Going to UC Berkeley can feel daunting. If you’re an incoming freshman, it can be doubly so. There seems to be plenty of things to be concerned about as the new semester rolls around and if you’re an incoming freshman all of it can seem new and frightening. However, there are some things that get caught up in all that worry that aren’t such a big deal. Here are some things you don’t have to worry about as this new semester begins.
Getting required texts way ahead of class
Most classes have some form of required reading. For some, this comes in the form of a textbook while others have a reader specifically printed and sold for the class. If the class has clearly indicated what textbooks you’ll need then feel free to buy them. However, you don’t need to stress about getting all the texts before the semester starts. Chances are you won’t need all the required materials for the first class period — unless you’ve specifically been told so. Sometimes you won’t even know where to get the reader (if it isn’t just free online) until the first class period. So don’t stress, and get what you need in your own time.
Being a little late
If you’re a clueless new student you may wonder why there is no passing period. That’s because of Berkeley time, which means all classes start 10 minutes after they’re officially scheduled. It’s how you can have back-to-back classes and not have to leave lecture early or stress about not making it in time. Going uphill might make it a bit tight, but if you’re quick then it’s still enough time. Berkeley time is also in effect for 8 A.M. classes, so it gives you a little extra time to sleep in.
The fact that UC Berkeley is unranked
You may have heard the news that UC Berkeley is no longer the number one public school in the world. As a matter of fact, it’s not even ranked. This isn’t some sign that the school has rapidly dropped in quality. Instead, a school reporting error resulted in it being unable to be ranked. When the problem is resolved, UC Berkeley will be ranked again in September and will most likely be shown to be one of the best universities in the world.
That you can’t get your footing
Don’t panic when things don’t fit together perfectly in the first couple of weeks. It always takes a little bit of time to get used to a new semester and schedule. If you’re an incoming student, it may take even longer. Experiment and find things that work in your schedule. Find the times when you feel like you can do schoolwork and when you need a break or need to have food. Your schedule will eventually come together and things will work out.
Hopefully this list has made a new semester at UC Berkeley feel a little less daunting. If you’re an incoming freshman, good luck on your first semester and getting acclimated to the crazy world of UC Berkeley. There will be points this semester where life will be tough, for freshman and all other students alike, but things will generally work out. So you don’t have to stress too much about it all.
Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected].