A New Experience at Cal

My first few weeks of school have been nothing short of an exciting experience. I had expected countless hours of studying and meeting great new people, but my encounters here have definitely exceeded those expectations. When signing up for courses, I had assumed that they wouldn’t be much different than high school; going to class every day, taking notes, and doing homework. But I have now realized how different college is compared to that. I find myself not only learning new concepts, but continuing to reflect on them each day. I feel that the way professors teach this material actually allows the students to take their new knowledge beyond the classroom and connects the ideas to the world around us.

These past two months at Berkeley have really challenged me to put in a lot of effort and time into my studies. I can say that the numbers of essays I have written in these past few weeks are far more than anything I had to do in high school. However, I have enjoyed the opportunity to express my ideas in this form, and they have strongly helped me improve my writing skills each time.

What I appreciate most about college is being surrounded by individuals who actually care about their studies. Although everyone is working towards a different path, the students I have seen here are all very serious and dedicated to their responsibilities. This has motivated me to work extra hard, to keep up with the overall challenges of college life. I find that the teachers and students here are easy to approach, and I am trying to use resources such as office hours and study groups to better my own study habits and to understand the material more thoroughly.

These past few weeks have already been an amazing experience for me, and looking forward I can only see it getting better. Coming into college I thought I would take every opportunity possible to be a part of any clubs and organizations. But I realized that I was struggling to keep up with schoolwork so I decided to focus on only classes this semester. Once I learn to manage my time more efficiently, I do plan on joining the badminton club, a community service organization and possibly a cultural group. I am eagerly looking forward to taking more classes and experiencing what else Berkeley has to offer. 
-Saira, UC Berkeley ’16