Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

29 September 2006

Managing Your Time

I don't think I ever had time management problems in high school. But the hectic lifestyle and freedom that comes with college makes it difficult to stay on top of things. There are a few important things I learned about juggling schoolwork, friends, and extracurriculars my last two semesters at Cal. One thing is to prioritize your tasks. Getting your most important tasks done and over with leaves you feeling less stressed out. Another thing that I find very helpful is to make a list of the things you need to do. It helps to see everything written down, and you can group your tasks in categories or in order of importance to have a better idea of how you want to tackle each thing. (And I get a lot of satisfaction by crossing off things on the list!) Also, make the most of free slots of time you have in between classes. Most people don't have back to back classes, and a lot of time can be wasted during those time slots. I find it helpful to go to the library or even a bench (anywhere but my apartment) and get reading or homework done. And finally, try to stay on top of things. This means not procrastinating. Work tends to pile up pretty quickly, and it can be overwhelming if you get behind. Breaking up your work into smaller chunks can prevent it from feeling too daunting as well. And most importantly, don't forget to take time to relax! It's wonderful to take a break after you've been working hard all week. As Berkeley students, we tend to be perfectionists and workaholics. But that doesn't mean you can't stop and enjoy whatever free time you do have. Make sure you set aside time for yourself to unwind and hang out!

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Posted by Wendy Chen at 5:37 | Permalink

27 September 2006

Tips on Time Management

Often it can seem very overwhelming when it’s 9pm by the time you finally get home after class and meetings and you know you have papers to write, lab reports to finish, and reading to get done. There is a way to handle this stress—one piece at a time! My personal strategy has been to keep up-to-date with events, homework, and studying by recording them in my agenda, which I carry with me to and from class. I like to know what I have to do every day and how that fits in my whole week; for me, it lessens the feeling of being swamped down with massive amounts of studying for that bio midterm on Monday or from stress I get for thinking about the future (graduate school). Another tip is learning to prioritize (very important). However, something I have learned is that it is one thing to be able to prioritize, and another to actually get things done. Once you start, it is much easier to keep the flow going of studying.

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Posted by Adrienne Doi at 3:36 | Permalink

26 September 2006

Managing time at Cal

I understand most of us have a busy schedule at Cal. You feel like not having enough rest? not enough time to study? I felt the same way! It is not easy to handle a lot of things, at the same time having a life! I feel the same way when people are saying "You can't have a life at Berkeley!". After years being at Cal, I found it is not impossible to enjoy your college years. If you can well manage your time, you will get the best out of it! For choosing classes, I would talk with advisors on my schdeule each semester. I would group heavy loaded class with lighter class. I would try planning my schedule so that I can best utilize my time. Talking with the peers in your major for their opinion and find out how the classes are about. It is easier to figure out what combination of classes is the best for you. Always being at top of things would never let you down! Try to spare enough time before the due dates for assignments or projects. It is always better than catching up in case of anything happens suddenly. I would mark down the due dates for every homework assignment and make sure I finish it days before the deadline. Learn to say "No" to unnecessary duties. Never overload yourself. This is the hardest thing for me to learn. I used to say "Yes" to every thing other command me. I thought I would be able to finish all the things at one time. I remember one time I cried because I was just too busy to cope with every thing at the same time. It was not because I cannot do it, but there was not enough time and energy to do it. It also made me feel really bad. I would rather not do it, or I will do the best! At last, not to forget yourself to take rest. Doing one thing in hours straight is not going to work well. So it is all about striking a balance!

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Posted by Jelyn A. Evangelista at 1:29 | Permalink

26 September 2006

Managing what little time I have...(kind of)

With work, classes, studying, and extracurricular activities, who has time to relax? Not me!! But really, with everything going on in our busy lives one has to find time to just relax. I think the key to getting through all crazy, hectic busy lives we are living today is to relax and try not to stress out too much (easier said than done right?). What helps me find the time to de-stress and relax is to schedule my week out and have a calendar in my room that shows all the upcoming important deadlines for the month. It helps me to see what I need to accomplish and when they need to be done by. Don’t get me wrong, this system is not perfect. I run behind my schedule often, but it helps keep me motivated to make sure I get my work done on time. I make a goal for myself to get things done early, so sometimes it gets done early, but usually it is done right on time. I think setting a goal before the deadline is very helpful that way if you do get behind you have some cushion to complete it before the actual deadline. The fall back is that since I know when things need to be done I can see what days I can goof off before I really need to start working on stuff (DO NOT DO THIS). This also helps to know when you should ask for time off or to switch shifts (if you work) so that you have time to study before a big test, instead of all that time being taken up by work.

