UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

What advice do you have for incoming students?

– As the class of 2006 sweated in the hot sun outside the Greek Theater last May, waiting for Commencement Convocation, we asked the new graduates to share a bit of their hard-earned wisdom. Here are all the little — and big — things they wished someone had told them back when they first arrived at Berkeley as either freshmen or transfer students.

Xiaoqing Wang 'Utilize the excellent faculty here: try to have close relationships with professors.'
-Xiaoqing Wang, East Asian languages and culture. Home country: China
Greg Low 'Explore everything. There's so much to do here - better to spend your first year exploring, rather than already know ahead of time what you're going to do.'
-Greg Low, anthropology. Hometown: San Leandro, CA

Jim Beatty 'Try to keep up. And don't give up - A's and B's and C's are kind of relative. Even if you don't get an A, if you keep up with the work, you'll pass.'
-Jim Beatty, molecular and cell biology. Hometown: Berkeley, CA
Taylor Brekke 'Don't sweat the small stuff - have fun while you can, because you'll never have another opportunity like this.'
-Taylor Brekke, political science. Hometown: Modesto, CA

Nicole Polidoro 'Don't ever doubt yourself. If so many of us could do it, then so can you.'
-Nicole Polidoro, English. Hometown: Laguna Hills, CA
Yan Solopov 'Don't fall behind on your reading, but if you do, don't panic. You don't actually have to do all of it. Well, that was true for my major but it might not be true for others.'
-Yan Solopov, political science. Hometown: Walnut Creek, CA

Terry Patton 'Don't wait for Berkeley to come to you. Go find Berkeley. Some schools say, "We'll open the door and show you around." Berkeley shows you the door but puts the onus on you to walk yourself around. I guess that's how life is.'
-Terry Patton, film studies. Hometown: Redlands, CA
Anji Singh 'Find out about all the opportunities that are available. You can do the Education Abroad Program even if you're a financial-aid student. I wished I'd known that. And when you're a freshman, you feel like four years is a long time, but it's really not. You have to make some decisions fast.'
-Anji Singh, psychology/English. Hometown: South San Francisco, CA

Ashley Finch 'Always plan ahead in your classes so you can get out of here in four years.'
-Ashley Finch, mass communications. Hometown: San Diego, CA
Son Huynh 'Study hard. That's not what I did, and my GPA is not as high as I wanted it to be. Berkeley is a lot harder than it looks.'
-Son Huynh, legal studies. Hometown: Oakland, CA

Sebastian Koscinski 'Don't try to become an architect.'
-Sebastian Koscinski, architecture. Hometown: Mountain View, CA
Wendy Platt 'Try everything - you don't know what you're going to love until you've gone through it.'
-Wendy Platt, MBA. Hometown: Gualala, CA

Jenny Kienitz 'Go to your counselor on a regular basis. I'm glad I finished early, and a good counselor can get you out in four years or less.'
-Jenny Kienitz, English. Hometown: Menlo Park, CA
Joseph Nepomuceno 'Pick something you'll enjoy studying for four years.'
-Joseph Nepomuceno, integrative biology. Hometown: San Diego, CA

Jason Herberg 'Be careful when choosing your roommates - sometimes you can't work it out.'
-Jason Herberg, civil engineering. Hometown: Los Gatos, CA
Cheryl Bingaman 'I wish I had known that going to office hours really worked. Oh yeah, and experience Indian rock!'
-Cheryl Bingaman, public health. Hometown: Lodi, CA

Rob Nesbitt'In college, it's good to be the teacher's pet.'
-Rob Nesbitt, mass communications. Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA


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