100 things we at the Clog wish we knew as freshmen

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Winky Wong/Staff

We here at the Clog were freshmen once, too. We made our rookie freshman mistakes, but we would really love for you to learn from them. We asked ourselves, what do we wish we knew when we were first coming in? We’ve collected some true college knowledge for you.

  1. You don’t have to do all the reading for your classes.
  2. But you should probably do some of it.
  3. Buffet-style dining hall food will catch up with you.
  4. Learn how to use BART.
  5. You aren’t the score you get on your first midterm.
  6. People say you’ll make your best friends in college, but you don’t have to.
  7. Figure out all AC Transit lines for your own benefit.
  8. Pulling an all-nighter is not healthy.
  9. There are more places to eat on campus than the Golden Bear Cafe.
  10. Don’t buy Naked Juice every day if you want to keep your meal points.
  11. Main Stacks is not the only library to study in.
  12. If you think you will get a table at Free Speech Movement Cafe during dead week, you are sorely mistaken.
  13. Take advantage of the cafes around campus! They are great for studying.
  14. It’s OK to take breaks on weekends to go explore.
  15. San Francisco is more than just Chinatown and Embarcadero.
  16. You will survive living in a triple.
  17. You will be able to handle your classes, even if you are involved in extracurriculars.
  18. Some of the friends you make in your residence halls will be your friends until you graduate.
  19. Your resident assistant actually is a valuable resource.
  20. Late Night is greasier than you think.
  21. You will meet so many more people than your floor mates freshman year.
  22. You can listen to free concerts by sitting on the hill in back of the Greek Theatre.
  23. There are more buildings on campus than just Dwinelle and Wheeler halls.
  24. You can get free printing at Hearst Gym.
  25. Office hours are not as intimidating as you think they are.
  26. There is a difference between a good friend and a good roommate.
  27. Have a resume.
  28. Learn how to write a professional, on-time, follow-up email.
  29. The Student Learning Center is your friend.
  30. You do not need to put your name down on every email list at Calapalooza.
  31. Joining clubs is important, though.
  32. Try to exercise at least once per day — walking to class can count, too!
  33. Keep track of your keys and Cal 1 Card.
  34. You are more than your student ID number.
  35. Memorize your student ID number.
  36. There are things to eat at GBC other than chicken strips and tater tots. Be sure to check out the Greek wrap and yogurt parfait.
  37. Bear Market is a great place to buy milk, cheese and ice cream.
  38. There is a new Safeway on College Avenue and a Target Express on Shattuck Avenue.
  39. Be sure to check out the North Face outlet.
  40. iClicker points can make the difference between a B and an A.
  41. Start looking for a summer internship before and during winter break.
  42. When your parents or guardians come to visit, take advantage of it. There are so many delicious food options to explore!
  43. Bear Market, GBC and the Den are great, but they will sap your meal points so fast if you don’t rely on them in moderation.
  44. It’s OK to eat at the dining hall by yourself.
  45. Having Cream every day is probably not the best idea.
  46. Keeping your door open in the residence halls is a great way to get to know your floor mates.
  47. There are a TON of restaurants in Berkeley that deliver.
  48. Exploring is awesome — if you live on Southside, try restaurants on Northside. Go down to Shattuck, up to Gourmet Ghetto, etc.
  49. If you find yourself missing malls and chain restaurants, Emeryville is only a bus ride away.
  50. Finding a community makes college feel like home — and it’s OK if that community isn’t your floor in the residence hall.
  51. Actually going to stuff during Welcome Week is the right way to go.
  52. There is SO MUCH FREE FOOD you can get during Welcome Week.
  53. Your GPA probably won’t be as high in college as it was in high school, and that’s totally OK.
  54. You should always say yes to new experiences.
  55. If you wear your Cal lanyard around your neck, people WILL know that you’re a freshman.
  56. It’s easy to go crazy with the fun stuff once you get to college, but don’t forget to do everything in moderation.
  57. Bear Transit daytime and nighttime shuttles are lifesavers.
  58. It is OK to change your major, whether you went into college undecided or thought you knew exactly what you wanted to do.
  59. And it is OK to have no idea what you want your major to be. That’s what your first years at college are for!
  60. You should go to office hours, even if you think you don’t need to.
  61. The Recreational Sports Facility has massages that you can make appointments for online.
  62. There’s an art studio underneath GBC where you can take classes in ceramics, photography and a ton of other art forms.
  63. When you’re a student, going up the Campanile is free and still totally worth it.
  64. There are therapy dogs on campus for hugs all the time if you know where to look for them.
  65. You will eventually only be 20 percent weirded out by the strange encounters you experience in Berkeley.
  66. Big Game week is awesome. School spirit is also generally awesome, even when we suck at football.
  67. Your best investment is making friends with someone who has a Zipcar membership.
  68. You can rent textbooks on Amazon Prime.
  69. If a textbook is only “recommended,” there’s an approximately 90 percent chance you will never even open it.
  70. Freshman seminars and DeCals are a great way to get to know people in a low-stress academic environment. Plus, you get an extra unit or two.
  71. If you’re studying in a department that has Berkeley Connect, it is worth your time.
  72. The Haas School of Business has top-notch campus food.
  73. It is OK if your residence hall roommate doesn’t become your best friend, but keep it civil.
  74. Load some money onto your Cal 1 Card for emergency on-campus printing.
  75. Professors are more approachable than you might think.
  76. Remember to look up your Tele-BEARS appointment each semester.
  77. And add it to your calendar with an alarm.
  78. ScheduleBuilder and Ninja Courses are life-savers for scheduling classes.
  79. Comfortable shoes are your best friends if you have class across campus.
  80. The campus seems big at first, but use the Campanile as a way to orient yourself on campus and find your way around.
  81. And if that doesn’t work, use the GPS on your phone.
  82. Once you get to upper-division classes, classes often become smaller.
  83. Bring a reusable water bottle with you. There are water fountains or “hydration stations” in every building.
  84. It is OK to fly solo and show up to random events alone.
  85. And it’s even better to talk to strangers at these random events.
  86. People are calling their parents more than you think.
  87. You will not be able to wake up for your 8 a.m. classes. Avoid at all costs.
  88. Expect mostly hookups, not relationships.
  89. Be prepared to be corrected when you’re even slightly politically incorrect.
  90. Berkeley goggles is not that real of a phenomenon.
  91. You will probably fail your first midterm, but don’t be disappointed, because you can still do fine in the class.
  92. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Go at your own pace.
  93. If there are webcasts for the class, not many people are going to go to class.
  94. Gender-inclusive bathrooms are not as awkward as you think they might be.
  95. You won’t be able to keep in touch with all of your high school friends, and that’s all right.
  96. Grab a piece of fruit from the cafeteria each time you leave, because buying fruits can get expensive, and we all need our vitamin C.
  97. Don’t buy all your books: Try to find the PDF version of the books online first.
  98. The “freshman 15” is a real epidemic, so go to the gym when you can.
  99. Learn how to manage your finances, and only buy the stuff you need. Example: Buy food when you run out of meal points or when you are dissatisfied with the menu in the dining hall food.
  100. You will change, your high school friends will change, and the friends you make at UC Berkeley will change. It will all work out in the end.

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Holly Secon is the blog editor. Contact Holly Secon at [email protected].