Ask current UC Berkeley students questions about academics, campus life, dorm living, and more. Livestream viewers will get to vote on questions and ask their own!
🎙 Guest Moderator: Emily Parliman
Meet the panelists: Angelica, Haben, and Shane
Angelica is a senior at UC Berkeley studying Business Administration and Nutritional Science. She recently finished her internship in Product Marketing this summer at Google. She is on the senior business board of the school newspaper, the Daily Californian, where she was previously the Marketing Manager. Angelica is also a social media content creator with over 150K+ followers across YouTube, TikTok, Instagram where she documents and shares her experience as a college student. In her free time, she enjoys pilates classes, skiing, and watching Grey’s Anatomy.
Haben is a rising sophomore at Cal from Atlanta, Georgia. She is an intended double major in Psychology and Molecular Cell Biology. Haben is a part of a mentoring program, SMILE, and her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi.
Shane is a 17-year-old college senior from Los Angeles. He is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in computer science, English, and entrepreneurship and technology. Shane founded UC Berkeley's first upper division cloud computing and software-as-a-service course, facilitating about 280 Berkeley students every semester as an instructor. He also serves as the president of UC Berkeley's Consulting School. Off campus, Shane has conducted research at Harvard University and made a site that has now attracted over 1.5 million users. In his free time, Shane enjoys rock climbing, playing the piano, and scuba diving.
College Fair on CollegeVine. CollegeVine is a free online resource that provides high school students with tools they need to succeed. In the college admission process. millions of students use CollegeVine each year. And we're really excited to bring you this student panel college fair this week. Before we get started, I want to point out that the question box is to the right of your video, or below the video, if you are watching it from a phone, you'll need to be logged in to submit your questions. So if you're not already, now is a good time to do that, just click in the chat box. So let's get started with today's event. I'm your guest moderator, Emily Parliman. And in this session, we'll be covering University of California Berkeley. I'm excited to spend the next hour connecting with all of our viewers and with our awesome panelists to help you get a better sense of what it's like to attend Berkeley. Here's how the event will work. We'll start with quick introductions. Then we'll jump into three kickoff questions that you'll all vote on. And after that, I'll set aside the last 35 minute questions. 35 minutes for live questions from the audience. So that'll be your chance to ask questions that you wouldn't be able to find answers two, on the official school website. You'll see a pop up on your screen with the first couple of kickoff questions that I mentioned. So please take a few seconds to submit your votes since we do want this to be helpful for you.
All right, so it's time for introductions. As I mentioned, my name is Emily Parliman. And I'm going to be your moderator tonight. I am an Associate Director of college counseling at Western Reserve Academy outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I worked previously in admissions at American University at George Washington University. And for a couple of years, I had the privilege of reading applications for UC Berkeley. So I'm very happy to be here tonight, talking about Berkeley with our great panelists. Now let's hear from our panelists. Starting with our first panelist Angelica. Can you tell us a little bit about where you're from Angelica, what you're majoring in? what your favorite campus activities?
Yeah, hi, everybody. My name is Angelica. I'm from Orange County, Southern California. And I'm going to be our I am a senior studying business administration and also nutritional science and my favorites campus activity is I love hanging out on Memorial Glade. It's a really large park grass area in front of many of our libraries. So that's a really great place people like to hang out.
Great, thanks, Angelica. Our second panelist is Habin. Habin, would you like to say a little bit about where you're from what you're Mayor majoring in? What year you are?
Of course, um, Hi, I'm Habin I'm from Atlanta, Georgia. I am a current and sophomore at Cal with the intended major of psych and MCB. And I have to agree with Angelica my favorite activity on campus would be picnics on Memorial Glade.
Unknown Speaker 3:11
Thank you. And our third panelist is Shane. Shane, would you like to introduce yourself?
Yeah, hi, guys. My name is Shane, and I'm an English and computer science double major at Berkeley. I'm a senior, and my favorite activity on campus is going up to the cabin up, you will get to see like the entire city skyline, which is really cool.
So on behalf of myself, CollegeVine. And all the students watching tonight, we're really glad you could join us and share your experiences with us. Viewers - if you want to learn more about each panelist, please see their detailed bios in the description section below the video. So now we're going to go into the audience voted questions. And we'll start with the top question that the highest percentage of the audience voted for question. One is, what did you write your college essays about? So we'll go to each of our panelists to hear their answer. And we'll start out with Angelica.
