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Questions about UCI? Ask them here!

michirondellemichirondelle Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
Hey guys! I just finished my freshman year here at UCI and had an amazing time so I want to welcome all of you Anteaters to this awesome school. It's been a while since I've been on collegeconfidential (one year ago, freaking out about college admissions) but now I've come back with a little experience for all the freshies out there. A little bit about myself, I'm a second year Biological Sciences major and lived in Middle Earth my freshman year. I am also a Campus Representative for UCI (basically a tour guide) so a lot of my enthusiasm is channeled into my job. I will be volunteering at the Medical Center and hopefully starting research this fall to pursue my dream of going to medical school.

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding UCI and its components like housing, academics and recreational activities. Because of these ideas, I feel that some incoming freshman are already coming into the school with an attitude that doesn't really enable them to actually have a good time, because they have these preconceived notions that they won't have fun at UCI. BUT THESE ARE ALL WRONG!!! You WILL have a good time at UCI as long as you put effort into it. Keep that as your motto during your time at UCI and you won't have to worry.

So if you have any questions about SPOP, academics, housing, parties, college organizations, or just college life in general, then feel free to ask them here. ZOT ZOT ZOT!
Post edited by michirondelle on
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Replies to: Questions about UCI? Ask them here!

  • KTShepherdKTShepherd Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    1. How are you enjoying your major?
    2. How do you apply to volunteer at the medical center?
    3. What other places do you recommend volunteering at to get hands-on clinical experience?
    4. How do you go about looking for research opportunities?
    5. What clubs do you recommend joining?
    6. What do you do for fun outside academia?

    Sorry for the abundance of questions, haha.
    Also, good luck on your goals of getting into medical school!
  • xchrisaznxchrisazn Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    When will they be offering us dorms xD?
  • aldfig0aldfig0 Registered User Posts: 932 Member
    I'm not a 1st year at UCI, but I would like to know more about the volunteering thing (How did you apply? Are there restrictions on how many people can participate?). Also, are you for sure doing research this early (I thought most people start junior year or later), or are you just planning to and have not asked any professors about it yet? If it's the first, can you elaborate on it?
  • michirondellemichirondelle Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    xchrisazn: Have you filled out your housing application yet? I don't quite remember the timeline of how those things happened but I knew where I was dorming by my SPOP (SPOP 3). Sorry I can't be more specific, but you should know within a couple of weeks!

    KTShepard:
    1. I really do like my major, but A LOT of people drop BioSci because they realize that they're not prepared or it just isn't their thing. Freshman year will be sort of difficult because the first two years are the weed-out courses and the professors try to get rid of as many BioSci students as they can because too many people enter with that major. Basically, if you have a passion for the sciences and have the tenacity and skill in those courses, you should be fine. But if you're struggling, then look for something else and SOON!
    5. Honestly, just join clubs that you are interested in. The key to having a good time at UCI is finding your family and that family might be in any kind of club! Personally, I didn't get involved in any clubs because I wanted to spend more time with my hallmates, had a really heavy courseload for a freshman, and got involved with Campus Reps last quarter. If you really want me to recommend a club, PM me with your interests and I'll try my best ^_^
    6. For fun, I hung out A LOT with my friends and did stuff like take the bus to Spectrum, Fashion Island, Corona del Mar, watch movies together, drink in the dorms, go to the athletic events, take classes at the ARC, etc. I did party a bit but if that's not your scene, then you don't have to! UCI has a lot of free events like the basketball, volleyball and baseball games where they also have free t-shirts and food for the first couple hundred students. The School of the Arts also has free student performances that are really fun to see. If you don't have a lot of time, late-night runs with friends to UTC are great stress-relievers :)

    2-4 are similar to what aldfig0 asked:
    I applied to volunteer at the medical center by sending in an application via email, but they only take a certain amount of volunteers each season. So right now, they're full on volunteers but just try at the end of each quarter or call in to figure out when they're selecting applicants.
    Regarding research, it's in the works right now but I'm kind of cheating because I have a friend that did research with this professor, but my friend just graduated and talked to the professor to see if I could take his place. The process of getting research really just requires some gumption on your part to get close to a professor (talk to them during office hours, offer to take them out to coffee) and figure out if their research is interesting to you. If it is, then ask if they have any available postions for research assistants. If not, then hopefully they'll recommend other professors and put a good word in for you!

