Transitioning to Cal

My transition into college has been very interesting. Coming into UC Berkeley, I did not expect things to be easy. However, regardless of me thinking I was mentally prepared enough, I was not; it was a big culture shock. I was no longer around the people I had been used to my whole life. At first, everyone around me seemed to be so much better-prepared than me. And for the first time in my life, none of my teachers had ever heard of me, knew my name, or had any expectations for me. I kind of felt lost in such a big campus. However, I was able to eventually get accustomed to the new environment, learn to meet my teachers and ask for help during office hours, and learned to use my resources on campus like the student learning center and tutors.

I had spent my summer preparing for my first semester by attending CalSO which was my orientation, looking online, and calling people for advice on which courses to take. This was somewhat stressful, but eventually I got it done, and ended up with a schedule that I really enjoy. However, I think my biggest challenge was when midterm time came. That is where I felt the greatest change, and when I realized that I was going to have to change certain habits if I wanted to be successful. After receiving my midterm grades, I was happy that I passed, but I was not satisfied enough. That is when I began a great adjustment period; I had to think and learn where I studied best, where I was the most productive, and at what times. Therefore, although I did not start school performing as great as I did on my first set of midterms, the important thing is that I was not discouraged by this and created a plan for myself to be more successful.

However, not everything is as bad as it might sound. Although it is a challenge, I enjoy it. It has already pushed me into doing great things. For example, I am currently doing ethnographic research for my College Writing and Research class.

Also, I applied to, interviewed for, and was accepted into a wonderful program at UC Berkeley called the Biology Scholars Program. Through this program, I have been also been able to find great support and guidance. Now, I am just looking forward to improving myself in my upcoming midterms, continue doing research, learn more, and meet even more amazing and inspiring people.

– Fabiola, UC Berkeley ’15