhere. By the time I knew I had to climb out, I was too late. In the end, the road to my goals only became longer as the time that I wasted shortcutting only led me back to the beginning. If I had opportunity to go back in time and give my high school senior self some advice, I would show him myself and how much I harder I have made life for myself because of an arrogant belief: a belief that I could find a shortcut through every path in life. This not only gravely impacted my grades and scholarships, but also nearly ended the so many goals that I had wanted to accomplish in life and in college.


If I could go back in time and give myself advice as a senior, I think the most important piece of information I would pass along is that college is definitely not high school anymore! Even though you were at the top of your class, remember that everyone at Berkeley was at the top of their class. You will be with some of the best and the brightest while in college, remember to take advantage of that! Make sure you utilize professor office hours early on your freshman year. Don't wait until the midterm to realize that you need help. The professors are there to help and it's a good idea to get to know them early on. They may be the very person who will recommend you to a graduate student to work on their team. Lastly, make sure you take the effort to join a club. This is a great way to get to know people and to pace yourself with the work load. College rocks!


Dear Self, First of all, you are brilliant. You have the ability to do anything and everything you put your mind to. This is the most important thing to remember as you set off on your journey as a college student. You will come up against obstacles, but push through them. They are nothing a strong, capable person as yourself can't handle. As you complete your senior year of high school, savor the friendships you make, but when you go to college, open your mind to new people. But not only will you encounter new people, but new ideas, new experiences, and a new (and much bigger) world. It is a world full of all the best things in life - enjoy them to their fullest extent. But, as always, it is important to stay focused on your future, and the real reason you are in college: to learn, grow, expand, and to gain the tools you need to live life the way you want it. You will do amazingly. Remain confident in yourself and your abilities. Love, Your Future Self


I would tell myself to visit the college more than once before starting, so you can sense the environment and witness events. I would also tell myself to become familiar with the location and its surroundings, so you can easily navigate through the campus and city when the time comes. I think it would help to research the college's history in order to understand the traditions and methods. It would also help to look into the different organizations and programs the school has to offer, so you can think about what types of activities you want to join. College is an amazing experience, and no one can really be completely prepared for it. The best way to make the transition as smooth as possible is to find out what you can about the college and to not be afraid to make mistakes and learn new things. Everyone's transition to college will be different, but that is what makes college so unique and memborable.


I would tell myself that the most important aspect of choosing a college is being true to yourself. I allowed my parents to influence my decision more than I ought to have. Luckily, I ended up on a campus that has positively impacted my life and future. However, there should have been other factors that went into my decision other than prestige. Choosing a unversity is not like drawing a name out of a hat. Although researching the financial aid and rankings is a factor to deciding, nothing is more important than the intangibles that can't be described on the school's website: such as the level of challenge and uncertainty involved in completing a thesis on a topic whose complexities keep you up at night, the difference between a Safeway orange and the organic, student-grown oranges sold every Tuesday, the sound of the drums being played by the tree-sitters protesting the environmentally devastating construction of a sports facility, and the joy of reading an assigned science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick under a tree while the brazen campus squirrels attempt to steal the Nilla wafers sitting next to you.


From where I sit at my dorm room desk, there is still a lot I have to learn about college. However, I do know more now than I did as bleary eyed, nail biting, frantic, high school senior. First of all I would tell myself to calm down, and instead of thinking about the best school I could possibly weasel my way into, think of what kind of school I would really like to attend, the kind of place I could picture myself in. Then I would tell myself that although the idea of college is daunting, once you get there you will be surprised to find that you can actually do it. Yes, it is hard work, yes you will have to adjust, but you can do it as long as you stay motivated. The best way to do that is to figure out what you are interested in and to study what you love. Finally I would tell myself "It is 2 a.m. and you have been sitting staring at your computer screen for 5 hours. Get up, go to bed, dream of good things. Everything is going to be okay."


If I had the opportunity to give my high school senior self advice, the only words I would offer would be to never doubt yourself and keep doing what you're doing. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. I don't regret anything I've done or hold bitter feelings to what has happened to me. Without the heartbreaks, the disappointments and the failures I wouldn't be the strong person I am today. I think it's the hard times that define you. It is my own work ethic and my own merit that got me to where I am today. So I wouldn't offer any advice that my senior self didn't already believe, because she and I both know that anything is possible with a passionate soul and a determined mind.