    Hope that helped you guys!
  • KTShepherdKTShepherd Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    Thank you very much! That was extremely helpful!

    Just one more question. Have you tried volunteering at other nearby hospitals?
  • RICH9487RICH9487 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    if you plan to exercise often is the 100block meal enough??
  • michirondellemichirondelle Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    KTShepard: Not really, because UCI Medical Center is waaay more convenient and they have a shuttle going to and from the school to the hospital. But if you have a car and are willing to drive a bit, I'd maybe consider it!

    RICH9487: I'd say so, because it's not like you're going to be exercising three times a day and not have food in your dorm. Like, I'd always work out right before dinner and just have a big meal or whenever I exercised right after dinner, have some cereal back at the dorm. It's always better to supplement your plan with food back at your room because you get tired of Commons right away.
  • scannon18scannon18 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    If I live in the student apartments (vdc, norte, etc.) as opposed to the residence halls will there still be a lot of parties? I've been going to cc for three years now (read: no socializing with fellow students) and I'd like to have to a bit of the college experience in terms or parties, hazy memories, etc.

    Is the student housing dead or is it a lot of fun?

    AND is it easy to make friends? None of my friends go to UCI (a lot live in OC though) and none have plans for UCI, so I'm going in quite solo
  • OmegaJOmegaJ Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    co-ed suite, single gender bathrooms or single gender suite, co-ed halls?

    What seems better in your opinion?
  • ucigirl14ucigirl14 Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    @scannon18 yeah there are definitely a lot of parties in vdc/vdc norte on the weekends..like Friday and Saturday, but I think it's easier to know about them if you are in a frat/sorority. Also, idk if you are a guy or girl, but if you are in a frat, they usually have like parties/kickbacks at the frat houses like every night lol--like messed up mondays, tipsy tuesdays, wasted wednesdays, thirsty thursdays, freaky friday...etc. If you are in a sorority, you can go to these if you know a guy or two and attractive sorority girls are always welcome lol. Plus frats have like a million PA parties throughout the quarter that you can go to...but sometimes it costs money for guys who aren't in the frat, but it's always free for girls. Anyway, yeah if you want to party, just join a frat/sorority and have fun, but don't go too crazy ;) there's like a million Irvine cops looking to get you in trouble all the time, especially on the weekend.
  • oceanpartieroceanpartier Registered User Posts: 779 Member
    @scannon18, if it's not to late, you should try to live in Arroyo Vista (but I'm not sure if you can change preferences at this point). It's more "dorm-like" although I can't guarantee you'll get the "college experience" you're looking for (it is Irvine after all).
  • scannon18scannon18 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    Hmm I hadn't planned on joining a frat but I might just for the experience. As I said, I've been going to cc for three years so I'm ready to dive deep deep deep into real college.

    I appreciate the comments on the living situation, I think I will stick to Norte because it seems like a really nice place and people on yelp seem to generally like it.

    BUT does anyone know why they placed me in "graduate" housing area when I am still an undergrad? Will I be living with ppl who go to UCI law/med school? Or by "graduate" do they mean Juniors and Seniors?
  • CHCOOHCHCOOH Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    Hi, I'm planning to be a bio major and I have questions specific to the major.

    1. Will I be fine for the Bio major if I haven't taken AP Bio?
    2. How much of the course is rote memorization?
    3. How many hours of work per week do you put into studying?
    4. Are the rumors about the intense competition for bio majors true?
    5. Any general advice for bio majors?
  • oceanpartieroceanpartier Registered User Posts: 779 Member
    ^Good questions. I am a bio major myself.