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Posted by Jelyn A. Evangelista at 4:39 | Permalink

26 September 2006

Time Management Falls into Place

Suddenly, midterms are approaching. Quick! What to do? Study, of course. But do you ever feel like all your studying efforts are not helping you for the exams? If so, ask yourself, “How do I study?” Do you study alone, with friends or classmates, in your room, in cafes, in libraries? At what times do you study? I recommend studying in different locations at different times with different people or solo. This will help you figure out where, when, and how you study most effectively. For me, I like to study certain subjects in certain libraries, and I like to be near windows. I like to study where I get a good vibe, man. I can relax and let myself become immersed in intellectual paradise. By finding a place where and a time when you can focus your energy on studying, you are managing your time effectively.

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 2:44 | Permalink

25 September 2006

Time Management – An Essential Skill

As most students out there, when I came to Cal I did not really know what to expect. I thought I did a pretty good job staying on top of my work in high school and maintaining a good balance. However, college (especially a top/competitive university like UC Berkeley), is very different from high school. Learning the skill of time management in college is essential and will continue to play an important role in the rest of our lives. When I began my first semester here, I easily became stressed over the work load I was faced with and frequently would call my mom nearly in tears saying, “I don’t know if I can do this?!” She would do her best to calm me down and assure me that if this was something I really wanted (and it was/is) then I could do it. So whenever you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, just remember all your hard work will pay off in the end. Doing this always helps motivate me. What I found to really help de-stress me is to work on time management. If you follow these seven easy steps, I guarantee you will be a lot more productive with your time. 1. Make a list of everything you have/want to do. 2. Prioritize your items by what is most essential or what is due first. - Priorities may differ from one individual to the next. However, major priorities are things like studying for midterms/finals or completing homework/projects/labs/papers on time. It is important to stay on top of your reading, but it may not need such a large chunk of time as you might think. Try squeezing reading in between classes, on the bus or Bart (if you don’t get car sick), at the gym, while you have some down time, etc. I always carry some form of reading or studying material on me just in case I find some extra time for it. 3. Use your planner! Write down your goals: what you want to accomplish on a certain day, you can even break it down hour by hour. Also, make sure you write down all important dates, i.e. midterms, lab/paper/project due dates, finals, etc., so they don’t sneak up on you. 4. Find what works best for you. What time of the day are you most focused and efficient? For example, I have a hard time studying at night. So instead of staying up super late getting work done and sleeping in the next day (like my housemates) I go to bed early and wake up early because I know I work much better during the day after a good nights’ rest. 5. Knowledge is power. Talk to your peers who have already taken the class you are taking and ask them for advice about how to do well in the course. Also, once you have taken your first midterm or turned in your first lab report you should get a better idea about what is expected of you. If lecture material, not reading, is the main focus of the exams, allocate your time appropriately. 6. Make sure you have “you” time. Everyone needs down time and a little fun to de-stress, so don’t overwork yourself. Whether it’s making time to watch your favorite T.V. show, going to the gym, catching up with your friends, going to the movies, shopping, going to Cal sporting events, it doesn’t matter, just make sure you have time to do what will make you happy. 7. Make sure you get enough sleep. The amount of sleep one needs varies, but if you don’t get the amount of sleep you need, you could get sick or run down and then you really wouldn’t be efficient with your time. When I start to feel really tired or run down, I make sure to get some rest because I know I won’t get much done if I continue to do work. The bottom line is time management comes with experience. It is a process of trial and error and finding what works best for you. College may be a high stress time, but whenever I find myself stressing over the little things I look at the big picture. Do we realize how lucky we are to be students at UC Berkeley?! So many people would love to be in our shoes because it is such an amazing opportunity. Time management is a skill we can prefect during college so that we can make the rest of our lives go a little more smoothly. I urge you to try one of my tips today! :)

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Posted by Jennifer Powers at 0:48 | Permalink

22 September 2006

Time! Where does it go...

