Chelsea McDougall

Chelsea McDougall.jpg

University of California Berkeley

Gregori Class of 2013


Weighted GPA at Gregori: Above 4.0

SAT Composite Score (2400 Scale): 1650

ACT Composite Score: 26

Extracurriculars at Gregori: Newspaper, mock trial, leadership, colorguard

What are the dorms like on campus? What would you recommend students bring to their dorms?

The dorms are said to be on campus, but they are technically a block or two from campus, depending on the building. Each building has its different quirks - there are three Units, plus Foothill and Clark Kerr. I'd definitely recommend earplugs - roommates can be noisy, and the Berkeley streets (especially on the weekend) can be loud. Also, don't forget laundry detergent - you don't want to haul your dirty clothes all the way to the washing machines only to discover you forgot your detergent.

How did you go through the process of choosing a roommate?

I was randomly assigned two roommates (I was in a triple). I actually was accepted to Cal for the spring semester instead of the fall, so I was put into a triple that already had two people pretty solidly in there. I didn't spend much time in my room anyway - there's so much to do on campus that I spent more time there!

How do you get to classes? Do you take public transportation, ride a bicycle, walk, etc.? Is the campus spread across large distances?

Walk! Berkeley is a very walkable place. Bikes are definitely used - but it's harder because of the hills. Taking the bus is also pretty easy; there's Bear Transit, which is operated by the campus, and AC Transit, which are city buses. Every student receives a Clipper card that is also used as a bus pass.

What supplies do you normally use in your classes? What do you bring with you on a daily basis?

I usually take my laptop to class and take notes on that, but there are some professors who prefer no technology (no laptops or phones), so you have to just listen to the professor on the first day of class and they'll tell you what they prefer.

Do you typically eat food on campus? Do you like the food there? Are you on a food plan with the university?

I had a meal plan my freshman year, but after that I lived in my sorority and we had a chef that made lunch and dinner during the week so I ate there. The food on campus is decent - it really depends where and when you go. The main dining hall is called Crossroads and can get pretty busy.

What is the social life like on campus? Is there a large population of sororities or fraternities?

I joined a sorority, so I can only speak about my personal experience - everyone was super friendly and super nice, and because I joined in the spring, I didn't have to go through the craziness of fall recruitment until I was on the sorority side. There are lots of other ways to make friends though - clubs are huge, as well as professional frats.

Have you had to change your study habits to accommodate to the workload at college compared to high school?

Yeah definitely - in high school, I didn't have to study. In college, I quickly learned that because there are small discussion sections that are in addition to the larger lectures, you have to know the material enough to talk to your classmates about it. Midterms and finals definitely require some studying too - but it depends on your major. Because I majored in anthropology, the majority of my midterms and finals were essays, which required more reading.

How do you balance your school work with any jobs that you may have throughout the year?

I had a job pretty consistently throughout my college career; sometimes I had two at a time. I just made sure to make time for my schoolwork, and sometimes that meant not hanging out with friends or staying in on a Friday night, and that's perfectly okay. Lots of people stay in. If there's one piece of advice I could give to a high school senior, it's that it's absolutely okay to stay in your dorm and study instead of going out - you shouldn't feel pressured.

How have you had to prepare for the responsibilities of being on your own at college? (appointments, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc.)

This is kind of a tough question, because everyone's reaction to being an adult is different, and everyone is in a different environment. Personally, I leaned on my parents, but because I also was in a sorority I didn't have to worry about grocery shopping or paying bills. I've probably learned more about these kinds of things now that I've graduated from Cal and am actually working in the real world.

What is the school spirit like at your school? (sports, etc.)

Cal has a ton of school spirit! We're the number one public university in the world, so of course we are all proud to be Bears. Even though our football team may not be the greatest, game days are huge celebrations and everyone wears their blue and gold :)