I took a long time after I graduated from High School to find my footing again in a college. First I attempted to go to school in San Francisco but dropped out after I came to the realization that I didn't want to spend my life as a visual artist. Afterwards I drifted until I found a new interest in computers and multimedia design. I finally earned my Associates after twelve years of being out of school. I think part of the delay was due to a changing world, from an industrial age work mentality that assumed one profession for life and molding one's identity to that one profession, towards a paradigm that now includes many professions and therefore necessitates a greater flexibility and a more sophisticated way of viewing ones place in the world. What one thing should I become, was a crucial question I struggled with in my younger years and it caused me great difficulty after my primary self identifying vocation no longer beckoned me. So I would say to my high school self to foster several interests and to remember that I am not my work, I am much more than that.


The future is not predictable; you cannot determine which school is the best fit, however in times of recession, go with your second-best choice that offers you a full-ride scholarship. You may learn to love being the top dog at the school. Berkeley is challenging in it's academic rigor alone, and attempting to juggle a job, a leadership position in a club, and your next midterm will be very demanding. Also, keep in mind that the reasons for choosing a school (top triathlon club in the nation) may change when you arrive (especially if you can't ride your bike because it's raining 24/7). Also, prestige of a school isn't everything- choose the full-ride over the ego.


If I could go back in time and give myself advise about college I would definitely start with telling myself to be prepared to live in a completely different living situation. You no longer have your mom around to tell you when to eat, what to eat, when to shower, when to go to bed, all that stuff mom's always take care of. But now that you are on your own, you really have to be prepared for everything. I got sick, and there was no mom to baby me, I had to take care of myself. So, I did what my mom would have done and nursed myself back to health. It is all about growing up and you just have to trust that you know what you are doing and what you are doing is best for you. Don't stay up too late, don't go to too many parties, don't beat yourself up about your new classes (because they are harder and different) but enjoy yourself and have fun. There is no college to look forward to after college, so don't stress the small stuff and be the best you you can be.


if i were to go back and speak to my self as a high school senior i would tell my self, relax. If ones goes into college with their head on straight, takes one thing at a time, and takes healthy breaks, they are going to do great. someone told me to really seperate times were you are working very hard and other times were you are really having fun. the thing that i always did was sit at my desk as if i was doing work but then get distracted and go on the internet, which isnt that fun or relaxing, and it isnt getting work done. it is very imporant to take breaks, get out of your chair, and out of your dorm room. excersising is esspecially very important, it keeps you healthy and feeling good. by being active and getting out of your room you will increase the amount of productivity.


I would travel back and tell me to believe in myself more. After I found out I got into Berkeley, I wondered if I had truly worked hard enough in high school to deserve it. I immediately thought my acceptance was a glitch in their system. This is how I felt all through the end of senior year. I remember coming up here for orientation in the summer after high school graduation. I told a boy in my orientation group how nervous I was to come up here, and how unsure I was of making it into Berkeley. This boy then proceeded to tell me to have some faith in myself, that I am obviously smart, and a hard worker, and if I were to continue to work as hard as I did through high school, that I could make it anywhere. I wish that I could have known that everything would be fine in college.


?Katey, the most important piece of advice you need for college is: don?t be afraid. Don?t be afraid to meet people, anyone. They?ll all be in the same situation as you are. Making a whole new group of friends is hard. It will take adjusting. It?s not like high school, but it can be even better if you?re willing to take that first step in meeting and getting to know others. Trust me, it will keep you sane when the work load is astronomical. Don?t be afraid to talk to professors either. I know it can be intimidating, especially with the five-hundred person lectures, but the professors know more about the subject than anyone. After all, they are teaching it. They?re the perfect resource to use, or even just get to know! Don?t be afraid to join a club, even if you don?t know anyone. The whole point is to meet people and do what you love with them. It will definitely build strong relationships. The fear of change is deep, but don?t let it effect you too much. Work hard, play hard and you'll do just fine."


