StudentsReview :: The University of California - Berkeley
Search for Schools by Region

or within distance of city

Similar Schools
University of California -- Los Angeles, CA
Stanford University -- Stanford, CA
Harvard University -- Cambridge, MA

  Who's got the Best?

Perceptual Rankings:
You Make 'Em.
We Post 'Em.
You Vote 'Em Up.
You Vote 'Em Down.
Aww yeah.

The University of California - Berkeley

How this student rated the school
Alumni Survey
Describes the student body as:

Describes the faculty as:

Lowest Rating
Highest Rating
Date: Jul 12 2004
Major: Other (This Major's Salary over time)
It's a large system, and it's designed to weed out the weak, but the overall experience is inherently valuable because the challenges are great. The school itself isn't the only attraction; there's also the competition, the great bookstores and libraries, the interesting alumni with their interesting businesses, and the overall environment. I spent a lot of my time there working to earn money for school, and socializing and partying, and basically recovering from being a high school spazz. Academics took a back seat, and I switched to an easier course of study, but the competition kept me on my toes.

I actually wasn't much of a student, and instead, spent a lot of my mental energy doing "self study" in the libraries (which are all top notch), building electronics projects, hiking the hills, and learning to write (some) on the internet. None of this would have been possible were it not for the financial aid checks, student loans, high paying jobs nearby, and close proximity of all these great opportunities. Thanks Cal, and the state of California!

I know some people who make fun of Cal grads, because so many are willing to follow their odd dreams... but I also meet so many folks who have a lot of education and money, who just gripe about how unsatisfied they are with life. Which is worse? Berkeley is a place where you can teach yourself to be free, because you learn about so many different ways of being. It also provides enough academic challenges and has a sufficient reputation to assure you of living middle class suburban lifestyle, if you choose to climb the corporate ladder.

Yesterday, on the freeway, I saw a slightly beat up truck with a bent fender, piled up with weird gear, and a "CAL ALUMNI" license plate frame. The guy looked like he was running some kind of business out of his pickup, or running a work errand. Who knows. You don't often see a UCLA or Stanford plate frame on a pickup, especially one that's actually used for real work. I instinctively heckled my passenger with a "Go Bears!"

I was reminded of the one time when I was at Cal, when three of us undergrads were driving up the freeway from SoCal, and blew out a tire. The spare was the wrong size wheel. How screwed is that. We were stuck on the median. Nobody stopped to help, except for one guy. You guessed it: a UC Berkeley student. (We eventually re-balanced the car onto three wheels and managed to get to a gas station.)

Also, the "liberal" rep is severely overstated. Yes, there are a lot of radicals there, but, the most famous writer to come out of Cal from when I was there is Max Boot, the arch-conservative, nationalistic warhawk, and defender of imperialism. I'm quite embarrassed about this, but, such is life.

When I was there, Cal also had a gun club, and numerous holy roller groups, so, don't go saying it's a liberal school. It is, or was, a diverse school, and there's a range of opinions there.

I think that the cessation of Affirmative Action was a big mistake. School should be about more than testing and information overload. Yes, the retention rate of these students is lower than for others, but, it's not for lack of intelligence, but culture shock and lack of academic support. Some did make it, though, and for them, it's worth it. Moreover, the rich mix of re-entry, working class, wealthy, influential, and middle class people was, in itself, valuable. College is just four (or five) years of life. The "real world" is often full of unwritten rules and regulations that keep people "in their place", and college should be a place to experience something else. This should go double for top schools like Cal.

One other thing... the food in Berkeley is amazing. It's some of the best food I've ever eaten in my life. I can still recall the flavor of Cheeseboard pizza, Peet's coffee, Flint's BBQ, and Top Dogs. The salads at some restaurants were awesome. The beer was delicious, and cheap.

Epilogue: I graduated, and was still a spazz and a misfit, but a much better person.
Ask a Question or add a response!
The University of California - Berkeley
The University of California - Berkeley
The University of California - Berkeley
Compare UC-BerkeleySave UC-Berkeley

StudentsReview Advice!

• What is a good school?
• Statistical Significance
• How to choose a Major
• How to choose your Career
• What you make of it?
• How Ivy League Admissions works
• On the Student/Faculty Ratio

• FAFSA: Who is a Parent?
• FAFSA: Parent Contribution
• FAFSA: Dream out of reach

• College Financial Planning
• Survive College and Graduate
• Sniffing Out Commuter Schools
• Preparing for College: A HS Roadmap
• Talking to Your Parents about College.
• Is a top college worth it?
• Why is college hard?
• Why Kids Aren't Happy in Traditional Schools
• Essential College Tips
Ah, college. Considered by many to be the time of a young person's lif... more→
• Cost of College Increasing Faster Than Inflation
According to NPR, the cost of college... more→
• For parents filling out the FAFSA and PROFILE (from a veteran paper slinger)
Just so you know, filling out these forms is a lot more than penciling... more→
• How to choose the right college?
My name is Esteban Correa. I am currently a second year INTERNATIONAL ... more→
• Create The Right Career Habits Now
Getting ahead in your career can be easier if you make the choice to b... more→

• Senior Year (Tips and experience)
It's the end of junior year and everyone is anticipating the arrival o... more→
• Informational Overload! What Should I Look For in a College or University?
We are in an instant information age, where you can find almost anythi... more→
• Personality Type and College Choice
Personality type is something very important to consider when deciding... more→
• A Free Application is a Good Application
As a senior finishing her scholastic year, I feel that it is my duty ... more→

• College Academic Survival Guide
The leap from high school to college academics is not an insignificant... more→
• Getting Involved: The Key to College Happiness
As a tour guide, the absolute, most frequently asked question I got wa... more→
• Choose a Path, Not a Major
Unless you're one of the fortunate souls who's already found their cal... more→
• The Scoop on State Schools
A recent college graduate, I vividly remember touring campuses as a p... more→

• The Purpose of a Higher Education
You are one of the millions of people this year applying for admission... more→
• The Importance of Choosing the Right College Major (2012)
One of the most important academic choices you'll make while in colleg... more→
• How to choose a college major
I was not sure what college major to choose. When you are in your late... more→
• How to guarantee your acceptance to many colleges
Are your grades are not what you think they should be from high school... more→

• Nailing the College Application Process
College applications seem to always be put on top of students procrast... more→
• What to do for a Successful Interview
Interviews seem to become more commonplace in every facet of life as o... more→
• I Don't Know Where to Start (General College Advice)
Preparing for college is a difficult time for every student and it?s o... more→
• Attitude and Dress Code for an Interview (General College Advice)
An interview is something we all have to go through when we get a job... more→

• Starting College (General College Advice)
College is a huge milestone in your life. You?ve seen the castle like ... more→