College is a completely new environment compared to high school, and we at the Daily Cal accept that. Needless to say, there are many aspects of going to college that aren’t exactly like how the movies and memes may portray. Here are some realizations that freshmen may be starting to have about campus and what the next four years of their lives are going to be like.
Berkeley time is not just for classes.
A good rule of thumb to generally follow is to assume Berkeley time unless explicitly told otherwise. Maintaining Berkeley time is necessary to ensure that the Berkeley ecosystem is healthy and well functioning. For example, imagine if a class starts at Berkeley time in 155 Dwinelle, but there’s a horde of students that arrived on the hour. Not only does this make the Dwinelle lobby as hot as the fiery depths of hell, it also makes it impossible for anyone to even get out of lecture. People start to push and shove and end up going into lecture in a slightly worse mood than before. It may seem trivial, but going by Berkeley time is a hidden key to the success that lives and breathes in UC Berkeley.
There is no winning when it comes to dressing for the weather.
Most students have come to understand that it’s going to be cold in the morning, and it’s going to be very hot in the afternoon. There always seems to be, however, some new variation of this deceptive pattern that renders us shivering in one lecture hall and melting in the next. Temperature, much like time, is a social construct. Temperature is an estimation, after all, and relying on it is dangerous, especially when some lecture halls are void of air conditioning. Each building, in its own right, has its own weather. What may have seemed like a good decision to wear a sweater to your 8 a.m. may have been the worst decision you’ve ever made when you enter LeConte. If you haven’t figured it out by now, adaptability will get you far.
Not everyone is CS.
This includes Celtic studies and cognitive science. Yes, not everyone is a computer science major, but there is a good chance that many students have taken CS 61A. The point is while there are A LOT of students on campus, and even though you may be CS and wish to seek out your CS crew, there is a lot of reward and benefit in having friends from different colleges. It might take a little more effort to introduce yourself and start up a conversation, but you will be surprised at how many similarities you’ll find yourself having with that English major in your study group. As long as you never mention high school GPA or what AP classes you took, you’re good to go.
Bless the curve.
We all want to be the very best that no one ever was. The truth is that those who have become the very best were not fully able to without the ~curve~. After your first midterm or major quiz in a class at UC Berkeley, you will come to see that perhaps the amount you study for something may feel disproportionate to the grade you receive. Fear not, however, don’t let this minor setback prevent you from doing better next time. The ~curve~ is there to remind us that there are always ways to improve and that it’s about studying smarter NOT harder.
Focus on classes and THEN joining clubs.
We cannot stress this enough. Classes can quickly become overwhelming, and if you haven’t already started to feel it, you will at some point in the semester. This should be a sign that perhaps you should spend that extra hour going over your problem set rather than going to a club social. It is important that you have a good foothold in classes before you decide to make a commitment to a club, especially during the first semester of college. Ideally, you are ahead of the lecture schedule for as long as possible, but after your first midterm comes along, it may become more difficult.
We’ve all been there, baby bears, and we hope that as you start to figure out life at UC Berkeley, your time here becomes even more enjoyable.
Contact Malvika Singhal at [email protected].