Admission Tips from a Duke Sophomore: Choosing between Duke and Berkeley

March 23, 2014

Where my parents went to school definitely affected my thought processes when deciding where to go to college, but did not affect the ultimate outcome. My father went to UC Berkeley which is where he wanted me to go. He would mention many good aspects of the school: why he liked it and, why he thought it would be  a good fit for me, etc. To be honest, he had many valid points and made my decision between Duke and Berkeley a very difficult one. 

I liked Berkeley because they have a very strong engineering program and had what I wanted to study (industrial and operational engineering). Not to mention it’s in San Francisco, possibly my favorite place in the world with fantastic weather.  On the other hand however, I had talked to friends who said it was close to impossible to get the courses they wanted because of the high demand and limited class spots.  Duke on the other hand, appealed to me because of its strong collegiate community. Because it is secluded and isolated in North Carolina, there is a very tight, community feel, which tends to be very spirited. Also, having a strong basketball team appealed to me because I love sports and environments that support them. I ultimately chose Duke despite my father’s influence on Berkeley because I knew that I would only go to college for 4 years and wanted the full collegiate experience. I knew that if I chose Berekely I would be choosing California over a school atmosphere, and decided that if I liked California that much, I could always live there after I graduate. 

Although my dad wanted me to go to Berkeley, I knew that he supported my decision unconditionally which I feel very fortunate about. For all of you high schoolers deciding right now about what school is better for you, use your GUT. When it comes to complicated decisions like choosing your college, definitely weigh out the pros and cons, but use your heart and intuition. Rather than choosing a school for your parents and regretting it afterwards, be brave and choose the school that you know is right for you.

To read this author’s application essays and other advice, unlock her full profile!



Browse Successful Application Files

beccapenn38
UPenn ‘21


Accepted to UPenn, Tulane, Elon , UNC

Student in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business dual enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School.
Bhenrique
UC Berkeley ‘19


Accepted to UC Berkeley, Penn State, Colorado, UCLA, NYU

Passionate about Education. Lover of all things science!
rodmoretti
Princeton ‘19


Accepted to Columbia, GA Tech, Northwestern, Princeton, UGA

As a part of Princeton Class of 2019, I know how difficult the application process is...I got denied, accepted, and wait-listed to several places. Let me help you find your path to success!
griffindaly
Tulane ‘20


Accepted to Tulane, UC Berkeley, Cincinnati, UPenn

Hi y'all! I'm an incoming freshmen at Tulane University in New Orleans, where I'll be studying Architecture, with a coordinate major in International Development and a minor in Urban Studies. Hope I can help with this #difficult process!

New Posts

Summer Prep for Every Grade in High School
Summer Prep for Every Grade in High School
March 15, 2019

What should you do as a high school student over the summer? If that's a question you're asking yourself, relax. Spend your summer break wisely, meaning find a good balance between enjoying your time off...

Load More Posts