University of California-Berkeley Top Questions

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


First, you have to be honest about what type of atmosphere you want- big, small, close to home, far away, private, public, division 1, no football, greek life, world renowned performing arts- the amenities at different schools are endless. Somewhere out there is a school that has everything you really want and need. Second, do your research, you have to look into every academic and extra-curricular program and opportunity that a campus has to offer to make sure that it has something for you that will make your experience there worth while. Third, visit the campus while students are in session. The vibe on and off campus is completely different during the summer, weekend, and hollidays visit on a normal day of instruction and visit a class if you can. If you feel like you can see yourself sitting there with a notebook and pen and then walk over to the cafe for lunch with your friend and see yourself studying under that tree in the plaza, you know you are in the right place.


When looking for the right college, use the resources that are available to you. Consult guidebooks, high school counselors, and people you know who are in college already. If possible, visit a few colleges in order to get a feel for the different sorts of campuses. Look for colleges that have strong programs in your interest areas, but try not to lock yourself into one set program - give yourself options. If you don't get into your dream school, never fear - try to choose the best fit of your remaining options, and give whatever school you end up at a chance. When you get to college, try new things! College is a time for you to study hard and do well, but also to have fun and experience the world. Don't write off anything just because you've never heard of it or have never done it before. Give new classes, activities, clubs, sports, and people a try. The more things that you try, the more things you'll discover you enjoy, and the more friends you'll make. Study hard, have fun, and live with the goal of no regrets, because your college experience will fly by.


Find a college where you feel comfortable with as well as the surrounding area. Visit any school that you are interested in. As I've heard from teachers, and as I have personally experienced, how you feel when you visit the school can say a lot. Explore different fields of study that interest you during your first year or two. College courses are different from highschool and you may find that there is a subject that you really enjoy and have never really learned about. Get involved -- academically and/or just something you enjoy for fun. College is not only about text books -- though you will be spending plenty of time on academics. Socialising and enjoying your time in college is also very important. Finding some activity that you really enjoy and balancing that with school work can make for a better college experience. Be yourself! Don't feel that you need to change who you are to 'fit in.' Be open to knew ideas.


I would tell prospective parents and students to look for a college that you feel at home at. Look for a college that best suits your personality. As for the college experience, I would recommend joining various clubs and not being shy about attending events because this is where you will meet most of your friends!


Be honest with yourself and your priorities! Competitive, large schools are easy to get lost in if you are already unsure of yourself and direction in life. It's possible, but difficult to tread water if you don't have your 'eyes on the prize' and establish a supportive circle of friends on campus. IT IS NECESSARY TO MEET WITH YOUR ADVISOR EARLY ON -- SEEK THEM OUT, TAKE THEIR HELP!!!! They are not just to use after things go wrong or are difficult, use before -- prevent this, again, be PROACTIVE and you'll succeed!


I would say that, to find the right college, a future student must accept the entire environment the school has to over, whether it's the academics, city or just the pace of life. A student should be able to adjust to their school easily and enjoy it. To make the most of your college experience, don't be afraid to try new things and be social. Being social will help you get through school since you can find a balance in study and play. When trying new things be sure to have an open mind, however maintain your integrity as well. Be sure to look at the campus and talk to people who have graduated and who are enrolled because it's important to see the two perspectives, which contributed to a better decision when weighing your options.


Your child's college career starts as early as birth. Everything about your child's upbringing and personality, likes and dislikes play just as big a role in determining the right college as his/her dreams of the future do. The journey begins with you as a parent. The decision is ultimately your child's, but you are the foundation of strengthening your child's chances at attending their dream college and them making the most of it. Your child needs your full support in helping to shape them into the best versions of themselves. In other words, be an active supporter throughout your child's education and help them save money towards their future. Help them set future goals early and get them involved in their community, at their schools, and in other such activities available. When the time comes, ask yourselves what characteristics you both would want your child's college to have. What kind of degree programs are you interested in? Which schools will be financially supportive? What kind of college environment do I prefer? Getting into the mindset of planning early makes finding your dream school and planning your years there easier and much more enjoyable.


Make sure you consider the surrounding environment. How easy is it to get housing and how expensive is it. Make sure your child also feels excited about the extra-curricular activites that are offered there. Make sure the school also allows for enough academic freedom to change degrees and classes, and have a strong GPA if they work hard and not just from a curve.


In order to find the right collge, you should definitely research online and logistically stuff like that but most importantly, visiting, actually seeing the place yourself is the best way. If you know students currently enrolled or who attended the school, ask a lot of questions. Getting advice from the students themselves is the best way to find out if this college is right for you. Also, when choosing a school, you should definitely look into your major and which college has a stronger program for you. This will help a lot when you are applying for jobs in the future. And when you get into the college of your choice, please make the most of your experiences there. Go out and try new things, don't hesitate at all. Take in all the opportunities because if you let it go, you'll only regret it later. Join clubs, get involved in something where you can meet new people because people connection is crucial when applying for jobs in the world outside of college. Just have fun and remember to balance your social life with your education.