Time management continues to be a long struggle for me even after being at Berkeley for a year. However, in many ways, I have learned more about my study habits and what limits I need to set for myself. I think the trick to time management is planning and definitely knowing your weaknesses, especially how you waste the most time. A lot of it also has to do with being realistic; you can definitely plan to do a certain amount of work, but I think in the back of your mind, you have to know that you probably won’t achieve the amount you set out (or if you do reach that goal, it’s always a great surprise). But it isn’t all about work. It’s also about having time to just have fun and do stuff you enjoy. (All of this seems vague, so I guess I’ll have to use myself as an example, though I’m not very good at time management stuff).

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Posted by Irene Liao at 2:06 | Permalink

22 September 2006

Taming Your Time

Here at Berkeley, effective time management is key to success. There's never a shortage of things to do--if classes aren't keeping you completely occupied, there are student organizations to get involved in, and the whole Bay Area to explore during your free time. The way in which you organize your daily routine has a great effect on how much you get accomplished, and how frustrated or composed you'll be come "midterm season." What I've found to be most effective is coming up with a general idea of what I should accomplish every day. After factoring the time you spend in classes and extracurricular activities, divide up your remaining time between homework/studying and "hanging out." For example, after a day of class, I'm assigned two chapters of reading and homework on biochemistry, and an English paper that's due next week. My goal tonight will be to finish one chapter of biochem, come up with a decent thesis for my paper, and to fit in some studying for a bio midterm I have next week. At the end of the day, go over what you've done and haven't finished, and plan what your next day's schedule will include.

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Posted by Alex Lau at 9:19 | Permalink

22 September 2006

Extracurriculars

Doing nothing but school work 24/7 can be a drag on your mental and social life. That's why it's important to get involved outside of your Chem 1A and Math 1B classes. Berkeley is great because it offers so many enrichment opportunities, whether it be internships, clubs, or sports. I'm currently involved with a Christian fellowship on campus called ICA (In Christ Alone, formerly known as the Navigators). During the week, we have small group, where six or seven sisters meet to have fellowship, dinner, and a Bible study. There is also large group once a week where everyone meets together for worship and a message. Plus, there are a lot of fun activities on the weekends to hang out and get to know everyone else better. It's a wonderful community to be involved with, and it's really made Berkeley feel like home. And because ICA isn't a very large group, I've gotten to know my fellow brothers and sisters very well. They're basically my family here at school. I'm also involved with a fraternity on campus called Alpha Phi Omega. It's a co-ed community service fraternity that whose primary focus is leadership, fellowship, and service. I'm currently in the process of pledging. The reason I decided to pledge was because APO offered a wide range of service projects. Because APO has so many projects, it's easier for me to find one that suits my interests and time. I also really like the fact that you can create your own projects, as well as the fact that APO is focused on reaching out to the urban areas and the homeless. It's a great way to do give to others and to do some good for the community. I'm also involved with ESSA (Environmental Science Student Association). I wanted to be more involved with my major, and I felt ESSA was a good start. Although it's a fairly small group, the people involved are very passionate about what they do. It's a great way to be active in the area of Environmental Science. So I definitely encourage all of you to be involved outside of your classrooms. Find a group that that shares your interests. It doesn't always have to be an academically related group. And if you have any questions, I'm here on Tuesdays from 9-11am during OH! Come on by!

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Posted by Wendy Chen at 9:11 | Permalink

20 September 2006

Extracurriculars!

The Berkeley campus offers so many awesome opportunities to get involved with your community or any other aspect you’re interested in. I strongly believe that you’re missing out on not only the college experience but a glimpse of what direction your future will take you if you don’t get at least a taste of activities outside of going to class. In my freshman year, I joined AMSA (American Medical Student Association), a local chapter of premedical students who offer support and many great resources to those interested in medicine or general health. Some of the things they offer include study groups, Telebears advising, medical student panels, many opportunities for volunteering, and a health career fair in the Spring semester. I am currently the Secretary where I put my organizational skills to work. In my sophomore year, I started volunteering at the Tang Center, and since then I have experienced various areas such as Medical Records, Radiology, Sports Medicine, and currently the Allergy clinic. It is primarily administrative work, and I enjoy witnessing the various infrastructures that provide health care for thousands of Berkeley students every day. Volunteering in Sports Medicine at Tang created an interest that I am currently pursuing in the Sports Medicine department on campus by interning for 10 hours a week. Just this past summer, I tutored at Berkeley High School through Cal Corp’s BUILD program, which was an experience I will never forget. It allowed me to form relationships with students while being a positive role model for disadvantaged students. I also started to volunteer at Oakland’s Children’s Hospital, where I get to be a kid again, which is always fun :-) This semester, I am planning on checking out NSU (Nikkei Student Union), a Japanese club on campus! I thoroughly encourage everyone to go after what you’re interested in—you have nothing to lose, and many doors waiting to be opened! Come to my office hours on Thursdays from 1-3 to chat some more!

