University of California-Berkeley Top Questions

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


college is a time to try anything and everything. don't hold anything back, be yourself, and get involved, and you'll reap all the benefit from your school


For all those kids who don't know what they want to be when they grow up, research now! Information to make wise decisions is very powerful. All the data you need is on the internet. Interview others and volunteer in the field. Whatever you don't like, you eliminate and move on. If you happen to stumble upon something that you do like to do, research for the best program that will get you there! Does this college have a program? How good is it (not necessarily in rank)? Will it teach you the skills and give you the certification for a job? What kind of emphasis does the program have? clinical vs. retail? Consider location, money (unless it is a top rated school. I believe in investing in education. Nobody can ever take that away from you), and atmosphere (visit the campus if possible). One of the things I would do over again is to be better informed about what I was getting myself into. But if you're already in school, make the best of it and utilize all your resources for more opportunities!


Finding the right college is a difficult process, mostly because the school does whatever it can to sugarcoat everything. It takes all of the negative aspects of the school and either ignores them or makes them seem to be positive. This may seem very pessimistic but it is only a small dose of realism intended to give a bit of perspective. The "right" school is obviously a relative term due to the fact the every student needs something different. In my humble opinion, the best source of information about a school is not the school itself, or school-employed tour guides who will say anything to make the school seem like it is the best of any. The best source is the current students. This is traditionally and currently a difficult source to tap because there are few programs that collect and openly distribute such opinions. However, there are companies whose purpose is to collect such information to the great benefit of prospective students and parents looking for the "right" school. Although each student has a right school, the choice can only go as far as he or she takes it with positive attitude and optimistic effort.


Go to your first choice, but if you do not get it, don't fret. In my experience, as long as you are prepared to be adaptible to any environment, you can be happy anywhere. Plus, if you get in somewhere and realize that you absolutely hate it, you can always transfer. You have options!


Definite visit the campuses and know the atmosphere. Consider the field that you are interested in and attend a school that has it as its forte and not a well known school that doesn't provide much opportunities in that area.


It's often hard to find the right college. But it always comes down to what the student (and not the parent) is looking for. For example, financial aid and location of the college were my top two parameters. I come from a low-middle income family, and did not want to burden my parents more. Also, I like the livelyness of a city, and was tired of living in a San Diego suburban area. Knowing my preferences, I decided that I wanted to attend a college located in or nearby a city that could provide me good financial support. I had the chance to choose from the following colleges: University of Chicago, Notre Dame University, Cornell University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD and NYU. As a California resident, the UCs gave me the best financial packages. But my family currently lives in Indiana, so either Notredame University of University of Chicago would have been closer home. But considering their location(nearby city), I narrowed my choices down to UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Chicago. Lastly, I chose UC Berkeley because it offered me full scholarship and it was located in the colorful city I was looking for. Hope this helped :]


Do not stress out if you do not get into your top choice. Where ever you end up for college there will be amazing new people to meet, a new place to explore, and a wonderful opportunity to learn. Think about what you really need as a student and as a human being, i.e. small classes or large classes? Many people or few people? In state or out of state? These are the really important questions. The unimportant questions are what kind of prestige does the school have?, or how will this help me make lots of money in the future? The whole point of college I believe, is to learn HOW to think, not what to think. This is what's really going to help you in the future, and this s best done in the place that has the best environment for your mind to grow and change. But no matter what, do not stress out if you do not get into your top choice. People have an uncanny ability to adapt to curve ball situations and then succeed and be happier than they ever thought they could be.


When searhing for the right college, keep in mind that your college years will likely be a very transformitive experience for you. That is, because you might find that at college your interests have shifted drastically from the time you were in high school, it is a good idea to look for a college that can accomidate a vast variety of your potential interests. Make sure that you will be able to study exactly what you think you want to study at the colleges you are applying to, but make sure that they are first-rate in other fields too. This will provide the flexibility you will be thankful for if you are inspired by an unfamiliar field. Remember also that your college campus should provide you with a wide arange of non-acedemic oppertunities as well. Clubs are a great way to make friends and discover new interests. Additionally, a diverse student body means you will be confronted with a great amount of differing perspectives on the world, which will likely help you judge what is important to you as a person. All in all, a college that provides you with many oppertunies is a good college to choose.