    1. You will absolutely be fine without AP Bio as long as you put enough effort into studying. My own high school did not offer AP Bio and I actually got a B- in regular bio. At UCI, it's a completely different game. You have to juggle multiple difficult classes all at once so it's all about minimizing the effort while maximizing your GPA :) So having AP Bio isn't really an advantage.

    2. Going to be blunt, but ALL bio courses are pure memorization. Understanding concepts helps immensely, but when it comes down to making the grades, you have to be able to memorize ridiculous amounts of info in short spans of time.

    3. For bio classes specifically, start as early as possible; I'd say put in about 3 hours a week (non-exam or right-before-exam weeks) which isn't a lot. You'll need to dedicate more time to focus on other classes (Chem, Calculus, ect) which aren't memorization based. The class where you have to start putting in more time for bio is Bio 98, or Biochemistry.

    4. I've also heard the rumors of backstabbing prior to entering UCI and it did scare me a bit....but personally, I still haven't seen it happening 2 years in. Competition is definitely fierce because there can only be so many A's in each class, but nobody does anything shady to disadvantage others....at least not from what I've seen. Grades are sort of a touchy subject with most people though....try not to flaunt yours openly. I never talk about my grades unless specifically asked about them, and even then, only when I feel comfortable. Overall, bio majors are very friendly and there's always someone to study with or help you (even strangers) if you simply ask.

    5. To get A's, follow these steps:

    - Always look up your professors on RateMyProfessor. Look for the most engaging and/or easiest professors.

    - Divide your time appropriately amongst classes. There's no need to spend 5 hours doing a rough draft for Writing, no matter how much you love writing and know you can put out a stunning draft, when there's a Chemistry midterm in 2 days.

    - Go through each Bio lecture after class, pick out the useless info (history, new discoveries, things the professors didn't even talk about) and re-type/write the important info in a separate document. Crop out pictures/diagrams from the powerpoints and include those too. Make this document your study guide and it will make your life a million times easier when it's week 10 and you're cramming like your life depends on it.

    -For classes like Calculus (assuming you haven't had it) or Ochem (ugggh), do as many practice problems as possible. Buy the solution manuals. It's a lot of extra money but it's worth it.

    -Many professors have practice worksheets used in discussion that may include problems from past exams. Those are KEY. If you flop and fail to do any problems before the exam, do those at least. Professors can be very lazy (as you'll definitely see) so recycling exam questions is very common. I took three Bio classes this year and all of them, at least 50% of exam questions were recycled questions.

    -Go to your TA's and Professors for office hours. Believe it or not, most people don't even go to these things but it's these people who are writing/grading the exams/determining your grade. Seems like a good idea to talk to them if you are confused on certain concepts don't you think?

    -Use Bio Sci PEER TUTORING. This is like the most important thing in the world especially if you have nothing else to do. Don't do LARC. It's a waste of money if your tutor sucks. Seriously, all the Bio Sci tutors are amazing because they've all been through the same classes you will have to go through. They may not be experts on the material (that's for sure)...but they will pave your way to an A....which is what really counts at the end of the day. It's really disappointing how nobody ever uses this resource. Seriously, some days, two or three people show up. Some days, it'll just be you and the tutor. I guess some people don't like earning A's the easy way :D It's not even that much time to dedicate, maybe one or two hours a week.

    - Survive the chem labs. Just do it. everyone does it. It sucks...but just do it.

    Hope that helps. Lemme know if there are any more specifics you need help on. If you want advice on any specific courses, you can ask as well.
  • CHCOOHCHCOOH Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    ^ Thank you. This helps so much.

    I already knocked out Calculus AB+BC, so no worries there. Memorization is fine with me, so I hope bio will come easily to me. Only problem is chemistry. I struggled a lot with chem, so hopefully I can work hard to get up to speed with that.

    Could you give me some information on the chem labs? Exactly what do you have to do, and why is it so challenging? How would I overcome that?
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