University of California-Berkeley Top Questions

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


One of the most important things that I learned during my freshman year of college is to learn for the sake of learning and to have fun while doing it. I came from a very competitive high school where students were always taking as many Advanced Placement and honors classes as they could handle. Once I got to college, I took some general education courses and found myself questioning the subjects I was learning about. It seemed as if everything I learned before college was thrown out the window. College courses are about thinking critically and to this, you really have to be interested in the material. In high school, I was able to get away with memorizing facts and figures I did not have much interest in, but in college I really had to delve into the material. Some ways I was able to do this included opening up myself to the world through communicating with my roommates and floormates about the material I was learning about as well as forming study groups with peers. In high school, I was able to study alone, but college taught me that everything is collaborative and we are all interdependent.


I would tell my highschool self to start being more open and social since, unlike highschool, I wouldn't have my close friends around anymore. So I should try meeting new people more often.


Study hard seriously! Start working on time management now. Discover yourself as a person, a womyn , and a human being. Make time to laugh. Do what is important to you. Grow stronger, grow comfortable with succeeding at less and you will not fail at much.


Always rememeber that what you learn in UC Berkeley will change the way you see life. It will give you the opportunities and the skills to make a change in this world. Education should be your priority and seeking out the opportunities that you need to be succesful should be your main goal, as UCB paves the way to a very succesful carreer and an outstanding proffesion. Studying Architecture will be one of the best decisions in your life as you will be able to meet so many intersting people in a very complex field. But do not forget to enjoy this life experience, and always work hard as this will pay off very well in the future. Finally be proud of your self and everything you have accomplish there are so many great things to come, and GO BEARS!!!


Be open-minded. However cliche is it, college is about finding the place where you best fit in the world. It's about making the choices that will establish who you are: the person you want to be, the working environment that best suits you, the field of study that you want to dedicate your energy to, and the friends that you will share some of the best years of your life with. Push yourself to test all these possibilities, without inhibtion. College is also a coming-out time, a transition from a local high school into a broader academic, national, or even international community. Be prepared to accept the responsibilities that come with that: the grueling work and the dedication, but also the many opportunities that will come alongside your intellectual pursuits. Take them, but always remember why you are doing what you do. Most of all, be passionate, and stay passionate. Be ambitious enough to want the best for yourself and for others; college can provide the tools and the experiences for you to obtain just that.


Take a moment to celebrate and appreciate your parents and High School teachers. Never again will you have this level of support. Appreciate the meals made for you and allowances made. Work hard in school and keep your valedictorian status but don't let that control and dictate your life. Make time for what you love and don't forget who you are. The person you are is enough and the person you will become is amazing. Do not be afraid to show this true self to others, as long as you don't change yourself for them they can't truly hurt you. Make time for who and what you love. Pursue even your earliest dreams so that you never go back and say "what if?". Understand that those you leave in high school you may lose contact with, but know too that you will make amazing and beautiful friends everywhere you go, only the best of childhood friends will stay with you. Don't spread yourself too thin, college is about more than school and extra responsibilites. Take on only that which really matters to you. Never forget, honesty is the best policy, even through difficult times.


I used to be a student who go to school and play almost everything in my school with my friends everyday. Now I am not do like that because I know that I should do what I want to be.


none, i did everything i could have. relax more, dont freak out, you will get into a good school regardless. :)


going to community college was the best decision you will EVER make. you're not a failure, you're brilliant, and everything falls into place eventually.


Take chances. Take classes that you never thought you would consider or even need- they enrich you as a person. Strike up conversations with your professors, no matter how intimidating they look in the huge lecture halls. They learn from you as much as you from them. Make friends. Find people who you can trust like family. They will be the people you turn to when you get homesick, sick, or sick of studying. Exercise regularly and eat well. It boosts not only your muscles, but your mood and morale. Explore. Being in a new place, take advantage of any free time you have to discover the area around you. Cheer. Get deep in school spirit and cheer on your athletic teams and other student groups. There is nothing quite like the electricity that you will find in yelling "GO BEARS" with 20,000 other people. Stay glued to the university events calendar. Take advantage of visiting lecturers and arts events your campus has to offer. And while doing all the above, take photographs. You will want to be able to smile and reminisce on every little detail of the best years of your life.


