everyone knows berkeley as the top public university in the country. it's true. it is. what more do i need to say? i'm not sure, but i'd like to contribute _something_ helpful.
well, people sometimes have said that the classes are crowded at berkeley; and as a lower division student; yes, you may encounter some basic education classes that are rather packed. (to fix that, we'll need better politicians throughout the state, not just in the bay area.) however, by the time you graduate, you'll have gotten a top quality education and experienced so much by immersing yourself in an environment that knows the wide diversity of culture on this big planet.
when you come here, you learn about different cultures, yes; and no matter what your major is (mine was mechanical engineering), that will help you in life. one slogan a particular dormitory had back in my days was "we get mean in the ghettos." i didn't live in that dorm, but i liked their slogan because it describes berkeley well. well, first off, yes, in _some_ departments and majors such as ones with many "pre-med" students, you'll find cut throat competition, but that's not the point. the point is that you'll get a less in reality, in what somewhat urban life is like, what the lives of so many different people are like... how does that make you "mean"? well, it makes you a "lean, mean machine" to take on the challenges of life in general. that's all.
all i can say is, kids, don't aim to go to stanfurd. aim to go to berkeley!