We all remember that glorious day at the end of March when UC Berkeley’s admissions emails finally came out. You probably banished everyone from your room, took a deep breath and clicked to open the email that would seal your fate. “Congratulations!” the email said. You scream, let out a sigh of relief and immediately start decorating your dorm room in your head. You quickly skim through the rest of the email to learn the details of your admission.
You pause. Your heart starts beating fast. You’ve been accepted for spring of 2015. You ask yourself, “What does this mean?” And thus begins the struggles of an FPF student. The first challenge is just trying to understand what the extremely confusingly worded email means. The second challenge is actually getting into the Fall Program for Freshmen. Below, the Clog has compiled the seven biggest struggles of FPF students, starting from the point of admission.
1) Actually getting in
Actually getting into FPF is the second-hardest challenge that will confront you on your journey to UC Berkeley. Don’t listen when the FPF advisers tell you that you won’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to register. You will. And since there are way more people who want to do FPF than spots in FPF, the registration process can start to seem a little like the Hunger Games.
Once you’re in, the next challenge is figuring out how to get to the FPF building while simultaneously keeping the greatest distance between you and People’s Park. We’ve found that walking along the Crossroads side of Bowditch Street is the best way to avoid the park. Just keep your eyes out for the strange busses parked along that street.
3) Not knowing anything about the actual campus
Knowing that Dwinelle and Wheeler are the two big buildings on campus but not knowing which one is which is another classic sign of an FPF student. Since we never come to campus, we never learn any of its geography during our first semester.
4) The spring semester brings a whole new set of challenges
Never going to campus while in FPF can lead to other challenges, such as feeling completely lost when it comes to your first semester on the big-kid campus in the spring. FPF is so nice and small, with only two buildings that are connected to each other. The UC Berkeley campus, however, is approximately 1,232 acres, making the potential opportunities for getting lost practically endless.
5) Almost no canceled classes
Since there are no GSIs at FPF, campus strikes of GSIs will have no effect on your class schedule. You can say goodbye to unexpectedly canceled classes by sympathetic professors who feel that crossing picket lines is unethical.
6) Small class sizes
Always having to go to class is the continuous struggle of an FPF student. Classes are so small that you’ll be lucky if you have one class where a professor won’t notice if you’re absent or if you come in late. Because of the small class size, you not only have to go to every class if you want that grade boost from participation, but you also can’t sneak in the back when you come in late — because the rooms are so small, you tardiness will be noticeable.
7) Explaining what FPF is
Having to explain to everyone what exactly FPF is is the greatest lasting struggle of FPF students. No one not in FPF quite understands what it is, where it is and what is done there.