(Photo retrieved from berekley.edu)

FRESHMAN FOCUS: Stephanie Ye, ’21, double majoring in economics and media studies

Stephanie Ye,21, is attending UC Berkeley and is majoring in economics and media studies. 

Q: Why did you choose your majors?

A: Honestly, I chose Economics and media studies because they were the things that I was most into. These two topics just seemed fun and interesting.

Q: Why did you choose to attend Berkeley?

A: Actually, I don’t know. It’s really close to Sacramento and I’ve lived in California for over 3 years, so it’s easy for me to adapt to the weather here.

Q: How has the pandemic affected you?

A: I cannot go back to China during winter break which is sad, and lots of classes are online. I only see my professor in person during midterms and finals because some classes are always too crowded. A few safety measures have been taken on campus as well. We have hand sanitizer everywhere and we have to wear a face mask when entering the building.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: This semester I’m taking math, English, an ocean geography class, a photoshop workshop class, economics and a writing class. I really enjoy my workshop class.

Q: What are your favorite classes?

A: My favorite classes are EPS 82 and my college writing. EPS 82 is a class about the ocean, and we talk a lot about marine life and marine chemistry. It’s actually super interesting. My college writing class is my only in-person lecture, and it’s a fairly small class. This is really nice because I can actually chat with my professor.

Q: What is your largest and smallest class?

A: My largest class is math; it’s about 1,000 students. It’s a really big class but still good. My smallest class is college writing,and it only has 13 kids in it. I said this earlier, but it’s really nice to have a more personal class. It’s the only one where my professor is in person, and it’s also my smallest.

Q: Is college any different than you expected?

A: Yeah, it’s really different than I expected. I never thought that it would be so hard to pick a class. You have so much freedom at Country Day; you can just choose whatever you want and Ms. Jacobsen will arrange everything for you. In college, you have to do your own schedule. It’s really hard.

At Country Day the student body is really small and you basically know everyone. At college it’s huge.

Q: Are you involved in any extracurriculars?

A: Yeah, I do Chinese People’s Union and an Econ club. We host different speakers (in the Econ club), and they’ll come and talk about their business journey and stuff. They come between Stanford and Berkeley.

Q: What is your housing situation like?

A:  I live in a dorm, and I share the room with two other girls. They are nice but the room can be really crowded and the heater doesn’t work. It’s freezing during the winter and no one has come to repair it even when we sent a request. It’s really annoying, but not terrible.

Q: So far, do you enjoy your experience in college?

A: I do, but I miss Country Day a lot. The college environment is really good. My favorite part of college is that it’s so much bigger than Country Day. There are a lot more people to meet and talk to. So far I’ve made a lot of friends.

Q: Do you think Country Day prepared you well for college?

A: I think Country Day prepares you for college life really well, especially Ms. Bauman’s English class. I think all of the classes were useful, but specifically, her class prepares you well for college-level writing. I also think the math classes prepare you well. Country Day did a really good job with that.

Q: Do you have any advice for the class of 2022 in college?

A: Honestly, I’d say that you should do what you want and make college what you want it to be. If you want to, socialize with as many people as possible, but if you don’t like that, you can ease into it. Overall, do whatever suits you.

UC Berekley
Quality of classes
Student-teacher interactions
Social scene
School spirit

— By Andrew Burr

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