How to be Successful as an Out of State Cal Student

How can I be successful at Cal as an Out of State Student? It’s always difficult coming to a new foreign area and fitting right in. What are some things you can take advantage of prior to coming to Cal as well as in your first few weeks? If you’re curious, then you’re in the right spot! I’ll tell you all the strategies you need to successfully kick off your 1st year at UC Berkeley.

How to be Successful as an Out of State Cal Student


Once you receive your acceptance letter from Cal, you should think about the field of interest you want to pursue during your undergraduate years. For me, since my passion was in the sciences, I decided to pursue a major in Molecular Cell Biology. For many other students, you probably won’t know until you take your classes. That’s totally fine! You can spend your entire first year just learning about yourself and the type of subjects that interest you. However, I do suggest that you look back on your high school (if you’re an incoming freshman) or community college (if you’re a transfer) years and see what class you were the most passionate about! Knowing this information will give you a head start and pave a clear path for your 4 years at Cal.

Next, you can try and be more familiar with the Bay Area (Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, etc.) by playing around with Google Maps and Google Earth. By typing UC Berkeley, you are able to find a visual diagram of our campus as well as all the restaurants, houses, and places nearby. It’s a great way to do your research on an area before you even come to campus! Back when I was a senior in high school, I made sure to explicitly know the locations around Berkeley (*please know that I was in Hawaii and have never been to Berkeley) using the two apps that I mentioned above. Through this research, I planned the jobs that I was going to apply for in the area as well as the places that I wanted to visit once I came here with my family. I can assure you that by doing this research beforehand, you will feel more prepared and confident when you arrive at Berkeley!

The last thing I suggest you to do is to search up a few extracurriculars that you want to be involved in. This can either be student organizations at Cal or internships/jobs in the area. To find the clubs that you might potentially be interested in, you can go to To find internships or resources on jobs, you can visit or By doing this beforehand, you’re placing yourself way beyond your peers!


In the first few weeks that you arrive at UC Berkeley, feel free to get familiar with the area (with your already established research, you should feel comfortable in locating the types of resources you have access to). During this time, Golden Bear Orientation should also be happening. This orientation consists of:

“eight jam-packed days of training sessions, ice breakers, tours and academic programming—expected to be the largest orientation of its kind at a U.S. university, in terms of the number of students participating.”

The school will put you into an orientation group with the peers in your incoming class. Take advantage of this by establishing connections early on! These individuals will be your first few friends that you meet at UC Berkeley 🙂

After Golden Bear Orientation, you should be fully equipped with all the information you need for your next few years at Cal! Good luck Golden Bear…you got this!

If you enjoyed this blog post, then please check out my 1st post here as I give you a glimpse of my Cal YouTuber life. If you want to know how I became a YouTuber or how you can become a YouTuber, then this is the blog for you. Please connect with me if you have any questions or additional resources that you would like!




Author: Vincent Ooi

HEY EVERYONE! I'm Vince, pleased to meet you. As an upcoming senior at UC Berkeley, I have plenty of tips as well as "extraordinary" stories to share with you....EXCLUSIVELY to those that read my posts. I will include life hacks that can help you excel in your years as a student at UC Berkeley or anywhere in the world. The experiences that I'm about to share with you will change your perspective on life as well as your days as a Golden Bear.