I would tell myself to enjoy my youth a little more and not stress out about little things. I would tell myself that I hadn't even understood the meaning of stress until I came to college and started taking tests worth 40{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of your final grade. I would tell myself to really cherish those friends and classmates that I got to see on a daily basis. I would make myself understand that college is not just an escape from high school, and that without a definite plan I could end up lost in the tide of people who don't know what they want to do with their lives. I would tell myself to try harder in my scholarship hunting so that I don't leave my parents in debt by the end of college. I would explain that life is not all about how many goals you can achieve, how many internships you can land, or how many degrees you can decorate yourself with. I would tell myself to follow Shakespeare's axiom to "love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."


Considering, I am a transfer student and I chose to attend a Junior College after my senior year and later transfered to UC Berkeley, I guess my junior year felt like most freshmen feel their first year. I would tell myself that it will be scary being in a completely new environment and being away from home for the first time. However, through time you will learn to love this place and if you can get through this you can get through anything. Also, I would tell myself never to forget why I am going to college in the first place, to better myself and receive a highly recognized education. It will also be a time where you will get pushed mentally but it is to improve yourself, never will you be able to experience so many different ways of thinking and people again. Lastly, be as openminded as you possibly can, you will be surprised what you will discover about yourself and humanity as well. College is like the best rollercoaster you will get on, it will be scary and fun at times, but in the end you will just want to get back on.


The transition into college can be one that is exhilerating and yet frightening. Going to college means that you receive more freedom, opportunities to make new friends, and essentially have the time of your life while you finally get to start working towards your career. Before entering this transition, I wish that I was more prepared for some of the challenges I faced such as leaving your friends, making new friends, and doing well in a competitive school. I think one of the hardest obstacles I faced was having to leave my all friends and make new ones. It was hard to constently be extroverted and open myself to new faces. Not having my normal support from friends was exceptionally hard. On top of everything, school was suprisingly over-competitive. Receiving lower grades was discouraging and overall made the transition process harder. I wish somebody had told me to be prepared to have awkward friendships for a while and expect the new grading to be challenging. You're not the only person who will experience this! Awkward friendships WILL transform into the ones like you had in high school and never be afraid to ask professors and classmates for help!


Hey I know you! You are me from high school, but you most likely believe I am crazy. I know you are adamant about getting into the perfect college for yourself, so I am going to give you a few pointers as an experienced you from the future. Don't ask questions because it will only waste time. I am a student at UC Berkeley. You will need to know a lot of information about this school in order to suceed. Stop worrying about what others, especially your peers, think. It truly does not matter in the least. You need to be self-motivated and driven in order to survive in a town like Berkeley. You will need to come out of your comfort zone and talk to random strangers, who you will find out later are actually Cal students and have a lot of advice for you. You will also need to be completely involved in your school; do not think that you can make visits home all the time because they typically just distract you from school and your extra activities. Well my time here is over and I must go back to the future. Take my advice!


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would give all the advice possible from my own experiences during my first semester at UC Berkeley. First of all, I would tell myself the importance of learning to take care of one self in college. No one is telling you when to eat or what to eat. It is up to us to make sure we eat properly and have balanced meals in order to stay healthy and not get sick. I would also tell myself to manage my time better. It is so crucial in college, it is not fun pulling an all-nighter because you delayed writing your 8 page paper, and then not being able to fully function the next day. It is important to allocate your time wisely and not leave everything to last minute. The most important piece of advice I can give myself is that it is alright if you are no longer the best and failing is not the end of the world but a learning experience and as long as you seek out help like tutoring everything will workout for the best.


There is one thing you must do and that is to study as if there was no tomorrow. Studying will be the one and only thing that you must do at college besides eating and sleeeping right. Going to the gym is also essential since the "Freshman 15" is not a myth, by the way, weight lifting is good and all but if you do not run then you will still get a belly. Get involved with as many organizations as possible as long as they pertain to your major or interests, but looking around and trying new things also helps since you might find that you do not love art as much as you do marketing (that is just an example). Also, do not limit yourself to your race get some diversity in your life and who knows you might that certain someone. In addition, take it easy sometimes and take a nap here and there since the night owls on your floor might not allow you to sleep during the night. Overall, if you eat, sleep, exercise and study everything will be fine.


