Can you remember those days when you poured over college applications for days at a time, toiling away at every word to endear Freshman Admissionsyourselves to those almighty essay readers? Back then, you had to wake up earlier than 8 a.m., and you got to return to the bliss of your relatively spacious home at around 3 p.m. Try to recreate those emotions of frustration and anger at the incessant amount of work that you had to complete, and contrast them with the elation of getting into your dream school. It felt pretty good, right? You were on top of the world, one of those elite few thousand. Savor those feelings, because we’re going to crush them right about now.

From 2007-2011, about 11,000 students were invited to enroll in the world’s best public institution annually. So it may seem that you’re just as special as the rest of the field, even though the raw number of admits has gone up minimally by year. But the number of applicants keeps skyrocketing, as more and more hopeful high-schoolers vie for one of those coveted spots. For the 2012-2013 applicant pool, almost 20,000 more people applied. In case that hasn’t hurt your ego enough, we’ll also tell you that there was an 18% rate of admission, a pretty sharp drop from the 23.3% back in 2007.

Even though there’s a tradition of respecting one’s elders — a matter of class pride and seniority at most universities — there’s definitely respect for all the people these newbies have beaten out. Most of the Cali kids are homegrown in the Bay Area or from SoCal — concentrated in the greater Los Angeles area especially.

There are some bright spots for us old hats, however. The admits had a collective 3.89 GPA, a figure we all surely expect to decrease once they finish their first semester in a rigorous UC Berkeley curriculum. And all that unimpressive stuff they did as teenagers — you know, like being internationally ranked athletes, television actresses and professional dancers — probably has nothing on your glowing college resumes. So even though every successive class has to fight off more read more »