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Declassified school survival guide: Spring admit and Global Edge edition

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MARCH 22, 2018

With roughly 2,000 students coming to UC Berkeley’s campus in the spring, you’re not alone. Whether your unconventional beginning at the hub of grade deflation involves staying at home to work during the fall semester, traveling, or participating in Global Edge in London, there are a couple of things you should know. Here are 44 tried-and-true tips about January start and Global Edge.

January start advice:

  1. Missing Sunday football games and tailgating was a bummer, but you’ll have three more years of that! Don’t give up the opportunity to come to UC Berkeley just because you can’t make the football games freshman year.
  2. You’ll make friends in the spring! Students here are always open to meeting new people, whether they’re a fall semester freshman or spring semester senior.
  3. Spring admits, Global Edge kids and transfer students all participate in an orientation before the spring semester.
  4. Skipping (some of) orientation because of social anxiety is OK! It was mainly info sessions telling you about resources at the school rather than social bonding exercises.
  5. But also remember that you can meet some really cool people in your orientation group.
  6. You might not be best friends with your roommate(s) since they may have been here for a semester already, and that’s OK.
  7. Discussion sections are a great way to meet your new best friend!
  8. Keep yourself busy the first couple of weeks with classes, clubs and DeCals to make the transition easier. It’ll help you meet new people, too!
  9. Missing home is normal; give your mom a call every once in a while.
  10. Nobody will really be on campus until the day before school starts in the spring, so don’t worry if you’re alone for a lot of the time during orientation.
  11. Introduce yourself to your floor! Floor friends are fun!
  12. It can feel like you don’t belong here at first. I promise you do. It’ll get easier.
  13. Nobody cares if you were admitted in the spring. Don’t feel bad about it. You earned your spot here like everyone else.
  14. A lot of clubs admit people in the spring; go to Calapalooza to see all the great options available.
  15. Being a spring admit doesn’t mean you “weren’t smart enough” to start in the fall; plenty of spring admits end up doing better than fall-starters.
  16. Unless you explicitly tell people you were admitted in the spring, they’d never be able to tell.
  17. If you’re able to, take courses for transferable credits at a community college in the fall. You’ll take care of some breadth requirements, pay next to nothing and get your GPA off to a good start.
  18. Coming to UC Berkeley and sacrificing that “fall freshman experience” is so worth it. Go Bears!

Global Edge advice:

  1. You’ll meet some really cool people, and living in a flat with four of your best friends is fun!
  2. You’ll get to travel to cool places such as Iceland and Portugal!
  3. Living in London is expensive.
  4. Justin Oliver, the program coordinator, won’t be in London with you for the semester, so make the most of his resources during the summer.
  5. Get to know the program supervisors at UC Berkeley’s study abroad center in London. One of my program supervisors was the sweetest person ever.
  6. You’ll take four of five classes offered, and the two summer classes are mandatory, so you don’t really get to pick what classes you take. The good news? You get a LOT of requirements out of the way; we’re talking graduate-one-year-early efficient.
  7. Even the “bad” moments warrant some pretty good memes.
  8. London gets cold and dark, and the nice weather really only lasts maybe two weeks when you’re there. Be prepared for that.
  9. The London Eye is way overhyped. Go on it anyway.
  10. Wasabi has amazing and relatively cheap Japanese lunch options. Try it.
  11. Beigel Bake in Spitalfields has some of the best bagels you’ll ever try. They only accept cash, so bring those £.
  12. Clubbing and pubbing are so fun!
  13. Throwing parties in the flats makes for some of the best memories.
  14. You might be starting school early and barely have a summer vacation, but you’ll get a 1 1/2-month winter break. If you have the mental endurance, Global Edge is great.
  15. Save up money before you go.
  16. You won’t really befriend a lot of British people when you’re there.
  17. Museums are all free, but there’s not that much to do there besides that.
  18. Everyone’s quiet on public transit — like, real quiet.
  19. Bring something sentimental, such as photos or a blanket (to help you cry in a corner if you ever need to).
  20. It’s okay to find it difficult to be around people all the time if you’re an introvert.
  21. Befriend Freshman Edge and Summer Bridge kids over the summer! They’re all super cool!
  22. Eat at the dining halls over the summer.
  23. They emphasize the crime/pickpocketing in London a lot, but to be completely honest, I never had a problem with it, nor did anyone else in my program. Just be aware of your surroundings.
  24. This experience is what you make of it.
  25. Global Edge opens up opportunities for paid internships when you get back.
  26. And how good will your resume look with a study abroad experience listed on it as a freshman?
Contact Evelyn Roth at [email protected].

MARCH 22, 2018