College really is difficult. It includes long nights of studying, stress, a bit of depression, and sleepless nights. The workload is insane but you do learn something. Beginning university definitely has it's challenges but there will always be a support group to help you out. Your peers and community will definitely keep you inspired on your rough journey through college. Always remember that you are a model to your community and once you start feeling upset or frustrated with school, take the time to remember why you are attending university. The journey may seem very bleak at times but in the end, it will all be worth it to know that you are bettering your community. Prepare for long nights but also try to manage your time in a balanced way. For example, try to study AND socialize but do not spend more time with one and less on the other. It is all about balance and that balance will keep you sane and motivated.


apply for alot of scholarships! do alot of leadership role! always be on top of school work! love my friends and family! but mostly love myself!


In high school, I liked to spend a large portion of my time socializing and ensuring my popularity did not go downhill. For university, none of this matters, and it took me a while to come to that realization. I would advise myself to go over my own priorities. How important is college versus popularity? And the majority of the friends you make in high school who focus most of their time on their social life as opposed to their school work are the ones who will be left behind. Do not let yourself get caught up in that mess. Focus and study hard. This sounds like an after-school special, but it's the truth. You cannot succeed in life if you cannot look to the future with clear eyes.


Since I dropped out of school during my tenth year, I would not be able to do this. However, if I were able to do so I would tell myself to enrich a practical curriculum with the humanities and arts, but mainly to stay focused on an educational track that would ensure job placement in a satisfying career. This is not conceeding or resigning oneself to a life inside cubicles, rather, a suggestion to integrate aesthetic, political, poetic, spiritual and other values and sensibilities into an educational track that prepares a student for real world job skills.


The advise I would give myself, is to keep your chin up. There are so many things in "college life" that can discourage you, but there is a lot that encourage you too!!! The transition from HS to College is quite drastic, moving out and to a whole new set of friends is kinda scary but it's worth the initial fear in the end. I would tell myself to make good quality friends that will help you keep your attention to school work and projects. With all the work and studying going on, it can seem overwhelming at times, but just take it one class and one paper at a time. Oh, and call your mom often, she loves it when you do that.


Utilize ALL resources available and get to know people. There are many people and programs on campus designed to help you transition. Please seek them out and use them. Everyone needs help at one point, so do not be afraid. In the end, you'll benefit greatly and achieve so much more. Get involved in the community. There is something for EVERYONE! Just find what is right for you. Also, practice time management skills and find a way to balance it all (there is help available for this too!). It is possible to perform well in school and have time to go out and enjoy life. Don't worry about not fitting in and having everything figured out in the beginning. It'll come with time and experience. So have fun, venture out, study, be safe, and stay true to yourself.


I would advise any high school senior to look at college as a process, not a destination. While you are there, learn more about how to analyze information, how to understand and process that information. Stay open to weird and quirky turns in your path because they will come! Just when you think you have it down, something new and exciting will open up right in front of you. Don't make the mistake of assuming that you have to study the single subject that is going to be your life's work. That's more about grad school. You are in a 4-year college to learn how to learn, to explore all the available options and to develop ways of being with people who are both exactly like you and completely different from you. It's also a wonderful opportunity to observe life in the academic world. Most of the people who teach you have dedicated themselves to specific niches of knowledge. Find out more about why they did that. You may hear something that sparks a passion in you that was never there before.


