My First Semester at UC Berkeley

I didn’t believe people when they said, “Don’t worry, time will go by quickly.” I look at how quickly it has gone by and can’t believe there’s less than two months before I finish my first semester at UC Berkeley.

I remember attending my first lecture on Friday, August 26 at 8 AM. Compared to the classrooms in high school these classrooms are humungous. There were no longer desk rows of five; now there are rows of 10 or more. I am satisfied with my schedule since I am done with classes before 1 every day. Compared to high school we spend fewer hours in class, as a result there is plenty of free time. I soon realized after the first week of class that free time was supposed to be spent studying, going to tutoring and visiting professors during office hours. There are some days when I spend the whole day at the Student Learning Center getting math tutoring. Asking for help, going to tutoring and office hours have become a routine.

My roommate Lizbeth and I are lucky to live in Unit 3, which is the closest dorm to the south side of campus, where many of my classes are. Out of our 36 floormates only 3 of us are Latino. I felt culture shock since most students at Richmond High School are of the same ethnicity as me. When I first moved in I was afraid that the restrooms would get dirty very quickly since they’re co-ed, but our floormates are very hygienic. Our floor is very social in that we all get along very easily. We help each other out in many ways, from assisting with homework to sewing someone’s jeans. I have made many friendships which I know will continue to support me throughout my time here.

– Maria, UC Berkeley ’15