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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

As some of us are now in the final stretch of the school year, we’re bound to do a lot of reflecting. Finals week is right around the corner and while that’s a very stressful time, I have also started to become reminiscent of my first year of being a college student. As I think of the turnout of my freshman year, I’m constantly reminded not just of the moments I enjoyed, but also the times where my patience began to run very thin because of college. For those who are going to start college soon, you may experience frustration more often than you think. Take this article as a means of preparing yourself for what’s to come. 

Signing Up For Classes

This is something that can get less stressful over time with practice, but I remember that curating a schedule and enrolling in classes for my first semester was very overwhelming. I took it as far as writing down possible schedules on paper to figure out what worked best for me. Not to mention how nerve-wracking it is that it’s possible to not even get the classes you want because of limited space. I recommend searching up classes at least a week before your enrollment session, and at least come up with two distinctive schedules to up your chances of getting one that you like. In the case that you don’t get a class you wanted, it’s very common for students to switch out of classes early in the semester. 

Finding Clubs

Sometimes, the more clubs there are, the more difficult it can be to find some you would like. I remember being surprised by how many clubs UC Berkeley has, and I also remember feeling anxious knowing that club culture was pretty competitive here. The pressure to start off my college career with a handful of extracurriculars got to me, and I felt like I would fall behind everyone else if I didn’t find clubs that related to my major immediately. It got to the point where I repeatedly went over my school’s club catalog, desperately trying to find a club that seemed the slightest bit interesting to me. It’s important to remind yourself that while clubs are a great way to put yourself out there and delve deeper into your interests, it should never be something you’d cry over. Be realistic about your time commitments and remember quality over quantity!


Of course, it should be expected that academic rigor in college will be the number one concern for most students. Believe your teachers and parents when they say that college education is vastly different from high school. It can be taken as both a good and bad thing. College stress and anxiety is complex, and the pressure to keep up with or be above everybody else is heightened. I’m personally still struggling to adapt to this transition, and it may be something I’ll never entirely be comfortable with. I will say that acceptance of your circumstances would probably help ease some of the tension. With the help of my support system, I have come to learn that college being inherently more difficult than prior education is my reality. Once you realize this, it’ll be easier to be kind to yourself!


College relationships can be very intricate. For some, it’s easier to make friends in college, and, for others, it can be more challenging. I have had friends who admitted that they initially struggled to find their place in college. Feeling like you fit in once you enter a new environment doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and that’s okay! Everyone is unfamiliar with one another and building genuine connections shouldn’t be rushed! As the school year goes by, you may also come face to face with rocky friendships. This should be expected because conflict is inevitable! It’s up to us how we handle these hiccups, and I like to think that every challenge should be taken as a learning experience. Struggling leads to growth!

Growing as an Individual

While college is a time of self-discovery, it can feel very aggravating when your sense of self is being challenged. I had my own fair share of moments of feeling upset with myself after realizing that I’m not the same person I was in high school. It almost felt like I lost myself and got caught up with the college fantasy. This is all to say that change is also inevitable. You’ll experience things outside of your comfort zone, and you’ll be forced to be at peace with facing the unfamiliar. Take things one at a time, and before you know it, you’ll realize that you’ve come a long way as an individual!

It’s important to approach these struggles with a welcoming attitude. Don’t come into college expecting the worst nor the best. There will be many setbacks hindering you from a perfect college experience, but that’s exactly what you need to grow!

Phenelope Pasco

UC Berkeley '27

Phenelope is currently a freshman attending UC Berkeley, majoring in Media Studies and intends to double major in Business. She is currently a staff writer for the Berkeley department. Phenelope has experience in journalism and design for school newspapers. She previously worked as Editor-in-Chief for her high school newspaper and oversaw the whole publishing process. She mainly loves writing and reading food reviews. Besides HerCampus, Phenelope also writes for a Pilipinx magazine called (M)aganda where she steps outside of her comfort zone and gives a go at prose and poetry. She is still exploring her options in regard to what career fields she may enter after graduating. With both of her majors, she hopes her future job will involve a blend of the two. Besides writing, Phenelope pours her love into her hobbies such as baking, reading, and cafe hopping. She also always has her handy digital camera with her and loves to capture moments of her family and friends.