Hello young Yasemin, beware of your choices for college as it is not all just fun and games. Though it might seem like college is a continuation of high school, it is quite different. You must finish all homework early, must learn to live without sleep but no matter what, there will be stress. Of course this is if you enter a competitive university. Remember to think far into your future: if you want to complete a graduates degree then go to an easier university, keep you GPA high effortlessly and enjoy yourself; if you will not be a graduate student, sign up for a more competitive and prestigious school since this education will be the only asset you have for you career. Other than academic trouble, you never thought about social trouble. The first year of college everyone is new so everyone wants to meet friends; the friends you make your first year will be forever. As the years pass university turns into high school and the students stay in groups, closing out to new members; hence, it is best to stay in a DORM your first year. Whatever you choose, your path could change so don't worry.


Going away to college is one of the scariest, most challenging, but by far the best experience of your life. Be prepared to face and eventually overcome the initial loneliness and uncomfort of being a freshman. Understand that being out of your comfort zone is not necessarily a bad thing, and that growing up is an essential process for succeeding. Classes may prove difficult, but you deserve to be there just as much as any other person sitting in the classroom with you. Take the time you need to understand, but most importantly, enjoy your classes and the subject matter being taught to you. Do not forget or lose sight of your interests and passions while exploring all the overwhelming possibilities available to you while at the university. Recognize your strengths and build on those, taking advantage of every opportunity that interests you. Lastly, realize college is more than just academics. The people you meet in college will soon become some of the best friends you will ever have, truly knowing you through your highs and lows. Cherish each crazy night out or each endless study night in the library. It is truly the best time of your life.


Advice is easily given but difficult to practice. After attending college for fewer than 3 months, I discovered that the most difficult part of college has been the beginning of the second month. Why? Because the motivation and energy you had are gone, you have finally found loopholes to slide through classes, and you have discovered that sleep is sweet. My future slightly slipped away after my determination had melted into a lack of my presence in lectures. Now, grasping to hold on to my grades as well as my future, I would advise myself to practice perseverance. Perseverance, along with self-control and self-discipline, play a crucial role in the yearning for success. There are few incentives more compelling than your final grade composed of papers, midterms, or finals. You will have no more "cushion" for your grade. It all comes down to one simple mistake and your grade can slip out of your sight. So, heed this: practice self-discipline and perseverance. It is not too late. Be smart. Think very carefully about all the consequences because the game has just begun. One wrong move you will see the finish line fading into the distance before you.


When thinking about college listen to others who have gone. If going far away realize that you can't come home every once in awhile, so I feel it's best to be involved. Being a rugby player I feel like I have another family , but realize that if I didn't play a sport I would like to be closer to home. It's nice to sleep in your own bed and be pampered once in awhile. Being away makes you grow up and take on more responsibility, which in the long run can only help. Thisa is something so you always keep that in the back of your mind.


I would tell myself that it is important to get involved in student activities. It was overwhelming for me because there were too many chocies, but I wish I had done more volunteer work and other activites that interest me. And if you do not find anything your first year make sure to keep looking the next years. It is important to be involved and get interships and other activities that can be put on an application. That way you stay active and are more likely to say on track with schoolwork and get a balance in your life. Berkeley can be overwhelming, but it is important to stay focused and self motivated to do what is best for yourself.


I would tell myself to be okay with a grade less than an A. I would tell myself to be honest with people and to always remember to ask questions of those you meet. I would tell myself that there are more important things in life than grades; namely, people. I would tell myself to be honest with myself and to be direct with people. I would tell myself to not get too stressed but rather to do consistently well instead of attempting to be stellar at the end. I would tell myself to take a deep breath and relax when needed. I would tell myself to admit when I'm wrong and to try to make amends. I would tell myself that I need people in my life and that one must reach out to others. I would tell myself that not all professors know what they're talking about. I would tell myself that it's all right when people are smarter than me. Most importantly, though, I would tell myself not to forget to take care of people who drink a little too much at parties or who are lonely and miss home as much as me.


I would tell myself to take advantage of every opportunity that I am given. Be thankful for the things that you are given. Work hard for the things that you want and be willing to put in the work and effort to get them. No one is going to come up to you and just hand you what you want.