Going back to talk to myself would be a huge advantage. I would firstly tell myself to just read more scholarly articles. Maybe the first semester of college would not have been so difficult if I was more familiar with college-level vocabulary. Plus, reading faster could only be an advantage. I would spend less time reading tediously if I could read a bit faster. I would also remind myself to focus on my work. It is hard to read long, and sometimes repetitively boring articles without drifting off, but it is not impossible! I would tell myself that if I daze out, I would only be prolonging the torture. I will still have to read it all, so I might as well get it done promptly. I would also encourage myself to take more community college classes to broaden my knowledge about different subjects. In high school, I had a lot of free time, which could have been used more resourcefully. I know I had anxiety about college, so the last thing I would tell myself is that I will succeed. It?s easy to succeed if one focuses and tries. Yes, Berkeley is challenging, but not impossible.


I would tell myself not to be nervous about about being on mind and just to stay focus.


Don't worry too much about being alone, there is so much diversity in the people that you meet and they are quite genuine and realistic about life. Balancing your time is very important because you use up your time in a way that allows you to get everything done and you will spend less time worrying about everything and getting stressed out. It also allows you to avoid procrastinating and it definitely draws the lines between the important priorities and the extra-curriculars that are not as prevalent. Do not be afraid to get help with your classes, especially if tutoring is offered or there are review sessions. Attend anything and everything that can help you succeed in your classes! Avoid skipping lectures and make an effort to study with your classmates. Take advantage of what your school has to offer to get the most out of your college. Don't be afraid to try something new just for the experience.


Dear Joanna, I wanted to let you know that you're doing great. You studied hard and though you missed being a valedictorian by a smidge and didn't get the high SAT scores you wanted, don't stress. In college, you're going to have fun and freedom. You're going to learn so much about your chosen career path and yourself everyday. Going to college really is a new beginning. You'll take what you've learned from high school clubs and apply it to college clubs and though there will be differences, you'll gain experience and get to talk to people older and more experienced than you, learning from and becoming friends with them. So don't worry about college because, like everyone told me, college is what you make of it. You are going to love it. Remember to study hard because college is a blessing and opportunity for you to invest in your future. Luckily, networking and making friends is vital to staying happy in college. Granted college is stressful but you'll be surrounded with people just like you to share your problems and your giggles with. Love you and good luck!


Drop everything you've learned about about life and the social norms that come with it in high school; life at Berkeley will not reflect life at a middle-class, suburban high school. Don't be afraid of what seems scary and different, but embrace it as a collection of new opportunities to enrich your knowledge of the world and what you can do to help make it better. Those homeless men begging on the street? Talk to them. Get to know their stories; they're much more like you than you think. Get involved in the homeless clinic; you'll see that your life is intertwined with theirs and it will be much richer if you welcome them into it. Discover your roots and the person you would have been had you lived instead in inner-city Oakland; get involved with the community around you, especially the youth. To summarize, embrace new experiences even if they aren't exactly what you had planned for yourself. You can't predict what college life will be like but you can take action when and where you decide it's necessary -- just follow your heart and instincts.


College is supposed to be "the best time of your life." But what does that mean? To some people, it means the time to party hard and make decisions that you might regret in the morning but are fun in the meantime, the time to shed the chains of parental control that have been holding you down and "live" in the form of public drunkenness and random hook-ups. But that's only what it means to some people. Buried deep, deep inside of you, you know that that's not what "living" means to you. Yes, the freedom to get crunk at frat parties to crappy autotune hip hop does sound fun now, but dig a little deeper and you'll discover what you really find to be fun, and just as important, meaningful--to you. College is a time to discover who you are, not who you thought you were or who your friends want you to be. It is the time to figure out what "living" means to you. Further down the line you'll see that college doesn't change people; rather, it helps them to see who they truly are. Who are you?


Past-me, do not concede or compromise with the pressures outside of yourself. Choose the right school , the one that will give you the education and resources you need and that will take you to where you want to be in the future. The 'you' years from now should be 100{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} yourself, and not merely the expectations of other people. Don't be afraid to assert yourself in what you want, because if you're not living life for yourself, then you aren't living at all. On a lighter note, you should definitely take into account the environment of the school you're going to attend. If you're not very athletic, don't choose a school that's been built on a system of hills. The environment is a vital factor on how great your enjoyment of the next four years will be, and also affects how you will live your life at your college. Lastly, enjoy college, and don't stay inside playing guitar or video games. Go out and have fun, make lasting friendships, join clubs, participate in fun events, get involved, and I promise you'll have a blast.


