As the new admits to UC Berkeley start making big plans about all the new experiences they wish to have in college, it’s hard for upperclassmen not to feel some sense of nostalgia for the excitement that came with being a freshman and coming to UC Berkeley for the first time. While being an upperclassman provides some advantages in terms of class enrollment and job opportunities, here are some of the things upperclassmen miss about being freshmen.
While it may not seem like anything special on the surface, trust us — living in the dorms is so much easier than finding an affordable, nice place in Berkeley. Plus, in the dorms, you essentially get to live with all your friends for one great year and are transformed into the social butterfly you always wanted to be.
The dining halls
Dining hall food is … well, dining hall food, but the bliss of not having to cook or spend any additional money on food or grocery shopping is incomparable. You save so much time and money with the dining halls — plus, meal points are great! You can grab coffee anytime at Peet’s or stock up on snacks at Bear Market, and you can even treat yourself to a fancy meal at Brown’s, all with your handy-dandy meal points! Meal points are also a great way to make friends with upperclassmen by swiping them in (hint, hint).
Having an RA
We’ve all locked ourselves out at some point. Sometimes, you’re lucky and your roommates are home and can let you in, but other times, they’re on the other side of campus and won’t be home until much later. Having a resident assistant means there’s always someone to let you into the dorms and to help you adjust to this new life of freedom and responsibility. RAs are also great people to talk to anytime you feel like UC Berkeley is a little too much to handle.
Knowing that a lot of student organizations want to recruit you
Freshmen are ideal new recruits for many student organizations. As an upperclassman, it’s often more difficult to get accepted into clubs. But as a freshman, you have an advantage over older students by bringing newer perspectives, and clubs want to create a community and recruit members who are willing to commit (which freshmen are more than able to do).
Knowing you have buffer time and don’t need to know what you want to do with your life
Declaring majors, filling out forms, writing concentration proposals and trying to boost GPAs are some of the things freshmen don’t need to worry about that constantly stress out upperclassmen. As a freshman, you’re able to explore so many subjects, classes and clubs, and that freedom is something that you’ll miss as your continue to move up in your years at UC Berkeley.
A fresh start
The absolute best thing about being a freshman in college is having that fresh start. New place, new friends, new interests, new experiences — it’s thrilling. As a freshman, you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself and pursue almost anything you’d like, so take advantage of that!
While there are undoubtedly great things about being a freshman, don’t forget how exciting it is to be an upperclassman and to get closer to realizing your professional goals! In short, make sure to enjoy your Berkeley experience no matter which year you are.
Contact Ananya Sreekanth at [email protected].