6 things to know for your first day of class at Cal

created by Arya Aliabadi

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It’s almost the first day of class, but don’t worry! We at The Daily Clog have your back. Here are five things to know that will make your first day of class at UC Berkeley a breeze.

1. You don’t need to bring your books — in fact, you don’t even always need to buy them.

First, unless you receive an email stating otherwise, no one expects you to have books on the first day. A lot of students wait to buy their books until after the first day to make sure the professor actually intends to use them. If the professor only plans to use a couple of pages in a book, then borrow it from the course reserves collection in Moffitt and just copy the pages you need. Additionally, most classes at Cal start off pretty slow, as students are still adjusting their schedules. There’s no need to lug all of your textbooks and readers around like a middle schooler. Just wait to find out which books you want to bring with you on certain days.

2. Embrace the fact you will get lost in Dwinelle.

Prepare to give yourself an extra 15 minutes to navigate the maze that is Dwinelle Hall. You will get lost, so stay calm. When you enter for the first time, spend a few minutes staring at the maps on either side of the main entrance. These signs will soon become your best friends. Even seniors get lost, so don’t worry if you can’t find your way!

3. Classes start 10 minutes after the scheduled time.

This is called “Berkeley Time” and is kind of like your passing period from high school — except that you can show up late to class, and no one will care. “Berkeley Time” is an unofficially official rule. No lecture, discussion or lab will start until 10 minutes after the scheduled time, so don’t sweat it if you have back-to-back classes — unless you’re going to Northside. In that case, you’re going to sweat, whether you like it or not.

4. You need to know your CalNet ID and password to get on AirBears.

You’re going to need to know your CalNet ID and password if you want to get on AirBears, the campus Wi-Fi network. If you forget this, it’s going to be a long first day, as you will be without much-needed Internet. Plus, you’re really not getting the full college experience if you aren’t on Facebook chatting with your friends during lecture.

5. Advisers are your best friend.

Advisers for your major, department or college are experts regarding any question you have. Advisers have the inside scoop on everything. They know about the best classes to take, the ups and downs of every professor and the awesome research and internship opportunities. Talk to your adviser early and often — it can only help!

6. Smile, and people will smile back — unless you’re in UGBA 10.

Seriously, just be friendly. It’s the first day of class, and everyone is still looking to make friends. This is your best chance to find buddies to hang with during class, and you can study with them in a few weeks when the first round of midterms come (don’t worry; we’ll have lots of tips about handling midterms). This is true for every class except UGBA 10 — in which case you should come prepared to trust no one and fight your peers to the death for the top ranking.

Did you bring your rolling backpack on your first day of class?

Contact Daniel Radding at [email protected]