UC Berkeley is a big, scary college. It’s basically the haunted house on the hill that all the kids are scared to go near. Students who’ve been here for a while may scoff at the notion, but even they know that this campus’s grading curves can make them piss their pants any day. An incoming freshman unsurprisingly expressed their concern: “I’m an incoming freshman who’s a little scared bc I think I’ll not be able to declare CS at Cal. I have problems sleeping at night because of it too. Is it normal for freshmen to be scared before starting college?” We’ll try our best to scare you more.
To be frank, it’s a problem if you aren’t scared before starting college, especially here. There are no parents to comfort you (unless you live close by, which in that case, you don’t know how lucky you really are). You’re starting over in making friends (unless you live close by, which in that case, screw you too) and tackling the great world of higher education seemingly solo. So, yes, you should be scared, but we haven’t really gotten into it yet.
On top of all of that, it’s a well-known fact that UC Berkeley’s campus is rife with deadly bears. Yes, literal bears (not just figurative). They’re everywhere. You can’t take two steps without bumping into one or having one hand you a flyer (it seems that the clubs have somehow domesticated them into advertising for them). They try to get you to join their consulting clubs or bears-only exclusive frats just so they can deny you because you’re not really a bear like them.
And if that wasn’t already bad, they try to destroy your GPA by bursting into your midterm and swiping everyone’s tests like they’re fish instead of paper. It’s a real problem especially in spring when they come out of hibernation. Recently, we’ve even had a bunch of them pretending to be IT and hacking into everyone’s CalCentral accounts (now you finally know why UC Berkeley is known for “grade deflation”).
To conclude, it’s okay, if not completely normal, to be terrified for your soon-to-be life here at UC Berkeley. You never know if today is your last day or if tomorrow you’ll be mauled to death by a resident bear as you walk around campus. Enjoy yourself here while you last.
Contact Pooja Bale at [email protected].