CHRISTINDARAVY SAVONG!!! College is hard because you seriously need to be RESPONSIBLE and ORGANIZED. Since I have the chance to talk to you, or me again, I will tell you what I would have done. One, do not be lazy! Remember when I said I was going to volunteer at the hospital, but was too lazy to organize my academic schedule? Yeah, I regret it because now I don't know if I want to be a Physican, or maybe a Pastry Chef. Confused with which path to go? That I am. Basically, I want you to expand your knowledge and experience with different and possible career choices. So go volunteer at different places and be commited and make connections by keeping contact with your supervisors. Also, get a part time job. You are going to work for almost of your life, might as well start now. By having a vigorous academic schedule adjusted to volunteering and a part time job, you will learn how to become a responsible and organized person. Most importantly, you will become a more confident person who trusts your own decisions. I want you, or us to be passionate with our career.


Study hard and don't procrastinate. You may be at the top of the pyramid in high school but at this university you'll be at the bottom. However, there's more to life than your studies. Make time for the things that will last like strong relationships with those around you.


While academics is the most important thing to focus on, widen your gaze. Don't be afraid of the professors, take advantage of the office hours that they specifically set aside for students. The professors are interesting people with experiences that can be relevant to your life and current research programs that can not only suppliment your knowledge in the field, but will make your resume seem all the more appealing. Take advantage of social events, friends you meet in college can be the backbone of your contacts later in life, and can be great partners to share the academic experience with.


Don't be afraid to take chances and try new things (which won't hurt you). You only go to college once.


When I think of my first semester attending Cal, I remember feeling stupid for the first time in my life. My whole academic career until college consisted of me having the reputation of "the smart one". And I felt that crashing down around me the more people I met at Cal. In high school, I was at the top of my class. Suddenly everyone I was meeting was at the top of their classes too. I almost felt like I had lost my identity. I found myself having to define myself by something other than my grades. It wasn't until my second semester that I began to get involved with other activities and really began to find my place at Cal. The feeling of being a tiny fish in a huge pond slowly began to diminish as I discovered other interests and skills. If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to get involved with extracurricular activities earlier in my college career. After all, college is not just about doing well academically but also being given the opportunity to discover other interests and pursue new passions.


It's very important to remember that apply to college shouldn't be just about what the most prestigious university is or about the SAT scores you get. It's about choosing what is most convenient, affordable, and also most suitable to you as an individual. Try not to focus too much on the brand name and choose a school that you think suits you best, whether because it has the major you're interested in or even if it's just because it's close to home. Once you let go of all those expectations, you will be much happier and the pressure will be off. It is very likely you will end up where you need to be, just work hard and make sure to relax every once in a while. College is an amazing time and it should not be terrifying and anxiety inducing applying to one. You will make the most of where ever you end up and you will have a great time.


Stop listening to what other people say. Not for one second am I suggesting that you become an self-righteous know-it-all; I am, however, pleading that you imbibe a large, large dose of self-reliance. Too Emerson for you? Deal with it. You've spent the last three years grappling for every bit of advice from any person willing to dispense an opinion (read: everyone), and the time to stop basing action on everony's opinoin but your own has all but arrived. You joined sports and clubs because ?it?ll look good on your college application.? Take tap ?dancing! Spend time with your younger brother who?ll also be going away to college before you know it! Volunteer at the horse rehabilitation center! Restart ice-skating! Do what you love and keep the fear of uncertainty from paralyzing you from volitionally going through each day. In college there will be plenty of people waiting to tear you down. Learn to be your own person and purposefully make your own choices or others will happily decide for you. Trust me, do this one thing and college will be the time of YOUR life.


College is like an endless summer camp. Pack lightly: the tiny dorm rooms are not a myth! Choose classes wisely: they will become your life. You have all the time in the world to study, and you should use that time wisely. But this will be true no matter where you go. The most important thing you need to do as a senior is choose your school wisely. Visit and tour all the school you apply to, and apply to many. You don't want to be limited in choices come spring. Choose the school right for you, not the school your family or friends like most. Look at what school has a strong program for the major you'd like, is in a pleasant location, and not too far or too close to home. When you make your decision, stick to it and do not regret your decision. It is best to love your University because it becomes your home and your life and that means it should be enjoyable. You are building your future, and it will be the time of your life.


