You’ve got your coffee in hand, a printout of your schedule, and you’re planning to get to class early because Berkeley time just sounds too good to be true. But don’t let the temptations of being surrounded by “your kind of people,” being able to skip class and having your own curfew lure you in. Although college does provide you with these privileges, most of your current opinions about college are going to change drastically by next semester, and by the time you graduate, you’ll be wishing you knew then what you know now.
Having survived my first year at Berkeley, there are a few things I wish I could have read in The Daily Californian on my first day, such as the dreaded “Freshman 15” myth. Living in Foothill Residence Hall last year, I actually lost weight and since we are so fortunate to have our lovely campus start at the foot of the bay hills, you are less prone to gain weight, so don’t stress about it. Save the worrying for your classes, which brings us to our next topic: the challenging Berkeley curriculum.
The most important thing you should know is that although Berkeley will be hard, you have been accepted into this prestigious college because it believes you can handle the workload. So relax. Incorporate what you want to do with what you have to do. Need an internship? Build up your resume with a project or a club that interests you. You’ll realize that it can be more exciting than you thought because you can’t help but work harder on what interests you. But don’t skip class too often.
Although attendance might not be taken in your class, attending is the best way to get hints from the professors about what will be on tests. And don’t hesitate to take advantage of office hours. Even if you don’t need help, make up a question and go because whether you do get help or the professors simply learns your name, it will benefit you.
Four years may seem like a lot, and you may think you have more than enough time, but the time will fly by so take advantage of everything now: eat at C.R.E.A.M., breathe in the view at the Big “C” and find out what being a Golden Bear is all about. It will undoubtedly be a journey, and trust me when I say that cup of coffee in your hand will be your best friend.