Just today, I was totally blindsided by a college decision. After getting rejected from UCLA, I didn’t expect much from Berkeley. After all, the two universities are similar in ranking and admissions. I lazily logged onto the portal and was completely surprised by what I saw– a banner at the top stating “Congratulations and Welcome from Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director Amy W. Jarich.”
“What?!?!” I refreshed the page. Same message.
I quickly began reading the message. This can’t be true, can it? After reading, I learned I was a Spring admit, meaning I would start at Berkeley officially during the spring semester, which began in January. During first semester, I could take courses at a community college and then would simply attend UC Berkeley for fall semester. This College Confidential Thread helped me a lot with my questions, as well as this Berkeley page.
I’m still shocked that I was admitted– even as a Spring admit.
Before today, I was sure of going to UC San Diego. I had been accepted to UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Davis but felt that UC San Diego was the best fit for me. I had visited the campus before and I thought the campus was alright. (I had visited on a gloomy day and I think that may have disrupted my view of the school. I don’t recall much except woodchips, concrete and trees honestly.) I had even dismissed the “Triton Eye” theory (as offensive as it is) and resolved myself to be more social and engaging at UCSD, so that “UC Socially Dead” wouldn’t apply to me. I felt comfortable and at ease at the possibility of going there for college. (In fact, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but my past college posts had pictures of UCSD in them.) I actually made plans with a friend to dorm together, looked up organizations that I thought would be worth joining, and also found activities to do outside of UCSD (beach, hiking, etc). In short, I was prepared to go to UC San Diego.
Now, the fact that I’ve been accepted to Berkeley has come into my life like a wrecking ball (Sorry, couldn’t resist). I’m still leaning towards San Diego (Well, the Berkeley decision just came out today). But I will admit that I didn’t pour my soul into researching UC Berkeley like I did for UCSD. In fact, I hardly looked up anything about Berkeley until now. I had applied to UC Berkeley more as a “Why not?” move. That way, I would have no regrets about it later on in my life. I knew Berkeley, as well as UCLA, were reach schools so I didn’t have high expectations of being accepted. Had I been accepted to UCLA, I would’ve SIR’d immediately. (I had researched UCLA extensively as part of my college project. We had to research a reach school [UCLA], a match school [UCSD], and a safety school. I was attracted towards UCLA but sadly knew it was a reach.) For Berkeley, however,… I’m not sure.
I will definitely have to research and learn all I can about Berkeley so that I can make an informed decision.
Although I was admitted to Berkeley as a spring admit, I don’t take it negatively. I take the fact that I’ve been admitted as a Spring admit as good thing– that despite a tough admissions season and the campus being full, Berkeley is still trying to squeeze me in. I don’t see it as “You weren’t good enough to be a Fall admit, so be a Spring admit.” I did not expect to be accepted at all and am very grateful for Berkeley for accepting me!
I plan on visiting both campuses and will decide afterwards! I will choose the campus that I can truly see myself at for the next 4 years. Not only will I factor in how I feel about the campus, but other factors including my financial aid packet, programs offered, etc.
Note: I have decided to go to UC Berkeley. After going to Triton Day and Cal Day, the choice was clear. I disagreed with many things on UC San Diego’s campus and couldn’t honestly call it my home for the next 4 years. Go bears!