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 »


Rain

Nothing is going right, it’s one of those days. It’s raining and you forgot your jacket, your socks are wet. You didn’t understand half the questions on your quiz in discussion and you can’t find a seat in Moffitt. When you were walking home a car hit a pothole and splashed water all over you. You tried to make a joke and no one laughed. It’s a bad day. What you could really use is a pick-me-up along with some instant noodles, a hot shower and a hug. We can’t help you with those last three but we can help you find some great compliments on the fly to help turn that frown upside down.

Emergency Compliment is a site just for that. It has nice collection of creative pick-me-ups that puts a grin on our faces. Here’s just a few:

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Headphones

Here’s a really simple trick for those of you living in a triple in the dorms. If you have one of the double connected desks, then you have

a perfect spot to keep those expensive headphones. read more »


With the Big Game just around the corner, it would seem inappropriate not to relive “The Play.”

Watch ‘The Play’

“The Play” is one of the most famous plays in American sports, and it’s Cal’s finest moment in the long history of the Big Game. You’re not a true Bear until you’ve seen the play. If you haven’t, don’t embarrass yourself asking someone about it; just watch it in the YouTube video above (you can thank us later). If you’re a true Bears’ fan, then just take a moment to relive the play a couple times and get excited for Cal to kick some Stanfurd ass this weekend. Maybe the Standford band will mess up again, and we’ll get to watch Keenan Allen knock over a couple of band members as he wins the game and brings back the Axe (knock on wood).

Video Source: on YouTube


The Fork Doorstop

Open doors make happy floors, or so they say. Having an open door can be a lot easier said than done if you didn’t put “doorstop” on your packing list. (We can’t think of why you would.) read more »


Grizzly Bear

It’s 3:30 a.m. You should be blissfully asleep. Instead you’re wide eyed awake because of the snoring coming from the bear that is inside your roommate. You’re pretty sure that every time your roommate inhales the whole building rattles. read more »


squidwardCollege is a time of change. A time to figure out who we are and what it is we want out of life. We learn so many new things, about ourselves, about the world, about drinking heavily. It’s probably the time in our lives when we experience the most growth. Specifically, we grow from an eager, motivated freshman to a jaded, lazy senior. It’s a natural trajectory, so don’t be alarmed. Wondering where you fall on the DGAF scale? Check out our analysis below and decide for yourself.

Level 1: YEAH! LEARN ALL THE THINGS! GO TO ALL THE OFFICE HOURS!

Also known as eager freshman. You’re just so jazzed to be out of high school. You picked your own classes. You don’t have to be up at the ass-crack of dawn anymore. In fact, you can sleep ‘til 11:00 a.m., because all of your classes start after noon. This is unheard of in your little pre-college world. Plus, you can eat whatever you want. Could it get any better? Getting an A never looked so easy. read more »


beer 2facebookSocial networks. Sigh. Oh, Facebook. Oh, Twitter. Oh, whatever other inventions that exist to connect the small world we currently live in. Oh, you all.

You were so much fun in the beginning. The good times, the bad times — together, we trekked through them all. Remember those hilarious photos of when Derrick got totally wasted and pranced around in his little sister’s ballet leotard? Or, wait for it, when Blair passed out after her seventh shot in a span of twenty minutes and everyone drew on her face with a Sharpie? Also, how can we forget when there were tons of updates about how drunk our buddies were and that someone had almost blacked out while driving down local street at over 95 mph?

Fun stuff.

Then after the novelty wore off, you all came off as backstabbers. read more »


If we had a dollar for every application... we could afford the fee increases

If we had a dollar for every application... we could afford the fee increases

It’s January. For some, this might mean a struggle with New Year’s resolutions. For hordes of high school seniors, this means that after endlessly reworking personal statements and trudging through baffling admissions websites, college applications are finally submitted. Reflecting on own days back in high school — a decidedly surreal and mildly uncomfortable experience — we can take heart in knowing that no matter how competitive admissions seemed then, it was not as bad as now: Seniors applied in record numbers this year, with UC Berkeley garnering more than 52,000 new applications — topped only by UCLA (with 61,000) and UC San Diego (with 53,000).

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Freshmen from back in the day were way cooler, no lie.

Freshmen from back in the day were way cooler.

Responding to a question posed by the New York Times regarding how college freshmen have “changed,” professors from across the country weighed in with expectedly dismal pronouncements regarding the modern student’s ability to transition into independent life.

“Students are different now,” laments Linda Bips, a psychologist and assistant professor at Muhlenberg College. According to her, current college students were raised in an environment so as to become overly sensitive to failure.

“Our world is more stressful in general because of the current economic and political realities, but I don’t believe that the college experience itself is more intense today than the past 10 years. What I do think is that many students are often not prepared to be young ‘adults’ with all the responsibilities of life.”

The quotation marks enclosing the term ‘adults?’ That hurts. But perhaps not as much as what Bips has to say about the adverse effects of our apparent immaturity on professors like her, who are forced into “[assisting] in the basic parenting of these students.” Sigh. read more »


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