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Posted by Adrienne Doi at 5:09 | Permalink

19 September 2006

Other than school....

Isn't going to school enough work as it is? But there are so many great organizations and opportunities to become a part of. Obviously I am PAL and enjoy being able to have the opportunity to provide tons of useful information to my fellow students. Besides being a PAL I am also a part of the Pre-Pharmacy Informational Learning & Leadership Society (PILLS). Being a member of PILLS provides great opportunities to better understand the field of pharmacy. They offer tons of great informational sessions on pharmacy school pre-requisites and applications, along with how to get experience in a pharmacy setting. Everyone at the meetings is really friendly, welcoming, and always willing to help provide answers to questions about pre-req classes and info on where they are volunteering/working at. Come by the first general meeting on Wed 9/20/06 at 7pm in 145 Dwinelle and check out the website. Besides these CAL related programs, I also work as a Pharmacy Technician on the weekends. I have two jobs, where I work at least 8 hours per week each (so 16 hours per week total). I work in the Inpatient Pharmacy at Children's Hospital in Oakland and at the Inpatient Pharmacy at Kaiser Permanente Vallejo. I've been a Tech for about one and half years, working at both jobs right out of Tech school. They both are really fun and offer lots of opportunities for learning. I basically do the same thing at both of my jobs. As an inpatient tech, I make IV hydration solutions, TPNs (nutrients and electrolytes administered IV), IV antibiotics, and dispense the oral meds needed by the patients in the hospital. It is very rewarding to know that the meds I am making are helping to save a person's life. I became a tech to get pharmacy experience and to make sure becoming a pharmacist is really the career for me. Being a tech has showed me more about what being a pharmacist is about and what opportunities are available for pharmacists besides entering orders and filling perscriptions. If anyone has any questions about becoming a tech or about what a tech does I am more than happy to answer any questions! Come by my office hours on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:30pm. See you soon!!

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Posted by Adrienne Doi at 3:37 | Permalink

19 September 2006

CNR: The Small College Community

If you're in Letters and Science, I bet you can't tell me that you've seen the dean of your college and one of your college's most respected and renowned professors outside of academia, during their normal lives, on the same day. I’m in CNR, and I can tell you the very thing happened to me last weekend. I had come out of the laundromat on Shattuck, and as I was unlocking my bike, Dean Ludden came up to me and said hi. We chatted for a bit, and he continued on to take care of his errands. Then I went to the Farmers Market downtown on Center Street. As I was strolling along, getting my fill on samples of juicy peaches and plums, I saw Professor Joe McBride and his wife. We greeted each other and talked about going to the upcoming Forestry Welcome Barbeque. And that is why CNR is known as the small college community of the Berkeley campus. Do the professors and deans of the other schools know your name and say hi to you while you're all out taking care of errands downtown? If you haven’t seen your professors or your dean off campus yet, it’s highly likely that you will--if you’re in CNR! Go bears!