I would tell myself to take it a little easy and just learn how to prioritize my time and balance everything out. Don't procrastinate, just take things as they come and everything will work out well and smoothly.


College is an extension of school. It is supposed to be a place where you continue to explore areas you are interested in-and that's the key. Don't overload yourself on AP credits (i.e. AP Bio, Chem, Physics in one year) because if that really is your interest, you have to retake it all anyway once you get to college because if you major in one of those areas, the AP credit does not count. Relax some more while in high school, hang out with friends, do more activities. A Pre-med and double major path in college does not allow for much leisure time. Recognize that in high school, and relax a little but stay focused. Also start looking a bit more at what you want to do. With budget cuts, there is less room to explore in college before deciding (at least for most people, due to financial). Basics of it is to relax more, think ahead, and be focused. Work hard, play hard, because after college, it's time to hit the real world.


Stay focused. Do not catch "senioritis" -- it will bite you once you are in college. You need to keep up with an academically-rigorous structure, otherwise you will have a difficult time re-focusing yourself once in college. Develop not just good study habits, but fool-proof ones. Learn not just what you need to study, but how your own mind studies best. Learn how to manage your stress because I can guarantee you that there will be days where you will feel it most. Score high on those AP tests because taking those same courses in college sucks.


I would tell myself to relax a little more and just remember to study and write lists to remember all the things I have to do. It is really mportant to divide your time well.


I would tell myself to take a year off and figure out what direction I really want to head into before just jumping into college. Take a break first before just starting more school. Have fun and take up every opportunity that you can because college is the best years of your life and you should be learning what you need to know for your profession aftwerward. That will make studying a passion rather than an obligation. Make sure your school campus is right for you and always consider alternative options with your living situation. Joining a club or a sport would be beneficial with meeting new people but a big time commitment so weight your options and wants. This is why taking a year off before college is so good. You can learn yourself and your want better and make a more comprehensive plan to follow and aim towards. I felt so unprepared with what I wanted to study and am still conflicted even though it's time for me to declare. Take classes that really interest you and shop around. Taking what comes may be easy but it's not worth the time and money you spend.


Don't take Chem! Unless you love watching balloons explode in class - trust me, it gets old after a while. And bring a lot of vitamin C because you're will get sick living with in a little dorm and sharing a bathroom with an entire floor of college students. HAVE FUN!!


I would take study time more seriously,I would have played less video games,and I would have talked to my counselor more about the field I was interested in,and what courses I could have took that would have help me more in college.


Timing is everything. Of all the valuable lessons that I've learned through my college life so far, the value of time is of the utmost importance. If time were money, then we are on a limited budget. In fact, we may be imposing budget cuts time and again. If I had more time, I would ace the midterm. If I had more time, I would get a part-time job to make money. If I had more time, I would spend the day at leisure. If I had more time, I would spend more time. The fact of the matter is, there is no more time to spend. If I had an unlimited amount of money, I would probably squander it carelessly; likewise, having too much time on my hands will only make me imprudent. Power is the time-rate of doing work. If time were infinite, no amount of work I do will give me much power. However, if we assume that time is finite, and that there is only a little of it, the more I can get done in that span, the more powerful I will be. Therefore, manage time wisely.


Dear Allie, Don't be afraid to be yourself, because once you are, everyone will love you for it! You're going to fit in just fine here because everyone else understands the plight of an overachiever. Join a club or something even though it's your first year! You aren't taking that many units anyway. When you look for an apartment at the end of the year, don't settle for something crappy because it's close to campus. Suck it up, get a bike, and live farther away for better quality and cheaper rent. Have fun!


