The GSI: UC Berkeley’s unsung hero

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Joshua Jordan/File

You’re not a Berkeley student if you haven’t had a life-saving GSI. Although they’re instrumental in our college education, oftentimes they go unappreciated. So here’s to the GSIs, the backbone of our education and saviors of our GPA.

They help you actually learn the material

The amount of times we Cloggers have gone to a lecture only to leave dazed and confused is astronomical. Lucky for us, GSIs usually relecture and answer our questions in section, which is pretty handy.

They’re the only reason your homework gets done correctly

Imagine trying to figure out homework without the help of your GSI or their office hours. Just imagine it.

Some of them are thoroughly entertaining

One of us Cloggers had a GSI who introduced us to groovy new music and fascinated us with tales of backpacking through Europe. He was also one of the funniest people you’ll ever meet, which proves that even beyond their academic skills, GSIs can also provide entertainment value.

They can identify with the shittiness of your workload

The best part of GSIs is their relatability. Professors often don’t get what it’s like to be hopelessly confused by a subject, or at least they probably don’t remember the last time that they were. GSIs have been and perhaps still are in the same boat as us, which is comforting to know.

They know the meme page as well as you do

It’s safe to say the meme page isn’t on most professors’ priority list. Actual students, however, know the meme page. This means that all students (including GSIs) share a sacred, unbreakable bond.

They do more work than the professors

They mark up your papers, grade your tests, teach a class and make lesson plans. Professors rarely grade anything, and the fact that the GSIs put all that time in makes them the real MVPs. 

They understand your pain, because they were once in your position too

GSIs were once undergraduates who were (and probably still are) more stressed than you are.
Next time you find yourself sleeping through discussion, skipping section or cursing your GSIs relatively harsh grading, take a minute to think about all the ways they come in clutch. 

We at the Clog hope you have a newfound appreciation for your GSI. They’re not so bad after all.

Contact Melany Dillon at [email protected].