I'll be enrolled in the College of Letters and Science; hopefully I'll be admitted to Haas for the Business Administration major. Otherwise I'll be doing Economics.
For housing I applied to:
1) Bowles Hall
2) Unit 1 minisuite
3) Unit 2 minisuite
4) Unit 3 triple
5) anything else
I'm wondering as to who else is/will be attending Cal. Any and all advice/comments/questions/whatever you want to talk about is welcomed.
I know Evanthebouncy is currently a freshman there, but I'm not too sure on any other people.
+ Show Spoiler [Why Cal instead of LA] +
Initially I was dead set against Cal. At the time of my application it was my last choice. Then I got rejected from 8/10 schools I applied to, and was left with LA and Cal.
With the applications and admissions proper being largely fait accompli, and unwilling to appeal any decisions, I was fairly sure I'd be attending UCLA. However, my parents' insistence on Cal [since Berkeley is one of the ~5 schools Asian parents are aware of] persuaded me to visit and research both before choosing.
I find the Cal campus to be unpleasant to the eye with its hodgepodge of discontinuous architecture. Furthermore, the city of Berkeley itself is seedy at best: apart from the BART station and perhaps the Telegraph/Durant area, there is little to no reason to venture out past the University confines.
UCLA on the other hand is beautiful and relatively clean. It also has a closer-knit community feel due to the proximity of the residence halls, apartments, and Greek houses to one another. Westwood is both safer and more interesting than Berkeley, and I prefer Los Angeles over San Francisco as a city.
Yet after all was said and done, despite my moderate/conservative beliefs and strong adherence to aesthetic values, I chose Cal. As for why:
1) Academic prestige. Sure, people say that amongst the top 25, education doesn't differ much, and I believe it. A UCLA education won't be far inferior to even a Harvard education in terms of raw learning. The contacts/professors/name value of Berkeley is still greater, though, and beneficial in the long term.
2) Better [actually existent] business programme. Haas' undergraduate Business major is third in the nation; Anderson does not have one. Considering I am planning a career in Investment Banking [mergers/acquisitions, probably? not too sure on that part] it was a great incentive to choose Berkeley.
3) Branching out more. This argument may sound somewhat sophomoric, with all the nonsensical talk about 'diversity' and 'learning to accept others', but I do think a change of locale would benefit me. UCLA, despite being in Los Angeles, is still isolated from the dreary aspects of urban life. Though I once lived in comparative poverty, it was so long ago that I've forgotten all about hardship. It may make me a better person and open my eyes to common adversity.
4) The fact that I don't like the campus/area will help me concentrate on studying. UCLA would be too much fun and games, and I'm afraid I'd get sidetracked. With the Cal campus being more spread out, I can choose to go party or to visit SF when I want, but it's quieter when necessary.
5) Family pressures. Being raised with traditional Chinese values in mind, filial piety and loyalty to my elders is quite important. Since they're all supporting Cal, this was a large factor in my decision.
6) Convenient location. I can get home in an hour. Yes, it's a bit close, but not too close. The benefits of this are considerable, considering increasing gasoline/airfare prices. I also prefer Norcal weather over Socal weather.
I'm sure I'd have more fun at UCLA, and it may result in a slightly more enjoyable college experience. However, after I become accustomed to it, Cal should not be far inferior in either of those regards, and the other benefits entailed above outweighed my initial desire to become a Bruin.