You may seem to know the world, its workings and its limitations, but remember to be humble, because you do not know everything. All you know and have learned (no matter how progressive and forward-thinking it may be) will (and should) be challenged. Do not limit yourself to your expectations of what you should be doing, because it is our belief in who we can be, rather than who we should be, that will guide us. Keeping an open mind, learn from all the people you will encounter, whether they support you or oppose you, because truly, every single person has something to teach you. Be patient and kind and remind yourself of why you do what you do. I know that is a hard question to answer, and it is one that I cannot completely address, but I think it has to do with bettering yourself, empowering and uplifiting people around you, and knowing that changing the world starts with yourself, at home, with your friends, your community, and then expands. You have already changed the world, so keep working, fighting, and most importantly, loving.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a senior, I would tell myself to be comfortable with my own self-doubt. Everyone is in the process of finding themselves at college, and rushing this process is fruitless. Looking back, the path of self-realization was far more important than the end result. The path itself created who I am today, and it drives everything from the career that I have chosen to the values I hold. College opened me up to countless perspectives and experiences that are vastly different from my own, but all the while remain with me today. The most important aspect of my education was the diversity of my college. The transition from an isolated town to a large, liberal city was not an easy one, but it was essential in enabling me to work with people of many different backgrounds and to have a larger understanding of the world around me. Attending UC Berkeley humbled me with the reminder that I am only one of billions of people in this world, and at the same time empowered me with the knowledge of the potential impact that I can have on others.


I would give myself the following advice: do your very best in your classwork or in whether you put your mind to, do not listen to the naysayers saying that you can't do the college thing, respect others and yourself, and most importantly, never give up, no matter what.


Choose good friends and hold on to them. Care for others and be generous with your time, efforts, money, and thought. All else is subordinate and life will have pleasant surprises if you follow through with this.


Making the choice of going to college was an easy one for me since i had planned to continue my educational career since my sophmore year at high school. However, i always assumed that college was going to be just like high scholl except with a higheer degree of dificulty. Although this was true, there were other things about college life that i still wished i would have known. This is why if could go back in time and tsalk to myself about completing this transition there would be many tips and advice given. For one, dorm life is not as fun as it sounds. One must be prepared to encounter different types of people and also be aware that you cant react the way you would in highs chool. You have to be mature and responsible. Another factor would be finances. Save up money for yourself this way you dont feel as if you are in need or desperate for extra cash. Lastly, be prepared for a culture shock. The demographics in college are not the same as the demographics at high school. You will feel out of place, but all you have to do is find your niche.


The best piece of advice I would give myself is having an open-mind. I came from a high school surrounded with peers that were judgmental. At times, it prevented me from being myself. Coming to college, I have brought with me beliefs and ideals that I kept from high school, which I thought would help me gain friends and find the right ones. But after my first year of college at UC Berkeley, I have learned so much that I can say I have become a different person. Liberal. Tolerant. Willing to adapt. College taught me how to study hard, but still have fun. The meaning of friendship has shifted to something totally meaningful. It taught me how to be open about my sexual ortientation. Being a political activist. Being eco-friendly. Being a party-goer. Being open-minded alllows you to be willing to change, and to be willing to learn who you truly are. Thinking of college as a place for partying, having fun, committing to multiple extracurricular activities, and taking classes that interest you will truly change your perspective on life. It will let you realize what your priorities are, and learn from your mistakes.


If I could advise myself when I was a high school senior, I would tell myself to become more involved in high school student organizations. While in high school, I was involved to a small extent in some student organizations: I was a member of a debating club called the Junior Statesmen of America since the end of my sophomore year, and I became a member of Key Club in the middle of my senior year. However, when I came to Berkeley, I joined five student groups and I became a Co-Representative for my residence hall in the UC Berkeley Residence Hall Assembly. Because I had little experience in student groups from high school, I feel that my transition to Berkeley was suboptimal: it was difficult for me to balance my academic goals with my extracurricular life. Therefore, my advice to myself as a senior in high school would be to prepare for Berkeley by joining and becoming involved in more high school student groups. Specifically, I feel like my experience as an RHA Co-Representative was lacking because I had no experience in student government, so I would advise myself to join student government and Model UN.