UC Berkeley gave me the opportunity to pursue my education in a welcoming and challenging environment that promoted the principles of high academic achievement and community. Students considering this school should be prepared to challenge themselves to strive for the best of their academic abilities. I would advise students to do their best to engage in as many activities as possible to get the full experience of the campus and the community while maintaining a primary focus on their coursework. Go Bears!


The most important advice I could give prospective students is to choose a college that makes you feel happy and excited about life. You will spend a lot of time there. Do not choose your college based on money, because it's just money and there are a ton of financial aid oppurtunities out there - you just have to look! Also, do not concern yourself soley with prestige . Colleges gain prestige for research findings, so unless you plan to be a researcher, it is more important that your college be supportive and comfortable with many social/extra curricular opportunities. I also encourage all freshman to live either in on-campus dorms or in a sorority/fraternity. It is the easiest way to make friends and you don't have to grocery shop or cook every night! And join at least one club right away! They are fun and give you something to put on your resume.


1. Visit the colleges you are thinking about attending 2. Do online research about different colleges 3. If possible, talk to students who are attending or have recently attended the schools you are considering, especially those in your major (if you have chosen one)


College is a time for learning about yourself, more than anything, and it is also one of the only times in your life when going completely outside of your comfort zone is feasible and should be encouraged. I highly recommend choosing an environment that challenges you, that is different from what you are used to, whether that be the location, size, or type (public vs. private) of the school you choose. Even if you are certain that you want to go to a small, private school, visit and apply to a large, public university as well. If you come from a rural or suburban environment, try living in a more urban location for four years. You will be challenged on so many more levels in your personal and educational life when learning to cope with a new living situation. Additionally, it is important to experiment academically. If you are certain you want to go to medical school, take a class in comparative literature, gender studies, art history, or environmental science. You never know where life might take you and it could be one of those classes that shows you your true passion.


The best way to choose the college that is right for you is to personally visit the campus. Applying, getting in and just reading about it is not enough. You should feel comfortable with the place you may potentially study at for the next for years. Also, during your time in college, be sure to join campus clubs and organizations. If you're into community service, that's cool! If you're into learning more about your culter, that's cool too! You may even be comfortable with fraternities or sororities. There are also many opportunities to work on campus. so look around, find your niche, and enjoy your college experience.


Parents: Don't pressure or tell your children where to go to school because if they go to a school that they never wanted to go to, they will not be happy and life would just be miserable. Let your children make the decision. Students: It's not about the prestige of the school, it's about where you think you would be happy. Where you could see yourself for the next 4 years. This is YOUR life, no one else's. And once you're at college, get involved!!! If all you focus on are academics, life would be hell. Joining a club sport is always fun. Not only do you stay in shape, but you also meet great people, and those practices are always a great escape from the monotony of academics.


Look for a college that has a program that really interests you and has a broad list of majors you can choose from.


Choosing a college was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. There are just so many factors involved: faculty-to-student ratio, intensity, emphasis on theory or application, ranking, and of course, expense. But none of these statistics really mean anything if you aren't happy wherever you decide to go; the only way to really get a feel for whether or not a college is a good fit for you is to visit it. Sit in on one of the lectures and see how comfortable you are with the number of people in the classroom. Is the professor trying to engage the students? Now take a walk around campus. Do you feel comfortble? Do the students look like they're happy to be there? Look in one of the dorms. Are the doors open, or are peopel cloistered in their own rooms? Explore the area around the campus. Walk through the city and look at the shops. Read a book in the campus library. If you can see yourself being happy doing this for the next four years, then the college fits like a glove.


Don't look exclusively at rankings or geographic location, but consider both because they are very important. Research the majors the student is considering, because even a great school can have a weak department, or vice versa. Take into consideration personality and overall school culture. A laid back person has a hard time dealing with uptight anxious people. If possible do a summer program during high school to experience the campus. Keep your grades up to give you flexibility in choosing a school.


have fun!