Hey hotshot, are you enjoying yourself right now? I know you worked hard to get where you are at this particular moment, but don't let your guard down. Don't set yourself up for failure. You may be the big fish right now, but where you're going, you're just another fish in the sea. Don't forget your goals, and what you worked so hard for. Just keep in mind what it is you're working towards and never let that out of sight. Things may get hard as you transition into a new living style, but don't be afraid. Your family is there for you, and you'll make plenty of friends. Just focus on your academics, but don't forget to also have fun and enjoy your college years. Life's short, but don't let that discourage you. After school's over you're still young, you'll have plenty of time to live life. The most important thing I can tell you, is to just simply be happy. That's the key. Be happy with yourself and your life. Have fun in college. You'll love it, I know I definitely do.


All of the fun stuff--the stuff that feels like you should put it off until after the next test or the next race or the next performance--that's the stuff you'll remember. Life can't be fun stuff all the time, but when you are taking a break anyway make sure you are really appreciating whatever you are doing instead of worrying about how you are going to have to make up for it later. Also, AP tests are way less helpful and AP classes are more helpful than you would think. You probably will not want to test out of very many requirements; it is however helpful to be familar with the basic concepts and to be used to having to put in a significant amount of effort. The band house is better than the dorms. A lot better. But you will value the independence that comes from not knowing anyone. It is nice to be able to make mistakes that won't follow you past May. Security and familiarity are more pleasant, but they just do not present comparable oppurtunities for examining who you want to be.


Take it easy and slow; enjoy yourself


If I were to go back in time to address myself as a high school senior, I feel like I would not want to tell myself about what was in store for me in my college experience. I have no regrets about my college experience so far, and I feel that this entire part of your life is really the time and place in which you begin to define yourself as a person. I don't think it would be fair to advise myself on how to go through college, because then I wouldn't establish the skills to learn my independence for myself, and to define my personality. What I experience in college is a necessary part of growing up, and to take advice about the transition would ruin the personal experience for my future self. I feel that it is crucial for students to learn how to handle academic and social difficulties and conflicts on their own, and to seek out their own advice and help when they feel that they need it. Besides, we're talking about me as a high school senior. . . Do high school seniors EVER take the right advice they're given?


I will tell myself to get into the habit of getting things done in time and really enjoy every moment of life.


Tin dreams a dream that he could talk to himself back in the time he was in high school. Knowing what will come next, Tin gave a deeply sincere advice to himself in order to prepare Tin in high school for the transition to college, more than a brother, because this is his own self: _Haha, you look pretty excited about going to college, huh? That's a good sign, because I want you to go to college bringing that passion and enthusiasm with you up there. It's going to be a whole new world with many new friends and people around you. So this character will help you to know lots of people who might be helpful both in your academic life and social life. Secondly, I want you to master as much as what you can learn here in high school. Trust me. They come handy all the time. And before I go, I want you to know to enjoy your high school time and spend it meaningfully with family because once you're in college, you won't have much time to see them. So I don't want you to regret about this ok?


If I were to meet my high school self, I would tell him that life is not fair. The effort you put into improving it, does not guarantee a better outcome than others receive, I used to take every failure as a personal insult, but now looking back on it, I realize it was just a phase. I woud also tel my past self to open up too people. Some of them are here to help you make the world a better place for you to live in. I would also tell him that no matter what, one should be proud of himself and congratulate him on working hard through high school.


Keyvan, just remember to keep it simple and stick to what you have learned in elementary school, "First work... then play." Even though as you get older there will be outside influences tempting you to deviate from this rule, these influences,for the most part,are not worth it. Just keep in mind, if you stick with this rule- it will pay off. Not only will you do better in your classes, you will also save time. For instance, by keeping to this rule you will be doing things like studying for a class right after lecture. This habit will all of a sudden give you the opportunity to ask professors/tutors concepts you do not understand. By being able to ask questions you will get a better understanding of the material, hence a better grade. You will save time by not having to laboriously look through books to answer them. By going to your professor you will establish a relationship that may be invaluable. This relationship may give an edge for future career plans like obtaining a letter or recommendation. Keeping to this rule has many advantages and it's so easy that elementary school students are taught this.