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 2:38 | Permalink

18 September 2006

How to enrich your college life^_^

Besides attending classes, there are a variety of opportunities for fun and enriching extracurricular activities around campus. I hope every CNR student would consider joining a student group or volunteering service that best fits his or her interests. Not only do these activities add sparkle to your resume, but they also help you become more aware and knowledgeable about the field that you are interested in. In addition, they are a lot of fun and a good way to network and make friends who share common interests and passions. Ever since freshman year, I have been a part of a chinese cultural club called CPU (Chinese People Union). It has enriched my life so much here at CAL and given me an opportunity to reconnect with my Chinese roots. I remember in my freshmen year, around this time when the Chinese Moon holiday was around the corner, I felt very much alone. But CPU held a social event where we all gathered at the Marina and celebrated this holiday under the moonlight. And throughout the semester, there are many more such social events that give students a chance to relax and enjoy themselves. Within this diverse campus, I am glad that I have been able to find a club that has given me a feeling of home:) Also, I have been a volunteer at the University Tang Center for two consecutive years. I have volunteered in several departments such as the dermatology clinic, administrative services, optometry clinic, and the pharmacy. Each of these departments train you in becoming familiar with the general aspects of the work that they do and also gives you a chance to help out the doctors and staff. I have always been interested in pharmacy and medication. And after volunteering at the pharmacy through the Tang Center, I have discovered my interest in going into the field of Nutritional Pharmaceuticals. I believe that medication can be a healthy way of promoting health in addition to a well balanced diet and lifestyle. Working with the pharmacy technicians and pharmacist there has allowed me to get hands on experience in the field of pharmaceuticals. So, in addition to studying hard for your classes, take a little time to enjoys yourselves and discover your interests:) If you have any further questions about school, studying, or life in general, feel free to stop by for a chat^_~

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Posted by Simo Yao at 1:46 | Permalink

18 September 2006

Life out of the classroom

You may see me in class or during office hours. Do you know what I do outside the classroom? There are a lot of wonderful experiences on and off campus! Being a dietetics student, I really enjoy my college life on campus. I am a returning PAL this semester; I can know more PAL in different majors. We can share our experience in the college. Joining the S DA also provides me the chance to know more my peers studying the same major. At the same time, participating in professor's research is wonderful experience to me. For example this summer, I went to a summer hot camp with kids to provide them more nutrition information. It is really meaning to me. It is really eye-opening working as a research assistant! There is so much to learn. I face different challenges every time, but it strengthens my problem-solving skills! What about off campus? I volunteer at a hospital once a week. In that way, I can explore more in a clinical setting. I got opportunities going to floors and giving my care to different patients, for example, children's floor, the elderly floor, nursing floors. They are so happy to see me over there and it means a lot to me when I see them being helped. They would share with me their lives, the mothers of the newborns would show me their babies, the children would show me their games, etc. It is very meaningful and rewarding. Also, I am an officer at my college fellowship. We have fun and support each other every week. I am also a vocalist in my church band and choir. We participate in band festivals and special events. Music is a relaxing tool for me in my busy life at Berkeley! Going to the gym is also a way for me to relax. Exercise also boosts your immune system and makes your heart healthy! There are a lot of activities which are fun and meaningful to do. They also help your resume! Come to talk with us to find our more extra-curricular activities available either on or off campus!

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Posted by Jelyn A. Evangelista at 8:59 | Permalink

18 September 2006

Life outside of class~

Besides studying, extracurricular activities make the most of my college life! In this blog, I’ll highlight some of the activities I’ve done so far in my 2+ years of college life. I came from Taiwan when I was in 10th grade so naturally, I joined the Taiwanese Student Association (TSA) in my freshman year. TSA is designed mainly for mandarin speaker and it is a non-political, pure social club. It offers a variety of events throughout the semester, including night market, karaoke night, karaoke contest, sports day, ice cream night, beach day, dance mixer, etc... The events are usually on Fridays, a time to just chill out with friends and relax! Since I really enjoyed the events, I became an officer. Being an officer let me understand how college clubs run in a big university. It also enhanced my event planning and social skills. So if you guys think you want to meet more people and just have a night to get away from academics, I’d definitely recommend joining a social club. Life is harsh, have some fun! Besides social club, I also joined the Pre-Medical Honor Society (PMHS). PMHS is a club for premed students with a GPA higher than or equal to 3.7. It offers resources and activities like mentoring program with medical students, volunteering on weekends, application process forums, and lectures. From there, I learned more about being a premed. Some stuff you just have to learn through talking with people. I also met many friends in the club and we have been taking classes together. I believe meeting people, or working with people of your academic interest is a very important thing in college. Having friends who want to pursuit a same career path not only makes you see a wider perspective, it also provides resources in terms of hw, class selections, activities offered on campus, application timelines, etc. I volunteered as an English tutor in YWCA’s English In Action (EIA) program when I was in first and second year. It was a pretty fun experience! I got to meet people from different countries with different cultural and academic backgrounds. It only requires one hour a week. I’ve had 2 partners so far. One is a bioengineer from China and the other is a MCB researcher from Korea. Both of them introduced me to their work and their studies on campus. It’s really neat because I learned something I couldn’t learn from peers of my age and my major. Yup, so if you guys have time, go check out EIA in YWCA. It’s just down on Bancroft! Another cool activity I had was the Intramural (IM) Coed Basketball! I teamed up with some friends last year and we formed a basketball team. If you haven’t heard of IM Basketball, it’s basically teams of recreational level competing with other teams on campus. Our team met once to twice a week for practice then we competed on some night. It was just plain fun! Plus, if you have trouble getting your buddies to go work out with you, joining an IM sport takes care of your weekly exercise! There are also a variety of sports offered in RSF: volleyball, ultimate freebie… Go check out the RSF website! Yah, all in all, the point is……….. everyone should join at least one activity! It will only enrich your college life! I promise! If you have any questions, come by during my office hours on M 1-2, F 10-11. Bye bye for now!