Yeah, so the UCs there, I believe there are eight prompts and you pick four of the prompts. And so out of those four, I talked about various campus activities, and I try to make it as diverse as possible. So when I talked about my experience in high school journalism, I was part of the newspaper as a special editions editor and also the graphic designer. Talking about that was my creative outlet and my love for words and writing. I also talked about being part of the IB program, which is intellectual International Baccalaureate, which is a certain academic program that different schools might have. They talked about that and also talked about I grew up as a competitive figure skater. So I would say that I talked about like, the lessons I learned. But besides the obvious, of course, figure skating, but more of the qualitative things I've took away from that, and how that shaped me beyond being a figure skater. So those are the three main things I talked about.
Great. Thank you. Hi, Ben, can you tell us a little bit about what you wrote your essays about?
Sure, um, I do the same thing as you talk. For the most part, she discussed that greatly. Um, for mine, I talked about the culture shock of moving from my really conservative private school to public school, and how I discovered my major interests and how it was influenced by my belief that the brain is much like a classical piano composition. And, and my experience in challenging leadership experience. So basically, I really focused on things that impacted my life and what I learned from them.
Thank you. And Shane, do you remember what you wrote your college essays about?
Yeah, same as Jessica and haben. So I wrote about my experiences in, in the school I went to before, and talked about my activities, like, like, I was, like, my clubs tower in and I also ran for college, like local college as a varsity athlete. I talked about that. Um, I think one of my SS was actually just about moving my ear. Like, it's kind of funny. But I just talked about how tallac influenced some parts of my life. And yeah, so there's that. Yeah.
Hey, thank you all. And our second question, which was voted on by the audience, was, please describe the community and the culture at Berkeley. So starting with Angelica, again, Angelica, could you tell us a little bit about your take on the community and culture at Berkeley?
Yeah, absolutely. And this is definitely going to vary on what portion of campus you're involved in. But from my experience, I continued my love for journalism, and I joined the school newspaper, and Berkeley's school newspaper is really famous in the sense of Berkeley's where free speech was born. And so there's a lot of pride and a lot of Bay Area spirit around student journalism in our paper is read in the East Bay, and also nationwide. So being a part of that has been, what an honor, it is super super. Yeah, it's really cool to be a part of that. And so another part that I really appreciate is that there's a lot of different types of foods around Berkeley, and I talk about food often because it's such a big part of who I am. But I think that just comes to show like how or it's trying to be as inclusive as many people as possible with different cultural backgrounds. And like, food is a big part of that. And so, I know that's a big component as well. And there's definitely a lot of like ethnic culture groups on campus, interest groups, hobby groups, academic professional groups, to really find really anything for yourself that you're interested in.
Thank you. Haben, what is your take on community and culture at Berkeley?
Um, I think My take is that I found that everyone has been super open and willing and respectful towards friendships, and really just like learning from each other educationally, socially, culturally, which I've really appreciated and like really grown from because I think it's a really, really large campus, as I'm sure you know, it's almost off top my head 36,000 undergrad. So being able to find those little niche communities like newspaper or for me, it was a club called smile, my sorority, I really appreciate it and really needed so.
Great. And last but not least, Shane, would you like to say a little bit about what you found with the community and the culture Cal?
Yeah, so I have a lot to talk about this. Um, so Berkeley is super unique compared to like other universities. Like, just besides the city of Berkeley is, like, unlike some other universities, Berkeley has like unique cultural foods around campus. And also has really, really cool culture of just like everyone being like into like, some specific niche. So like, you can find your group even if you're like an outcast, like by like, in high school, you will find your people at Berkeley. Berkeley also has like, this super nice location. So sometimes my friends and I, we, we go to like San Francisco because it's just like 20 minutes, 30 minutes, I pause. Like on the weekends, it's really fun just going around all the bay areas, like seeing a lot of lot, just basically a lot of things to do.
Right, thank you. We are going to turn out to some of our live questions and find out what the students who are watching tonight want to know about Berkeley. So the questions that were posted in the chat box for everyone to see and follow along with, we're going to try to get through as many of those as possible. So our first question is, particularly for Haben, and for Shane from Mika. When applying to Berkeley, does it matter what high school or state you're from? So obviously, you don't work in the admission office? But how do you think that being in state or out of state might have impacted your application or your experience? With what you're contributing to the Berkeley community? hub? And would you like to go first?