Don't worry about finding the perfect college. No matter which college you pick, you're going to learn life lessons and mature more than you ever have. Also make sure to have enough time to relax and socialize with friends. They will help you in different ways than teachers will help you.


guide them and don't just let them decide for something they are so eager to take


I would suggest that parents and students keep an open mind when considering each university. Just because one school has always been the "dream school" does not mean that it is the right school for someone. Because of my association with a sports team, I get to see many prospective freshmen. The ones that make the best choices for them (even if it is at a different school) know what they want in terms of environment, class size, and academic opportunities, but also allow themselves to really explore each one of their choices. These students are overwhelmingly happier and more confident with their decision.


My advice to parents to help their students along with the college choosing process is to show enthusiasm as to where they want to go and make the trips to the students dream campus and take a tour to see if it's the campus for them. Students can do all the research they want on a campus, but when they finally visit, that's when you know whether it can be home or not. It is all about how comfortable you are, and that's how you'll know if your student will succeed, and that"s by touring the campus. Also, to find out what programs are available that can allow overnight sleepovers at a campus to get a better feel as to how it would be like to live there in On-Campus housing.


First and foremost it is important for all prospective students and parents to know that this time they are going through willl be difficult, school will be scary and nothing will be as perfect as home. You are not alone in this feeling. That said, I would strongly advise that students who know what they want to puruse, attend a school that offer courses in that subject area. Further, if you know what you enjoy, but not what you like to study, make sure those 'types' of classes or off-campus activities are on (or around) your chosen campus. And finally, and most importantly, trust your instincts. If you are not extremely academic, do not attend an Ivy-League school because you will regret it (and visa-versa if you are academic). If you like to socialize, but dislike the Greek scene, take note of that. You and your parents know you best, pick a school, not based on ranking, but on its fit with your personality. Do the research on your school and discover all that it holds, the good and the bad. You will excell in an environment that you are most happy in.


You cannot know what college will be like before you actually start. Neither can you know which college is the "rightest" for you. But the cool thing is that it doesn't matter that you're not psychic. If you visit a diversity of colleges before applying and enrolling, you will get an idea of places you would like to end up. Don't stress over not getting into #1, or thinking you won't like where you go. Any college in which you choose to enroll will be the best and most rewarding time of your life, if you make it so. Any college you attend can be a dull waste of time if you choose, as well. Take classes that INTEREST you, and don't be shy socially or academically. Do what you want. You are an adult. Make the decisions that will make you happy, and you WILL be happy. Any college you choose has professors expert in their fields, organizations to suit your interest, and a social network in which you will feel at home. Choose what feels best, and you will have chosen right.


Do your research when you apply. I thought I'd never want to go to Wellesley because it's an all women's school, but my friend who was forced to apply there by her dad now goes there and loves it. I think I'd rather be there than at Berkeley. If possible, do visit campuses! I don't really like Berkeley, but it's big enough that I can go out and find the people/activities I like. It just takes more effort than at, say, a private school.


The process of choosing a college is often unreasonably difficult and stressful, but it is important to remember that if you believe in yourself and your abilities, you really can do well almost anywhere. It is certainly a huge help to visit schools firsthand, talk to students who are NOT giving the tours, and explore a school's surrounding city/town in order to truly get a feel for each campus' entire package. But, once the acceptance letters have been sent and you know what your options are, the best thing to do is to maintain a constructive and positive outlook! If you are initially optimistic when you choose your school, and get yourself excited to begin your first year, the whole college experience starts off well. And, a good start is the best way to have an amazing time in college- which is the ultimate goal of the college search in the first place!


sometimes people belive that they should be the ones chosing a specific school to attend, but not always is that the case, because sometimes is the school that chooses the students., and thats something pretty special....... when for the first time you step on the campus and you feel happy, proud and excited at the same time, then thats when you know that that is the special and right place to be, the one in which you belong, you will start a new chapter in your life and in the one where you will do history. :)