- Class: Senior
- Major: Other Interdisciplinary
- Gender: F
- High School: Louisville High School
- Transfer Student: N
Before I came to Berkeley, I didn't know who I was. I didn't even want to come to Cal. Four years later, I have been shaped by this place like no other experience in my life. I don't know now if I am Berkeley, or Berkeley is me. Sounds cheesy, but as I am about to graduate I very much like I owe Cal for what it has made me. Berkeley, on a sunny day (which is usually all of spring semester), is the most glorious sight. Students are littered across the various grassy areas of campus, sitting in groups, as the bustle of classes beginning or ending flows around them. Sitting on campus gives this feeling of happiness and belonging I cannot describe. I have school pride because my experience here has been wonderful and exactly what I would want out of college. Yet, I have only been to one sporting event in four years. That part of campus life, which is very popular, doesn't really appeal to me. I love Berkeley because of the people I met here. This place attracted people who are smart, interesting, and unique.
I have had very close relationships with a handful of professors. The professors at Berkeley are always available, but you have to use them. They won't hold your hand. I found that out my freshman year. You can skip class and no one notices! It first this seemed cool, but then I realized that getting good grades was really easy if you read all your readings, went to class and discussion section. But the most important thing, in order get the benefit of the doubt by your graduate student instructors - who run discussion section and ultimately grade you - is to visit them in their office hours and show interest in the class. I have had so many great graduate student teachers. They are close to my age but know the material like the back of their hand - just more approachable then professors. When I was in the dorms, I realized how hard some people studied. I was never one of those people. I saw college as a holistic experience rather than simply an academic one. My only complaint about Berkeley's academic requirements are their breadth requirements. I came to Berkeley to study humanities. Yet, I had to complete a biological and physical science requirement. I know I came to get a liberal arts education, but NOBODY is benefitting by me taking science and math. I found it frustrating that I had to waste two classes worth of units on topics that I hate.
This campus is incredibly diverse. It is not just Asian, as people like to say. Campus groups are very active and their tables line Upper Sproul, the main square that extends from Sather Gate. In fact, it is hard to get through that area on a regular school day without ten people handing you a flyer about their improv show or local protest. Looking around campus, one could quite literally see every single variation of dress - from hippie to hipster to sorority Barbie. The Berkeley campus is quite a stylish one, which is contrary to my image of the student body when I was applying to Cal. Birkenstocks are NOT the only footwear worn on campus. Bikes are very popular among the student body for transportation, but it is part of the culture of this town as well. Most students, despite the image they project, are middle class. Living in the dorms or the coops, however, is a very equalling experience and a student's financial background is not obvious. Students are smart. They just are. Even people that don't pontificate about French politics or labor practices in Bolivia have a knowledge of a wide range of subjects and could converse about almost anything. My brother came to visit me one weekend, and couldn't believe the conversations my friends and I were having at a party. Students here like to learn, or they wouldn't be here. When I have to do group projects for class, it isn't like high school where one person does all the work while the other people lay around. At Cal, people participate. I constantly feel dumb here. But in a good way. In a way that makes me want to be as smart and work as hard as other people in my classes.
The Best Things
The Worst Things
it's math buildings - so ugly!