My biggest piece of advice for finding the right college is to visit the campuses. Statistics and facts online can only tell you so much; odds are if you don't like a place when you visit it, you won't like it while you attend it. Also, despite what you think you would prefer, look at campuses that are different from what you're used to. For example, I lived my whole life in the middle of a redwood forest, and I loved it there. But I allowed myself to look at more urban colleges, and now I'm at a very urban school and I absolutely love it. My final piece of advice to make the most of your time at college, is to study hard, but give yourself time to relax. Join a club and live in the dorms for a while; they are both really helpful in making friends and transitioning to life on your own. Always remember that you only get one shot at college, so make the most of the resources while they're available, even if it means forsaking sleep. Above all things, be good to yourself and enjoy life!


I would tell them to visit the college before they choose where they want to go, so they can observe and see what the environment has to offer. They can then see if they picture themselves attending that school!


If money isn't the biggest factor, don't let it be a factor. I feel pity for students who are financially able to attend four-year universities but choose to take a portion of their degree requirements at local community colleges simply to save money or to stay within their "comfort zone." The experience is vastly superior when it is at an established, nationally renowned university. Futhermore, parents who impose their opinion on their child too strongly can essentially expect their child to be unhappy with their college experience. Instead, provide the opportunity to travel with your child and visit the potential institutions to best judge which campus might be most suitable. I can't stress how important it is for the student to choose his/her own school and be happy/proud with that choice. These four (or three to five) years are really an amazing time to spread your wings. Everybody who has had a good college experience will agree. Pick the school that has the BROADEST range of academic topics and extracurricular activities. You'll truly find yourself, slowly but surely. Good luck!


Go to the place where the whole enviornment?the people, the architecture, the course, the weather, the setting, and especially the library, make you feel at home.


Go for the college that you feel most at home at because you will spending four years there. Do not pick a school because of prestige, name, or repuatation but the school you feel is best suited to your own needs and goals. Pick a school that will allow you to explore, row, and develop into the person you want to become, rather thana school that fits you into a mold of what your parents, friends, or others want you to become. College is one of the best and most rewarding experinces of your life, so take advatange of everything from academics, friends, social life, learning, everything. It goes by really fast and at the end its what you choose to make of it and your experience. Ultimately you are in charge of your future and time here.


First of all, don't panic. Don't take it too seriously either. You don't even need to pick your major right away, it's hard deciding what to do without any experience in it. Chances are, even after a campus visit, interviews with students and alumni, and visiting lectures, you may think you have found the right college, and later on down the road when you are actually attending, you may feel as if you've made a terrible mistake. Unless you're going to a school exceptionally noted for its expertise in one field or major for that field or major, it won't make too much of a difference where you go (if you're an undergraduate). Granted, this is still within a "league" of similar schools and one major in mind, don't compare success stories out of junior colleges to universities. Get your priorities in order. DECIDE on what you want later in life. You will miss your family and hometown friends, regardless of what you may think now. And never, NEVER pick a college for its "prestige" and fame factor. Whatever your choice is, don't worry, it'll probably be fine.


I first came to Cal reluctant because it wasn't my first choice, but I came with an open mind and willingness learn. I guess that's what made college so great. Not being afraid to experience new things, live away from home and learn. If you're willing to learn, it doesn't matter where you go because everything you experience will teach you something and overall, it'll make you a better person for doing so.


Attending college has been one of the best experiences in my life. I have learned to interact people with people from various socio-economic backgrounds. Do not let money or location determine what college you attend. I mean both are really important your college expereience, but so are academics and academic support, social life, food, and outside activities.


When in school make sure to live your life, do not just sit all day in the library and try to memorize every word in your textbook. Go out and make friends college is not about getting stragiht A's but making lifelong friendships and learning about life. Remember when employees are looking to hire they will not care about your grades if you can not present yourself and do not have knowledge outside your textbooks.


My advice is to pick a college that the student will enjoy both academically and socially. I am a senior now, and I have learned that college isn't all about studying and internships and finding full-time jobs. As a business major, I've spent 3.5 years in college focusing specifically on those areas, but I realize now that I should have explored all the different avenues available at my school. I am at a very liberal school with lots of diversity in both cultures and activities. I wish I had participated in more activities that interest me -- photography, cooking, playing jazz music, volunteering -- instead of simply going through the motions of school. I have also learned that school isn't everything. The be honest, most of what a student learns in the classroom will be forgotten the day the final exam is over, so get some real life experiences and enjoy the time you have in college.