Um, I found that in my applications to all UC schools, not just Berkeley, I had a lot of a harder time getting in out of state, I think, especially at Georgia High School is applying into California, it has a reputation for being a little more difficult, just because California is such a big state. But I think it's very doable. And don't be deterred. Just really focus on application.
Thank you. And Shane, how about you?
Yeah, I agree with Haben a but like the difference between state and our state are not that big. Because it's kind of like a crapshoot. Anyway, so. So like, you should just apply AI and just say, like, to the best of your abilities, but like don't. Yeah, just apply, and you'll see. Aha, turns out.
Thank you. Alright, next question is from Marisol. And this is particularly for Angelica. Marisol says, I love your tic tocs. And I'm interested in nutritional science myself, and I'm wondering what you like most about the major Angelica? Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Yeah, of course, for those of you know, I have a tech talk. It's just underscore Angelica song, where I Kelly talk about college and lifestyle. And so I think that's what she was talking about. And I absolutely love nutritional science, because one I've always been. So within nutritional science, there's, I believe, three pathways, there's toxicology, human physiology, and the nutrition dietetics pathway. And so I'm in the toxicology pathway within nutritional science. And so I've been always interested in, like drug pathways and chemicals and pesticides. And that's been really cool to me learn, whether it's like in your food or your cosmetics, and it's Yeah, it's been really enjoyable. And I had interest in doing the pre med path. And although I'm not too sure if I'm going to end up continuing that pathway, nutritional science is one of those popular majors on campus that fulfills identical to what you need for medical school. So that was a good way for me to knock it out. And also, like, do what I was interested in this upper diff classes, rather than bio or integrative bio, which is great, but I was more interested in those nutritional science operatives. Thank you.
Our next question is for Shane. This is from Sallie Mae. For anyone else who may know something about early graduation. How did being an early high school graduate affect your college experience coming to such a big school and your connections and relationships there? Sallie Mae says, I'm graduating a year early from high school and I'm kind of nervous on the transition as a young student. So Shane, can you tell us about that?
Yeah, so just to give context, I'm currently 17 and a senior here. Um, so a bunch of question. I don't have any, like, I don't face any problems. From Ah, Berkeley is a super, super welcoming community community. And like, no one would judge you, like everyone is open to like your ideas. And yeah, so basically, I feel very, very welcome here. And like, for experiences and people I know a lot of people here at Berkeley, so i don't i don't think i don't think it affects it at all. So yeah.
Great, thank you for telling us about that. And our next question is from Mays. And this is for Haben. Haben, what was your experience with the professor's like so far, for example, the class expectations, the workload, office hours, research opportunities, anything in that regard? It's a
really great question. Um, I've had a really great experience with my professors honestly, and I found that they're really open to getting to know you, really flexible. And like making additional office hours. And I'm really trying to like, figure out what path is best for you, whether that's research, or changing your nature, etc, etc, which I think is just super impressive because for most of my STEM classes, there are 300 plus students. And they're giving that individualized attention to each student and having all those resources available. So I think that professors have done like, an astounding job. In my case, I could be the exception. But at the end of the day, you also have your gsis, which are an amazing use resource. And for those who don't know, a GSI is a graduate student instructor at Berkeley. So they are your TA so they weren't great blade professor in order to like read your papers, etc, etc. But, um, I think just getting to know your professors and being willing to get into those office hours is the first step in the biggest step.
Question is for Angelica and hawin. And this question is from denia. Is Berkeley a safe area or community? Can you tell us how you feel about safety in the community Angelica? Would you like to start?
Yeah, so I think that it really depends on like, where you grew up and what you're used to, but I would say that Berkeley is a city, it has like a debt, we're in very near downtown. So we have a lot of working professionals, we have a lot of students. And we also have a lot of residential people. And so for the most part, I didn't have a problem with safety during the day. And of course, at night, like, always be smart, you know, don't it is a city so like, don't have like valuables out or like making sure when you go, when you're studying in a public place, even if that's the library or at a coffee store, you're not just leaving your stuff out, taking it with you or asking your friend. So it's just like, how you would feel, you know, walking down New York City, I would just have that, like extra caution of just being aware of what's going on. In terms of like, I don't know, if there was like other types of safeguards to keep out like, emotional safety or like personal safety in terms of like, the community, I found that that it's been a pretty safe place to talk about different experiences, and people have been pretty welcoming of having and those types of conversations. But that's just been my experience.
