UC Berkeley through a high schooler’s perspective

Franchesca Spektor/File

Ever wondered what today’s high schoolers think of UC Berkeley? Today’s your lucky day.

Traversing the majestic campus of UC Berkeley is a high schooler’s dream come true. For most of us in the Bay Area, it’s the first legitimate college campus we’ve been on. Immediately, we are mesmerized by the sights, sounds and students. Despite only being a few years older than high school students, college students are on a whole ‘nother level. Please don’t get offended if we look at you like aliens, we’re probably just in shock.

Everyone at UC Berkeley is super SMART.

We think everyone at UC Berkeley had a 5.0 unweighted GPA, 2600 SAT score, 563,738,192 extracurriculars and can probably actually beat you at Trivial Pursuit.

And really tightly wound.

All work and more work = UC Berkeley student.

UC Berkeley is the low-key party school.

UC Berkeley doesn’t really have a reputation for being home to the party gods but among high-schoolers, college is college. What do high schoolers know about partying anyway?

Do Nobel laureates actually park in those spaces?

TBH, most of us didn’t believe these spots existed until we saw them in person. Most of us also don’t believe we’re even in the same orbit as Nobel laureates.

Everyone at UC Berkeley must be in great shape after walking up all those hills.

Let’s just say it took two average high schoolers who are used to flat ground about 30 minutes to walk all the way up Hearst Avenue from Shattuck (we’re probably out of shape, but still).

Wow, we’re probably never gonna get in but at the same time WE REALLY WANT TO GO HERE.

UC Berkeley seems like a distant dream to all of us except the superhuman, extremely well rounded students. We’ve all had siblings, friends, friends’ siblings and friends’ siblings’ friends’ distant relatives go to UC Berkeley and for some students already, we feel like we already go there. For many students, UC Berkeley is the perfect college: it’s close to home for those in the Bay Area, not too pricey for in-state residents, the best public university in the world and full of brilliant minds that are the epitome of quality education.


60 percent of everything we know about UC Berkeley is from the memes page. We get a pretty good idea of both students and campus life (ahem, finals week) and we’re just as addicted to them as actual UC Berkeley students. They’re just too good and actually very relatable to us as well.

UC Berkeley is woke AF.

To think UC Berkeley is just “woke” is an understatement. After spending a few days on campus, you can probably conclude that a good chunk of the students are extra EXTRA woke. 

And crazy liberal.

We can’t even begin to comprehend how free-spirited UC Berkeley students are, mainly because most high schools don’t provide a good environment for the flourishing of intense political discussions (and most high schools just aren’t that liberal in the first place). As soon as you set foot on campus, it’s like being hit with a massive blue sledgehammer.

UC Berkeley has fiery (literally) protests. All. The. Time.

If there’s one thing UC Berkeley has been known for all across the nation, it’s their protests. Most of us don’t know exactly what triggers most of the protests but we’re pretty sure they’re all based on something at least vaguely Trump-related at the moment.

To high school students (and some of their parents), UC Berkeley is heaven. It’s the place where we’re all nagged to go and the place where many actually want to go, too. It’s a place where liberals rule.

UC Berkeley is the school of opportunity; it not only has the prestigious title but also the quality education to back that sh*t up (hello, UC Berkeley’s the number one public university in the world). It’s an unfamiliar territory, filled with stress, extreme independence (aka no Mommy and Daddy to hold your hand all the time anymore) and lots and lots of hope.

And it’s a place that frankly has high schoolers all over the world thunderstruck. ‘Nuff said.

Contact Pooja Bale at [email protected].