Take advantage of what this school has to offer. You can do anything you want to here, if you're willing to search for it. If you're not self motivated, this is a very hard school to handle. No one will come knocking on your door if you run into trouble--you have to go looking for help.


When choosing a college, you should be sure that you feel comfortable there; I can't overstate the importance of VISITING the campus. Spend a night in a dorm room. Attend a class or two. Meet some students and go to a party. Sit in a cafe where people are studying. Wander around campus and imagine yourself spending the next four years there. If you can see it and are excited about it, you should apply. If you can't imagine it or can imagine four uncomfortable years, don't waste your time. When it comes to choosing a college, nothing matters more than comfort and happiness. Prestige, rankings, and statistics seem important but will have little or no effect on your daily experience. Once you get there, try to keep a good work/life balance. Take a manageable courseload so you can succeed in your classes without spending 100{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of your time on them. Make an effort to leave your dorm room, even if it feels awkward at first. Experience the area around your college, as well as the college itself. Take courses you enjoy and major in something that feels right, even if it doesn't seem practical.


Relax and be happy.


Think about what you are intellectually and emotionally ready for. If you believe you need more attention for example, go to a school with small class sizes. Study what you are interested in, not what will get you the best job.


Join a club and get involved! These are the best years of your life so have a great time!


Students should really attempt to identify what it is that they specifically wish to get out of college and then really seek to make the college work for the students to help them achieve their goals rather than going into college and expecting the college to automatically give students the answers.


PLease take into consideration the school size. If you are not a outgoing person with the ability to socialize or make friends on your own you need to stay or chose a small school. The worst thing to do is go somewhere that does not accommodate your natural tendency. Berkeley is strong when it comes to academic, so if slide through class , berkeley is not for you. Last, enjoy every moment of your life at college, it goes by very fast. IF your a student parent please take as much time as possible at the school. For freshmen, you do not need to know what you want to do at school. Please explore all the diiferent department in your first years and see what best suits you. lastly college is a learning institution but you do have time to enjoy yourself so do in safe manner.


It's about finding a place that the student would think he/she would learn best. Whether it's the environment, the diversity of students, class size, food, on-campus or off-campus living, difficulty of coursework, make sure you pick a place that you love and wouldn't regret spending a few years to develop your social network, build on your knowledge and skills, and be able to have fun at the same time. Once again, picking college is not a destiny of where you're being brought to after high school, but realistically a starting point of where you want to start your career and new page of life. Make a wise choice, and be prepared to enjoy and fall in love with your new life at this new place.


Make sure that you are completely ready to feel like you are on your own. Must be an independent worker and thinker. You have got to keep a strong exterior in order to stay competitive among peers. Be ready for a "reality check"-you are no longer the "best", valedictorian or saluditorian. You must earn the positions.


Make sure you click with your school- go for a good match both academically and non-academically. College can be miserable if you choose based solely on major or the school's prestige. Your major can (and likely will) change, and prestige won't make you productive in your environment for 4 years.


I would really have appreciated knowing beforehand that I had to give a written answer to some of these questions. Very sneaky survey tactic - tsk tsk.


Don't overthink it, and you'll know right away when you visit a campus whether it's the one for you. Try to find something with a little mix of everything, in order to give yourself the flexibility to be independent yet receive an excellent education and develop strong relationships for life. Join some on campus group or organization your freshman year, this is where you will make your friends and find a comfort zone immediataley. Most important of all, don't stress too hard. It always ends up ok at the end of the day.


College visits are very important. Don't just take the tours, actually shadow students to their classes and talk to the students that go there. There are many programs like that where a student can actually stay with a student for a couple of days to experience it. Also, if possible take summer courses at the college, that way you can get a feel for the academic rigor. Students need to figure out whether they want to go to a big school/small school, urban area or rural area, consider the weather and surrounding neighorhood of the school. Parents also need to make sure to let their student pick where they want to go and not force their student to go the school the parent wants the student to go. To make the most out of college, join clubs, go to office hours and get to know the professors and graduate students, don't be afraid to speak up and ask for help, and talk to peer counselors and advisors. Also, stay on top of the reading, professors usually do not check and it is easy to fall behind. Don't just worry about schoolwork, have fun!