Thank you. Haben, do you have anything you'd like to add about safety on the community?
I think the only thing I would add is just really utilizing your campus resources makes me feel a lot safer. Like taking the night shuttle when I'm studying the library really late. Or bear walk sit whenever I don't have someone to walk home with me at night. Um, but I never have personally personally felt really unsafe over distances.
Right. Thank you. Our next question is from William and this is for Shane. What is an unexpected aspect of the college that you found when you came to campus? So maybe something you weren't expecting that that came up for you, Shane?
Yeah. So we have we have food delivery robots on campus, like actual robots. They're called Kiri bots. And they drive around campus and deliver food to your door. I think they're like, yeah, there's super small and like, pretty cute. You can like Google them. They're very, very, like, cool to see on campus. Besides that. We have a lot of really, really interesting courses. We have this thing called decals, which is basically to their own classes, some classes they teach, like Pokemon and like Rubik's cubes, where you can play the bill in the cabin up as classes. And I think something like that at a university is just super cool. So you have the academic classes and you have those decals. Just makes your time at Berkeley. Very fun.
Sounds like a really unique aspect having robots running around. Thanks for telling us about that. Our next question is for Angelica and Shane, and this is from colonie. How were your freshman dorm experiences? What can you tell us about the dorms? Angelica, would you like to start out?
Yeah, I had a really great experience in my dorm. I was in unit three and I was in a double. I actually have a tour about it on my YouTube channel, which is just my name Angelica song. But I was really lucky. I know doubles are kind of hard to get. But being in a double and a pretty decent sized room where there's like a bed desk desk said I really enjoyed it. I know people have mixed feelings about unit three, but I personally think it's great because it's close to campus. It has its own dining hall and has own market. The building itself is not as new as unit one or Unit Two. But it is super close to campus and you have your own market and dining hall. So yeah, I had no complaints, but I could see how it'd be different for somebody if they were in a triple instead of a double.
And Shane, how about you? What have you found in your dorm experience?
Yeah, I lived in the triple A unit too. And it was really, really fun. I can a lot of people don't think Berkeley's food is good. But I personally really, really enjoyed the dining hall food. I don't know why. But it's, I eat so much in the dining halls. On besides that, the doors I asked a lot of friends, basically just hanging out every day like in the dorms, it was was a pretty surreal experience, I would say.
Thank you. Our next question is from Daisy and this is for Haben. Haben, can you talk a little bit more about Greek life on campus?
Unknown Speaker 21:04
I think for me, my main goal going to my social, I think Berkeley was just fine. Your sense of community, whether that was a club or Greek life, and what Fortunately, I did find it in Greek life. And I think my one piece of advice would just be to, if you're on the fence about going through recruitment and going through recruitment, just go through it. It's the fee was waived from this year onwards. So it's really no harm and you get to meet a lot of great people who have a lot of great advice to offer. And at the end of the process, if you want to not join or join the decisions open, and at least you don't have any regrets. But I think that there's a lot to learn from just the process in general. And I personally have had a really great experience with it, so.
Thank you. And our next question is about what other schools you considered and what set Berkeley apart? This question is from Ethan, and it is for Haben and Shane. So, Haben, would you like to start off talking about the other colleges you considered? And what set Berkeley apart for you?
Yeah, I really considered Emory University of Georgia and the University of Georgia. Which makes sense because I'm from Atlanta. But I think what set UC Berkeley apart for me was: one being in California because I really wanted to move here, but also the campus culture of just being really open and inclusive, which I was really looking forward to in a college coming for a very, very small High School. And I think I made the right decision.
Shane, how about you? What other schools did you consider?
I consider some Ivy's and UCLA and some regions, like from other UCs, um, I just really like UC Berkeley's campus. Like, to be really honest, I didn't really like other schools campuses, and I career opportunities, you can see, like, Berkeley's career opportunities are very good for what you get, like put in. And like all the majors, they're like, also very, like, good research powerhouses. For like every major like I was prior, primarily an English major coming in. And English was ranked number one. And like, basically, a lot of the majors are very good research. Like you can get research opportunities here very easily and get like letters of recommendations from really, really big, well known researchers. And I like that about
Thank you. We have a question for Angelica. And this is from Dolly. This question Did you apply to the Haas Business School in your second year, since there seems to be a lot of interest in Haas? And I know, schools, you might have to apply directly to a particular program or major and at other schools? You don't. So Angelica, can you tell us a little bit about what that process was for you?