Knowing what I know now, If i could go back in time, I would tell my high school senior self to spend more time rehabilitating my leg. I had surgery on my right leg as a result of me having had cancer-osteosarcoma (bone cancer) to be exact. There are a lot of hills and stairs at my college. My leg gets me tired easily when i'm going from class to class or a campus event. I also would tell myself to go to a little more social, instead of just staying in the room all the time.


Do not allow your previous experiences to define who you will become. College and high school are completely different playing fields and because of that, you must come into college with a refreshed view and an open mind. That said, prepare yourself, as a senior, to experience new things by starting now. The importance of stepping out of your comfort zone cannot be described in two hundred words. It cannot be described in a lifetime to advice - even from one's future self. Consistenly remind yourself that academics and the thirst for education is most important but also know that education and intellectual enlightenment can be acheived outside of the classroom. Learn from your new experiences. And be ready to learn more after.


It might be cliche, but I will say that college isn't going to be what you are expecting. Who else can you believe if not yourself? So trust me when I say this, you have to try hard and put yourself out there in college. Be part of more things, clubs, groups, whatever. You will have the time, you just have to manage time better. Less repetitiveness, more new things. If you want to achieve your goals in college, you are going to have to do this. It won't be easy, and you will have to change. Don't procrastinate and do your work. Secondly, cherish your friends you have now. You may think a new start in college may chip away at old friendships and bring upon new ones, but no, it will bring new ones, but you should keep your ties with the old ones. You may feel rigid at the moment, but being away for so long from your family and old friends, you will come to miss them and come to appreciate the moments you spend with them during your vacations. So, build upon your current friendships and make new ones in college.


For so much of my senior year, I worried. I worried that everyone at my college would be smarter than me; that everyone would be harder-working, more attractive, more motivated. I worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the academic pace, that I'd gain a freshman 50, that I'd make no friends. In fact, I was so worried, that when I first started Cal, I stuck to my room and books and working out. It wasn't until a couple of months later when I realized that I hadn't made friends. Because Berkeley is a big school, I had to take the intiative. I had to go to club meetings and commit to events and to socialize with people. I wish I could tell my year-younger self to not worry so much. I got into my top college, classes were easily manageable, and I didn't even gain a freshman 15. I just wish I had made the commitment to make more friends and get out of my shell. I'm going to make a bigger effort this semester, but it would have easier to have done it before.


Being in college, I have came to realize that the four years of atteding an university is truly a priviledge that will broaden my horizons. I would urge myself to be appreciative of the precious college years , to be courageous to take the road less traveled, to be open to diversity and be humble to learn. To never be afraid to take a challenging class or get to know a stranger. To always expose myself to different cultures and ideas. College is a place where I will encouter many failures, be that as it may, in the mist of every failure there will be wisdom and growth. My GPA can barely reflect my accomplishments in college -so do not dwell in the misery of that first C but look at the A+ I got in learning to live on my own. I may not always be the most popular one, but be genuine and respectful to everyone and I will be awarded with a few life-long friends. Lastly, I would enourage myself to cultivate in knowledge and truth so that I may never become angry or fearful of what is unknown and also, to never settle for anything less.


I know you are running over in your head what college will be like. But trust me when I say that it is like nothing you've dreamt before. It's better. There will be endless parties, for one. And oh! the football games! You will not want to miss those. I will restrain from spoiling it all. But the professors - the way they speak, the way they teach - makes your curious, makes you not want to stop listening, makes you re-think the world you thought you knew. But everything has its price and college's is that you cannot drink all of it in at once. You must remember what means most to you. Your time and thus life is in your hands. Use it well - live each moment with no regrets through the art of balance. Pinpoint what's important, do it, and then go play. And believe me when I say that college is never short on play. Learn like you've never learned before. For college will nurture your mind to realize your dreams. So remember, discipline yourself to prioritize, then balance out by soaking college in. After all, you have four years to enjoy.


Do not take everything so seriously. College does require a lot of work, but you need to make sure to maintain a balance between school and fun.


I would tell myself to take more math classes at community college (since I'm not a very strong math student.) I would also tell myself to stop worrying so much and just take each challenge as it comes. College isn't scary. I would tell myself that I can handle anything Berkeley throws at me; it isn't going to set you up to fail! Study hard and concentrate on school while having fun!