When it comes to applying for college, keep your options open. You can start limiting your choices when you hear back from the schools. I had never even heard of Berkeley when I applied, but after I got in I checked it out and ended up going to school there. Cal was definitely the best fit for me - but I would not have guessed that when I applied to college. Once you get to school - wherever it is - it's up to YOU to get what you want out of it. There are tons of resources and fields of study out there, but they may not be easy to find. If you're not seeing what you want to see in terms of opinions and curriculum in your classes, then figure out a way to demand it! Speak up - this is the only time you will have smart professors around and people who will listen to you talk! The most important thing you can do in college is find out who you are as an indvidual and how you fit into the rest of the world - your major should help you do that, but don't let it limit you.


Make sure you go to a school that will help you succeed. Also, stick by what you want out of college. There will be people who will have different opinions about education and what it means. Don't listen to them. Stay true to your own goals, and you will have a good college experience. It sounds cliche, but in college, your friends start to have a huge influence over you. Your parents aren't around, and your close friends really become your family. This means that they will influence your ideas and opinions, but stay true to yourself. Try to surround yourself by good, positive people, but in the end, remember that the only person responsible for your success is yourself. Finally, think about the weather. It will make a huge difference on your mood and the activities you can do!


Visit the campus and get a feel for what the surrounding environment is like and the campus environment. It really affects how you live on campus and enjoy campus life.


Before you pick an area of study, do some research! Get out there and visit professionals that are doing what you think you would want to do. Most people have expectations of careers and don't realize that it's 85{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} paperwork, or all group work, or requires a lot of time in and out of the office. It's important that you visit the school too. Get a feeling for the class sizes, the professors, and the kind of overall attitude that the school has. It was a challenge for me to get used to the large classrooms and the limited one on one help; students should know of at least some of the pros and cons before waisting time at at school that is not for them.


Students should visit the campuses of the colleges they are applying to, to find one that strongly appeals to them. I know the virst time I visited Berkeley, I fell in love with the whole surrounding area. Finding that same experience will help greatly in choosing the college that fits you. To make the most of their experience, students should seek friends everywhere they go, keeping an open mind as they do so. Having friends from all types of backgrounds is greatly rewarding and is a growing experience as students transition into adulthood. Although academics are important at college, they should not be the full focus of the student. The greatest rewards and teachings come from the people you meet everyday.


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For both parents and students, it is all about going on campus tours, visits to colleges, and orientation events. These are the events that will demonstrate the campus culture and student interactions best. Hearing recruiters talk about the campus or reading handbooks will not give students the complete story. Hearing facts such as, "This is the number one public school in the U.S.," or "This school has a large Greek system," will not truly help determine whether or not the student will fit in and get the most out of the college expreience. However, one the student is admitted and enrolled in the college, he/she should be open-minded and active. That is the best way to learn the most about life and relationships, in addition to academic material and professional development. Go join clubs, start organizations, pledge for a fraternity or sorority, write a thesis paper, become a Resident Assistant. Being out there on campus will not only help the student's social life, it will also, in a way, positively affect his/her academic life.


Make sure you find a college that will let you step out of your comfort zone a bit. Not too much, or you will not get any work done. Make sure you find a place that will offer you interesting subjects, courses, and conversations both in and out of school. It is not so much about the classes as it is the experiences and knowledge. Research what the STUDENTS think of their school. Go to the campus and talk to both students and professors. If they are willing to talk to you and they seem open to share their honest opinions about anything in particular, that's probably where you want to go.


The ultimate choice of college really belongs to the student because in the end it is the student, not the parents, who will spend 4 years of their life there. One of the most important things to consider is how the school makes you feel. Visit the school and talk to current students. Sit in on a class if you can. Do not think that the official campus tour will show you everything you need to know. Spend some time exploring the campus and the surrounding city on your own. Making the most out of the college experience means being open to new experiences. Get to know new people. Go to all of the Welcome activities on campus even if the organization is not something you would typically consider. After checking out different campus organizations, clubs, and activities pick a few that you really like and attend as many meetings as you can. Also take advantage of the variety of classes offered. Whether you know what your major will be or not, take some fun electives and seminars. One of the most important things to remember is to balance studying, work, and social life.