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The University of California - Berkeley

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Cal is awesome! The academics here are HARD,AverageComputer Science
Cal is awesome! The academics here are HARD, but they will challenge you to understand the material at a deeper level. If you are in STEM, you will at some point encounter problem sets that will make you want to cry, or walk about of an exam not knowing how to do half of the problems. This is the kind of thing that will push you to work harder and eventually make you a better scientist/engineer. I love that feeling of unbelievably accomplishment when, after hours and hours of work, you finally finish a cs project or ee problem set, and everything you learned in lecture actually starts to make sense.

I also love the diversity of the campus. Everyone I have met here are super friendly and passionate about something. There is very little competitiveness, we all work together and struggle together on problem sets. The campus itself is beautiful (although a little run down), and the city of Berkeley is an awesome college town. There is soooo much good food that is cheap and open very late. Norcal weather is awesome (sunny and 60 degrees most of the time) and SF is only a half an hour BART ride away. We also have the greatest college memes page #BMFET :D.

A lot of other people on this site commented about the political views of this campus. I'm pretty sure those people don't actually go here. People here are generally liberal, but the vast majority of the population is pretty moderate. Most students are too busy with schoolwork or other extracurriculars to be too concerned about politics. Protests happen sometimes, but they don't bother anyone. The only two downsides of Berkeley I can think of are scheduling and housing prices.Overall, I have really enjoyed my time at Cal so far. Go bears!

1st Year Female -- Class 1920
Education Quality: A+, Perceived Campus Safety: B-
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I will begin by saying this: Berkeley isSuper BrilliantMechanical Engineering
I will begin by saying this: Berkeley is HARD. You will be challenged on a daily basis to stretch the boundaries of your understanding, and there will be little time to sit on your laurels and rest. That being said, if you maintain a reasonable courseload and a reasonable set of study habits, you can succeed. Berkeley engineering, specifically, has friendly, understanding advisers, and in general you can find research positions, clubs, study groups, etc. quite easily. I have never felt more at home, nor happier, anywhere else.

There is, however, a dark side. Berkeley students are all bright, hardworking, and in many cases driven by GPA. Because of this, students who receive poor grades can feel cheated and disheartened. In too many cases, students saw admission to Cal as an endgame, which is simply not the proper mindset to take. See every class as an opportunity, force yourself (sometimes) to go, even if you don't think it will help/you don't want to. It will pay off in the end.

The school has limited funding, and as such some of the older buildings (Wheeler, Dwinelle, and LeConte come to mind) are less than ideal for lab, or discussion, but this does not detract from the quality of professors and academic rigor inherent to the school.

If you feel that you are willing to accept the downsides of a public university, which are real, and are willing to devote yourself to your studies and to advancing your career, coming to Cal is a decision you will never regret. As always, Go Bears!

1st Year Male -- Class 2019
Innovation: A+, Campus Maintenance: C
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History/Histories (art history/etc.)
Great background academically and socially.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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The University of California - Berkeley
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