Yeah, absolutely. So when I applied to Berkeley, I actually, I think for very few majors besides eeks, the MET program, the GMT program, you come in undeclared through a college. And so I came in as undeclared. In the College of Letters and Science. I was intended to econ. And then my second year, in the fall you apply to the business school. And if you missed that deadline, or let's say you didn't decide to do it, you can always apply your junior year, but that means you do have to stay an extra year because you do have to stay in the business program for two years. So I did apply my sophomore year, and now I took the prerequisites for applying to the business school, which is heavily almost directly correlative to the ones for econ anyways, so a lot of People like I love econ and I almost considered double majoring in econ and Haas instead of an interest I actually. But I know that it's like a great way for if you're interested in econ or environmental Econ, political science, like there's a few that really overlap a lot with the pre Haas prerequisites. So that's kind of how I did that. And then I went through the application process in November, and you get your results back in February of your sophomore year. And then you officially start as a business student, your junior fall, and then you have two years on campus to finish out those upper division classes. And yeah, the process is pretty competitive in the sense of, I think the acceptance rate is around like, somewhere somewhere between the don't quote me on this, like 15 to 20%, which may seem high, but then you have to think about like the population of kids at Berkeley, meaning it's 75 to 80% of students are getting rejected, and not being able to be in the business program. And similar to like college admissions process, like, obviously, the process is not perfect, and tons of qualified people don't get in all the time. Tons of unqualified people get an uncaught. Like, it's like, it's such a there's so much that goes into it. So it's not mean anything if you do or don't get in. So I hope people want to know that. And you can always work in business, or really do anything with anybody make any major anyways.
Next question, it's for Haben. And this is from Rachelle. She says, I've heard that people comment on the academic environment at Berkeley, that it can be toxic as in overly competitive. Would you agree with that? Or what would you say about that?
I think that's a really great question because that was one of my biggest fears. Coming into Berkeley, I, of course, typed in the "life of a student at UC Berkeley" into YouTube and saw all these different views saying we're toxic, no one will help you anything I was a little terrified going in. But I found the complete opposite. And all of my classes, I found that people are super open to collaboration and study groups and really like working together in order to get through the content, which I really appreciated. But I also haven't heard any sort of horror story that I've seen online, so I wouldn't trust everything on YouTube.
Thank you. That's, that's good to hear. All right. Next question is from Lydia, and this is for Shane. Shane, how is the workload as a computer science major? Are there many opportunities for internships and research with professors? Especially in classes that might have hundreds of people? Can you tell us about your experience in computer science?
Yeah, so I wasn't a CS major to begin with. I only wanted to see us after seeing other people, like in CS classes. And I think the workload for CS is definitely doable. It's not like those horror stories, but they're also very hard. But I think I think it's all worth it, though. Because everyone, everyone likes the classes, like the classes they're taught, but they often like, think they're very hard and wishes and like, get discouraged. But I think they're worth very worth it. internship opportunities and research. Yes, a lot from Berkeley. I know a lot of friends. Getting like software engineering internships, go go like freshman year, like apple. So it's very, like we have a lot of people go into internships at big companies, like as a freshman. research opportunities are basically the same. Yeah.
Thank you. We have a question for Angelica. And Shane, and this is from Jillian, what do Cal students usually do with their free time? And she asks this because yeah, I mean, it's just good to know what's going on at different campuses all over. So what would you say Berkeley students do?
Angelica, would you like to start out?
Yeah. So besides making like my social media content, which is what I do in my free time, but I've definitely only did that once I became a junior and like, a secured an internship, just because I was probably more stressed about my schoolwork. In my free time. I love going to the cities. San Francisco is around a 25 to 35 minute Bart right away, depending on what time you go. So super cool to go out with your friends and hang out, go take pictures and get dessert and sightsee and there's a lot of cool things to do in San Francisco. Oakland is also a really cool place to go. If you love culture, and music and Lots of great food places there. Clearly I enjoy food. So yeah, we love doing that as well. And I make it a pretty regular habit when I was at Berkeley to go to like a fitness class. So although Berkeley students do get access to the RSF, which is like our gym, I found that like, paying for something and like, knowing that it's not free, technically incentivizes me to go. So I would pay for like plotting classes or spin classes occasionally. And that was just one of those moments of like, if you think going an hour to take a politics class is what's going to make or break your chemistry test. Like, it's not like just go take a break, and helps me prioritize, like making sure I'm doing okay, physically, and mentally.
