Berkeley had been one of my top choice schools, I was thrilled when I got in, loved it while I was there, and miss it now that I've graduated. I loved my major (English) and my minor (Asian American Studies) and all the other classes I took. That having been said, I do have some diclaimers. My classes were generally not competitive because English is generally discussion-oriented and it's not graded on a curve, however there is always some hyper-intellectual in the first row who raises their hand and tries to impress the professor with some obscure example while you're just trying not to sound like an idiot when asking the professor to explain what the hell he was talking about for the past half hour. Also, I hear other majors can be really competitive (mostly HAAS business and the hard sciences, especially pre-med requirements are notorious for being "weeder" classes of like 400 students all battling the curve.) The graduate English program at Berkeley is #1 in the nation and the calibre of the faculty is top notch. Their lectures are interesting and insightful for the most part, (though at times they do stray into "what the hell are they talking about?" territory). They try to make themselves available before and after class and in office hours, however, I spent much of my time being so overwhelmed and intimidated by them and the casual briliance of my classmates that I hardly ever spoke to my professors in the 100+ lecture classes for fear of sounding stupid. This is probably my biggest regret because the times I had spoken to professors (usually towards the end of the term) or got to know them in smaller junior and senior seminars, they were approachable, easy to talk to, and took the time to really explain things. But because I had been so afraid I missed out on the opportunity to get to know some brilliant minds, probably didn't learn as much or perform as well as i could have, and am unable to get recommendations for graduate school from my English professors becaus they don't know who I am. Luckily, as an Asian Am minor, the classes are pretty small and the professors and instructors not as initmidating. I got to know them all pretty well, got A's in all their classes, and 3 out of 4 of my teachers are writing me recommendations. So my best advice for anyone who goes to Berkeley is DON'T BE INTIMIDATED and take the initiative and take advantage of every opportunity and resource you have at the university, because there are so many available. Not just in terms of your professors but there is an amazing library, great lectures and events going on all the time, and a lot of resources that you may have to dig a little to find but are worth it when you do. The university is so massive that it is easy to get lost in the crowd, no one will hold your hand and they may not always tell you tell you which classes to take, where and when to get academic/career counseling, what activities you should seek out and patricpate in, or even how best to make the most of your experience. But it's all there, you just have to go out there and find it and do it. If you do, you will love your time here and reap the rewards of an amazing university. Also, take time to enjoy your non-academic life on and off campus. The surrounding areas are socially, culturally, and academically vibrant. Keep an open mind and explore. You'll love it so much you won't want to leave. I still live here and am applying for a graduate program for the next year.