Struggles of going to a huge university

Mikaela Raphael/File

Yes, we all know what you’re thinking. UC Berkeley is one of the best public universities in the world, and that’s part of the reason why we chose to attend this school. However, little did we know, nor did we expect, the endless obstacles we would soon face due to the tens of thousands of other students that also roam the same campus. Despite the seemingly low percentage of applicants that UC Berkeley boasts of admitting each year, the ever-increasing number of students incurs a heavy burden upon the attendees; you’re bound to experience it in your college years at this fine institution.

1. There are never enough seats or spaces at which to study. Even with the relatively recent openings of MLK and Eshleman (and we definitely can’t overlook the newly remodeled Moffitt Library), students are still walking straight in and straight out because all of the seats are taken. Despite the high number of available libraries and classrooms on campus, everything somehow always seems to be full and totally occupied. The floor seems to be the new popular study area.

2. The lines at the RSF are out the door. With the limited number of squash rooms, basketball courts and even big rooms like Combatives, who knows when one will be able to just walk in freely without planned reservations again? Furthermore, the recently installed cardio machines are cleverly limited with a 30 minute timer in order to encourage users to not hog the space so that others can work out. Don’t even begin to mention the weight room at the beginning of each semester. The mile-long line of protein shake enthusiasts occupies the middle of the RSF floor like a line of ants making their way home with newly found food.

3. You can’t get into the classes you need, and the waitlists are closed. One of the largest headaches in the middle of each semester is the arrival of your Phase 1 course registration. And, the struggle continues with the coming of Phase 2. It’s nearly impossible to get into the classes that you need for your major, because so many upperclassmen beat you to it. And, the worst of them all are the capped classes that prevent you from even getting onto the waitlist. It’s stressful and requires strategic planning to ensure that you can graduate on time.

4. Good housing is hard to find. Because the number of admits has grown significantly over the past years, sometimes even for the incoming freshmen or junior transfers, housing isn’t guaranteed. Furthermore, the desired housing options offered either by the school or third-party landlords are always very limited and snatched up at every opportunity. Trying to find a not-so-janky and inexpensive place to live around campus is a quite a challenge. Landlords that recognize this high housing demand can take advantage of our need for shelter.

5. The bus is always too full. You know that the 20-minute-late-walk-of-shame into class is always a genuine possibility. Everyone has a bus pass, but more often than not, most students primarily take the 51B or the 49. This becomes the biggest issue when rainy days decide to plague Berkeley, leaving students stranded at the bus stop because it’s already reached its maximum capacity and can’t sustain anymore people.

Cheers to a new semester at this prestigious university! *Insert upside-down smiley face emoji*

Contact Sunny Tsai at [email protected].