Thank you. Shane, what about you? What would you say students do during their free time?
So we're in a quarantine right now. So I'm not too sure what other people do. But at Berkeley after class, I usually just like went to nearby trails. Tilden Regional Park is like right above Berkeley. And we like my friends and I we sometimes just like water or like this. Basically, yeah. Ik, like playing sports. Just a lot of stuff like that. Um, yeah, just just a lot to do. And I always say like, every, every day, I was doing something different. So I can't really say on that. Yeah.
Thanks. I have a question from Nadia. And this is for Angelica, is UC Berkeley's left or liberal atmosphere a myth or reality? Do you find that some people at Cal are very far left or unwilling to hear other opinions? And if you can maybe just speak to the general political climate and culture.
And in my experience, I think that Berkeley has a wide array of different political views. I wouldn't say it's heavily far left, I think that that's probably that could be entangled with like, what's up things we see on the press with like, different far left groups coming to our campus to have our protests and stuff, but that's just like, Burke or bay area of the far left people coming to our campus, I wouldn't say it's like Berkeley people or Berkeley students. And for the most part, I think that people are probably on the more liberal side in terms of like, you know, social activism and equality and justice, and which I'm sure is a popular sentiment on, you know, West Coast and also East Coast schools. But I wouldn't say it's like a far left school at all. I think that's just like the people associate that just because like, far left groups sometimes will come on campus and causes seen and that would get picked up by the media. But it's not like Berkeley students. It's just like a random group of people who just show up. And yeah, I think that's, that's just a place when, again, we're like a very open and inclusive environment. I think, obviously, it's not perfect, but I think that's one of the things that Berkeley is really committed to doing is always trying to be at the forefront of making it as inclusive and welcoming as many people as possible.
Question for Haben, or really, whoever wants to jump in on this, if they have any input? from David, I've heard that financial aid for out of state students at Berkeley is terrible. Do you think that's true? Can you speak a little bit about the financial aid that you might have received? Was it sufficient?
Yeah, of course, um, in my case, which is definitely like, it's a really case by case basis, I found that I've really been able to access financial aid. And, of course, going into your freshman year, very clearly, everything's going to be new, everything's really exciting. You have a lot of things being thrown at you. And it'll be hard to find those resources like Cal Grants and like those applications in order to get more aid. But I think especially going into my sophomore year, I found like, a steady way to like go about my tuition. And I got a lot of advice from the financial aid office that I felt more comfortable asking, and I think it's really about being a go getter and being proactive in regards to financial aid, so I wouldn't be deterred at all. And I think just look into it and research and ask as many questions as you possibly can, and you'll get what you end up needing.
Thanks for that. Question for Shane. from Emily. how accessible are the teachers at Berkeley? Have you gotten to spend much time with your professors outside of class perhaps?
Yeah, so a lot of my classes what I'm an English major. So they're like 15 people, or maybe even less, so you get one on one interaction with your professors. But also classes like CSI q&a, you know, they're known to be like, really, really big, right? Like thousands of students even. But the thing is, they have a lot of instructors. Like we have one lecture, like usually like, Professor dinero. But we also have a lot of instructors branching off of Professor dinner, like, and they these discussions and sections. So in reality, yes, you will have like, one on one time with your professors. And, again, 618, they have like 60 instructors in one class. So yeah, definitely.
Thanks. Question for Angelica from Chinua, who would be the happiest at this college? What kind of student do you think would succeed and, and have a satisfying experience at Berkeley? And Please be honest.
