Greetings, future UC Berkeley transfers! (And current transfers alike!) Everyone knows the worst part about preparing to transfer is the wait. While fresh-faced seniors from high school are getting their admission letters, we’re left to tap our toes and check our calendars — maybe even obsessively posting on message boards and Quora (comparing “stats” like we’re a deck of transferable trading cards), hoping for the best.
There are a lot of feelings that come with transferring to a big school like UC Berkeley, and that’s perfectly normal! The Clog has some music, coupled with tips, to help you find your bearings throughout the transfer process.
Finding out you got in!
Mood: You’re elated (and maybe a little star-struck).
Song: “We Are the Champions” by Queen
You did it! You got into UC Berkeley! Everything is so big and important, and you’re coming at such a key time in the university’s history: 150 years of academic excellence is nothing to sneeze at. This is definitely the time to celebrate (and maybe humble brag a little — no shame in that). Take this time to join the Facebook group for incoming transfers, visit campus and go to meetups to celebrate with other future Golden Bears!
Waiting for school to start
Mood: You’re second-guessing (and maybe a little scared).
Song: “Somewhere I Belong” by Linkin Park
The impostor syndrome feeling is real. Questions of “What am I doing here?” and “Was this all a mistake?” are completely normal, especially in the first few months of being in Berkeley’s hallowed halls. (As an “older transfer,” realizing everyone else in a class is a Generation Z-er when you’re a millennial can do things to the brain.) Talk around, and you’ll find other nervous and excited new-entry students around you wherever you go. Also, don’t forget to check out the Transfer Student Center and all of the helpful workshops and opportunities offered there throughout the school year!
Finding your way around campus
Mood: You’re feeling like you’re the only one who doesn’t “get it.”
Song: “Lost!” by Coldplay
Okay, so UC Berkeley is big. Even for those of you transferring from larger community colleges or other four-year schools, UC Berkeley is a pretty sprawling campus. (Or Sproul-ing, am I right? That’s OK if you don’t get it, give it a few months). It can feel like everyone around you knows what they’re doing except you. Don’t believe that! Everyone is still figuring out their own path the same way that you are. If they’ve been at UC Berkeley a little longer, that doesn’t mean they’ve had the same experiences you have had — and, what is more, most Berkeley Bears are eager to help their fellow students. If you’re lost, ask for help! Chances are, you’re not the only one.
First month of classes
Mood: You’re feeling like you have to play catch-up.
Song: “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers
What do you mean you don’t have two internships lined up and haven’t joined six clubs or studied abroad before breakfast? UC Berkeley students are competitive and always, always busy. As a junior transfer, you may feel like you’re behind from the moment school begins: After all, you only have two years to take advantage of all that Berkeley has to offer! Don’t buy into this attitude: Take your first semester to allow yourself to get oriented, and don’t take too many classes or join every club on campus just because it could look good on your resume. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t look. By all means, shop around! Get a feel for the sort of student you want to be at Berkeley. Tailor your experience at school to meet your needs and not the other away around.
Once you’re settled
Mood: You’re content (and maybe a little delirious).
Song: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
It takes some of us a little longer than others to find our place at UC Berkeley, and that’s perfectly fine. Finding a piece of home with a friend or group of friends, or within your major, minor or club, might take a little time — but once you find your groove, everything takes on a different light. Berkeley can be stressful and rigorous, but it can be beautiful and exciting and wonderful, too. There are so many exciting opportunities waiting for you when you get to Berkeley — remember that you’re not alone and that you’re meant to be here, and we can’t wait to meet you!
Contact Lauren West at [email protected].