Written by Sophia Chan (UC Berkeley Student)
Debunking Myths About Berkeley PSA (sorry, it's long but please direct people who have worries similar to these myths here):
Myth: Berkeley has crappy [facility/class sizes/professors/etc].
Truth: Berkeley isn't the type of college where everything is handed to you on a silver platter. (Really. It isn't.) You have to put in the effort to do well, be noticed, go to those office hours if you have to, get help from friends and TAs if you have to, and learn as much as possible. College isn't about the great rankings or buildings, it's about the people you meet and the experiences you make. However, those lower-div pre-req classes will try to take as many people as possible, so don't worry about not being able to graduate in 4 years or declaring your major on time.
Myth: Berkeley is full of people who can't socialize.
Truth: LOL have you seen this group? The great thing about Berkeley is that there are literally so many people that there will be SOMEBODY who will have the same interest(s) as you. Slacklining? We have that. Glow in the dark capture the flag? We have that. League of Legends? We have tournaments for that. Except killing people, we're not down with that.
Myth: Berkeley is full of people who are unattractive who study all the time.
Truth: Fool, please look in the mirror. But for real though, we have Nathan Adrian AND Chris Pine. Basically enough hotness to sustain the campus, so...
Myth: [Rumor about people stealing/sabatoging/eating each other to get an A]
Truth: Simply not true. I know SO MANY people in EECS/CS/Mat Sci/ChemE/MCB and all sorts of majors where the students work together until 2 or 3 in the morning to see each other succeed. That being said, there is a lot of competition and pressure to do well in a class just because everybody is smart and motivated, but the atmosphere is generally just hard honest work instead of "cannibalism," my dear children, which is in fact frowned upon in most societies.
Myth: The food is awful.
Truth: Yeah, can't help you there LOL. But there does come a point where you forget what real rice or pho tastes like so basically everything tastes good. A lot of surrounding restaurants offer very affordable, decent food. All better than "a diet of ego waffles, hot pockets, and chips," the daily staple of a college student who doesn't have meal points.
Myth: My dorm will be the size and quality of the Shrieking Shack.
Truth: Really depends on the dorm you get. Some, you will be squeezed for room, so you'll REALLY get to know your roommates. Others, you have so much room you can have sleepovers. Really depends because the dorms vary a lot. But come on, you're a poor college student. Beggars can't be choosers.
Myth: Berkeley is so cutthroat; the grade curve will kill me; I won't get a good GPA for grad school/law school/med school.
Summary of Truth: Yes, Berkeley is tough. Yes, you will probably fail something at some point during your time here. But to be blunt, if you're just trying to get a good GPA to get into med/grad/law school, please reconsider why you want to go to higher-higher education. The primary objectives of grad/law/med school is to learn as much as possible on how to do valid research, make/defend/remove laws for our communities, and save lives. If you put in the genuine hard work to learn, the grades will follow. And even if you fail, fail hard and fail fast. Because then you can truly start to grow as a student and a person. And besides, the higher-higher education will require a work ethic and mindset similar to ones at Berkeley, so why not start now?
An amazing quotation to end my long post:
Berkeley drowned me in a fountain of knowledge and taught me to walk on water.
Let me know if there's another Cal myth you'd like to have debunked or truth you'd like to add!"
- The original post was taken from Facebook Class of 2019 (Official Student-Run Group) with Sophia's permission. Access the original thread here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ucberkeley2019/permalink/1117795898246992/