Like any school, I don't think every school is for everybody. And that that's just the reality of every school that there is, and it's really finding the school that's right for you. I would say for Berkeley, the type of student I think would be happy is you can't be easily impressionable, I would say like, there could definitely be a cutthroat environment and competitiveness and all that toxic, which just happens at competitive school, you can't let that white noise get to you. So you do definitely need a thick skin. And, and again, like that's obviously not for everybody, but it is like I have seen people who have come here who don't have that, and they just, you know, get pushed by it pushed down by all that white noise, and it can definitely be unhealthy. And so I think come in here with a mindset of really being confident in like your abilities, not taking anything too personally, whether it's a major or a club or just rolling with the punches, I would say, because at the end of the day, you're at a great school. And, you know, you don't need to be listening to all the chatter that's going on, or all the pressures that people will throwing at you. Yeah, so I, you just have to be able to stick it out. But I think if that's the case, then I think you'd really enjoy finding yourself and figuring out what you love here at Berkeley.
My next question is for Haben, and this is from Naomi, what advice would you give someone who's thinking about Berkeley? And what do you wish you had known before happen?
Um, I think my advice would just be to come. I think Kyle was definitely like the best decision I've ever made. It was definitely what I knew at the time. And I think I can get everything and more from the school. No matter what field you're interested in, or what you're passionate about, like, you will find it at Berkeley. Um, and I think a piece of advice would be to really look into the class requirements and the prerequisites and applications to your majors before your freshman year. And I think a lot of the process of getting into your major really starts from day one and your first day on campus. And to make sure you have a plan for all four years. I think I was a little late on that train. And like I had to catch up later. But I think being really forward thinking and proactive on that would be an amazing, beginning to your career here.
Thanks. Another question for you actually, from Elia. Do you think there is a big cultural shock for students planning to attend Berkeley from out of state? Did you encounter any of that yourself happen?
Um, I honestly did. I guess like here's California, here's Georgia, right. I'm on two different sides of the spectrum. So I definitely had a really intense culture shock, but nothing negative. I think for me, it was simple things like southern hospitality and like people always open the door for you and talking to you in line. I didn't really experience at Cal. But I think where people are more surface level in Georgia, people are genuinely kind in California. So it really balanced out and I got used to everything that quickly so don't be afraid.
Thank you. A question for Shane from Eva. What is the best or most preferable mode of transportation at Berkeley? So Shane, can you tell us a little bit about how you get around campus how most people get from class to class or from their dorm to classes?
Yeah, well Berkey is very big, but I personally prefer walking for basically going to class and stuff. But like if you're if I wanted to go to another city or something, Berkeley gives you free clipper cards that you can Use for free boss. So, so bus is also a very nice and convenient transportation abrogate because so many people bus. There's also a part which is a metro underground. And that with that you can basically go to almost any city in the bay. So there's that.
Thank you. Question for Angelica and Haben from Angelina, how is the party culture? felica would you like to start?
Yeah, so unlike Haben I was not part of Greek life. And so I can only talk about the experience not being in Greek life. But even if you're not in Greek life, you can still have a good time with Greek life, whether it's like having friends in the Greek life system, or game days are pretty open to like the public, just making sure you get there early. And so you can definitely get involved without being in Greek life like I was. But so in terms of like having a good time with my friends, I would say a lot of it's like, people you meet your clubs, or people you've met at orientation, or just kind of small cliques of people that you've been able to develop. And usually, that's, you know, like, even though that might be just going out to the city together, or, you know, going to restaurants or bars, or whatever it is, and that's a really fun way. That's kind of how I like to have a good time is like going out and, you know, going to like bar hopping or like, that's my preference, but I know people like to go to house parties, and that's just not my cup of tea. So yeah, I like to go out pay a little too much for an overpriced drink, and then call it a night. That's, that's my style. But I've had a really good time.
And Haben, how would you comment about the party culture being in Greek life?
Oh, yeah, um, I think that it Berkeley isn't really known for being a party school by any means. We're very, like dedicated passionate students. And I'm glad that's what we're known for. But I wouldn't be afraid going to Berkeley that you're not going to have fun and like how those same experiences as your friends, I'd like maybe Georgia or Alabama, etc, etc. Like, they're still, you can still have that traditional college experience here. And I think that it's also really cool here and like, what sets Berkeley apart is the stress of like, safety and like consent, and like all that kind of stuff that college parties. And I think that's like one of like our really progressive like, cultures, party culture, things. I don't know how to explain kind of phrase that but don't be afraid. Great party school.
Thank you. That is it for our live questions tonight. So we're going to move into our last two questions for the night. And for these, they're pretty short. So we'll have each of our three panelists answer them. So we'll go through Angelica to hop into Shane for these. First, what is your least favorite part about Cal? and be honest, we know No, school is perfect. So what would you say is your least favorite part Angelica?
