You’re a Golden Bear! Now What?

To all the new Golden Bears out there, congratulations! Welcome to the best school in the world, we are so excited to welcome you to Berkeley. College decisions are so exciting and stressful, and it doesn’t stop there. There’s still so much to do between now and when you set foot in your first college class, let’s dive on in to it.

First, you need to submit a housing application. will show you what options you have and what each is specifically like. WE have traditional dorms, suite options, and other apartments that you can look in to. If you want to choose your roommate, you can add that in to your application as well. Just remember, as your 5th housing preference put “any room any location” this will boost your chances at getting a spot, if you don’t put this and all your options are filled up then you won’t get a housing offer.

When it comes to what to bring with you, there are a few staples I might recommend. A hand vacuum is irreplaceable. I didn’t have one my freshman year and it was truly upsetting. I’d also recommend a brita filter, a comfy blanket specifically for your desk chair, and sandals for walking around the dorm. Berkeley will provide you with a list of things as well, but those three stand out in my mind because I didn’t have them.

The most exciting thing, in my opinion, is choosing your first every classes! Depending in your college and whether you know your major or not there are a lot of options for your first class. There are university requirements, college requirement, and major requirements. Different classes count for the different categories and you have to fulfill all of them. Berkeley students created a nifty little website called where students can go to look at all of the available classes, what the average grade in them is, how many open seats there are, and what requirements a course might qualify for.

Picking classes can be intimidating, but fear not it’ll all work out. Your college advisor (who’s email can be found on the academics page of your CalCentral account) is there to help you. You can send them an email asking for advice or to work out what classes you need to take and when. They’re a really great resource you should 100% take advantage of.

Finally, the last thing to do is get excited. You’re going to be a bear! Remember that you deserve to be here, that you belong here, and that this is literally the best choice you could ever make. Berkeley is truly a one of a kind school.

If you’re nervous about anything or need help you have your academic advisors to email about classes, you can email for admissions based questions and to speak with a campus ambassador about student life and have any other questions answered.

Bears support bears, congratulations, and welcome to the Cal family 😀

Author: Bridget Bernet

Howdy! My name is Bridget, I am a junior here at UC Berkeley, double majoring in philosophy and rhetoric with a concentration in narrative and image. I love all forms of writing, which is why I decided to write for Bear Talk :) and I'm so excited to share my perspective on this amazing campus. From cheering on the sports teams to studying in Moses Hall, every moment here is a special one, and I plan on documenting it all. Go Bears!