I would say my least favorite part about Cal is that Bay Area, I think is unnecessarily expensive. So that means food is more expensive. Like I said, drinks are more expensive renting. Apartments is more expensive. And I don't necessarily think the quality is any better from what I've had in Southern California. And so that's definitely frustrating. Sometimes we're like, I'm going out to lunch, and I have to shell out like 15 to $20 just for lunch. So yeah, that's my only thing. But that's not really something you can control unless you know, you deliberately want to go to a school that has a lower cost of living.
Haben, how about you? What would you say is your least favorite part?
And I think for me, my least favorite part was my freshman dorm. I also lived in unit three, but I was in a double room with three people which was like my last choice for my housing options. Um, I think my year just had a lot of like overflow housing and we're overpopulated but I would definitely say that's my leave favorite part.
And Shane, how about you?
Oh, well, I my least favorite part about Berkeley was when I was coming in, um, everyone was just so impressive. Like everyone has something like in their background. And like everyone is just so impressive. But then when I actually got on campus, I saw how inclusive everyone was and everyone was just open and friendly to each other. So why like why didn't like about Berkeley actually ended up liking in the end because you get to make friends with all these impressive people. So that's really cool.
Thank you. And as we head into our final question, everyone, please take a second to rate this event. And let me let us know how you did. And you will see a pop up on your screen shortly to answer a couple questions there. Please also leave your comments and feedback in the chat box so that CollegeVine can make these events better throughout the rest of the week. And with that, we'll move on to our final question for our panel. And we'll end on a positive note. So we talked about what was your least favorite part of Berkeley? What would you say is your favorite part of being at Cal? Angelica? Would you like to start us off?
Yeah, so my favorite part about being at Kaos that everybody is really passionate about something, whether that is politics, or technology, or finance, or really, whatever it is, it is really a place where everybody has something on their mind and I feel like that is so inspiring. And if you don't really know what you're passionate about people here are constantly throwing ideas at you like, what about this? What about this, like I'm doing this? And so I think it's a really easy place to be inspired and be around some of the best minds and the best professors. And it's, it's people have a lot of like passion here. So I love that about here.
That's great. Haben, how about you? What would you say is your favorite part of Cal?
I think, for me, the professors are my favorite part. I think I've had a really great experience with professors, and then really being really dedicated to my future and my well being and my, like, just future in general, I guess. So I think coming from like a really big, or going being in a really big public school. That's something really special.
And Shane, what would you say is your favorite part?
I really, really like the resources here on my high school, like the school I went to before. It's just you can't compare. Here we have, I think 36 libraries on campus. And like, he says that the resources for like opportunities are like insane. We have to venture capitals of these on like on canvas, if you're into startups at all. We have skydeck, which is basically it's a skyscraper in the middle of Berkeley, which is, I don't know, just so so cool. And basically, you have internship resources and research resources, preparing you for grad school or like a job afterwards. Basically, it's, I think we're probably like, Yeah, I don't see any others who was attacking compare, which is why I really like about Berkeley.
Thanks everybody. That wraps up our questions for the night. For those who are watching below the video are some quick links that you can use to see more details about Berkeley, like admission rates diversity statistics cost location. To see all of the college fair sessions happening. Next, you can either click the See full schedule button, which is right below the video, or click the college fair button in the main menu. And that's where you'll also be able to see the live recordings for every session. If you have questions about the college process, essays, applications, financial aid, you can find 10 of college vines most popular live stream recordings at the bottom of the page. So please check those out, or look for the live sessions that will pick back up the week after the college fair. And lastly, if you found this event helpful, please feel free to copy the share link above the video. And that'll bring you and your friends right back to this page to watch the recording of this session. So please help spread the word about this resource. Thank you so much to our awesome group of panelists. Thank you to Angelica, Haben. And Shane. We really appreciate you spending some time with us tonight, and telling all of our students out there about Berkeley and we'll see everybody at the next event. Thanks so much.
Undergrad College: University of Pennsylvania '19
Major: English and Women’s Studies
Work Experience: I'm passionate about merging storytelling, psychology, and spirituality to co-create experiences that transform people. In addition to advising students with CollegeVine, I work as a life coach and freelance writer.
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