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Posted by Amy Lin at 3:57 | Permalink

17 September 2006

Having Fun Outside of Class

One huge suggestion I would like to make to all CNR students is to take advantage of student groups! Joining a student group is a great way to get involved on campus and meet fellow students with similar interests at the same time (not to mention it helps build that resume). My junior year I joined the Student Dietetic Association (SDA) and looking back on what a wonderful experience it has been, I wish I had joined sooner. Since I am a dietetics major and love nutrition, I decided that I wanted to get involved in something at Cal that would supplement my education. When I heard about SDA I knew it was perfect for me. SDA is a student run group that promotes nutrition on campus in various ways and is open to ALL majors. Some of the benefits of joining SDA are gaining experience in promoting nutrition awareness and answering nutrition related questions while tabling in the dinning commons; getting to know the faculty at SDA hosted student/faculty luncheons; networking with local professionals through contact with BADA (our local dietetic association); making friends with other UC Berkeley students who are also interested in nutrition; and much, much more. There are various leadership opportunities in SDA as well. Currently, I am the SDA's Co-President and love it! Along with the other Co-President, I plan/facilitate SDA's weekly meetings, help organize our events, and basically keep everything organized. Being a part of SDA has helped me apply my nutrition knowledge and also gain important leadership and interpersonal skills. If you have an interest in nutrition, I highly suggest checking it out. The meetings are held every Monday from 4-5pm in room 120 Morgan. Stop by and enjoy delicious and nutritious food! For more information check out our website: http://nature.berkeley.edu/sda/ After getting involved on campus I decided I also wanted to get involved in the community. I am currently volunteering and working at Children's Hospital and Research Center, Oakland. I have volunteered for a couple different nutrition and fitness programs and work as a Dietitian Assistant. It is a really friendly and positive environment and very rewarding. There are many different kinds of volunteer/job opportunities, so if you have any interest at all you should check out the Children's Hospital website: http://www.childrenshospitaloakland.org/ Extracurriculars are a way to build your resume but more importantly are opportunities to have some fun outside of class! I suggest choosing your extracurriculars wisely since there is only so much time we have outside of class/studying. If you have any questions about my extracurriculars or would like some suggestions, come chat with me at my office hours, Thursdays 9:30-11:30 am.

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Posted by Jennifer Powers at 8:24 | Permalink

15 September 2006

Why PAL?

Since I have the time and energy, why not become a PAL? As I mentioned in my bio, I joined PAL because I my proud of being part of CNR, and I want more people to know what CNR offers. A lot of my friends ask me what exactly is CNR? What can environmental science majors do when they graduate? Being a PAL, I can understand more about my own major and CNR and in turn provide a better answer when people ask me questions. Besides that, I want to mention again how CNR’s friendly environment attracts me. Where can you get a first-name-hello on campus? CNR advising office! I wanted to become part of the welcoming staff and so I became a PAL. As a PAL, I hope to know more about the policy and events of the college, to meet more students, and to improve my communication and public speaking skills! Hope to see you guys during my office hours!

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Posted by Amy Lin at 0:59 | Permalink

14 September 2006

Activities Outside Classes

So many different opportunites and activities are offered at Cal that it is difficult to figure what to do. I remember when I looked through the clubs on campus and checked off all of the ones that interested me. Plus, I didn't realize all the other activities that were also off campus. From all the clubs offered, I chose to join Cal Habitat for Humanity mainly because I wanted to help build houses. Never did I imagine that hammering wasn't the only skill and knowledge I acquired. First, my arm was aching for at least two days after I helped frame a house. But regardless of that pain, I knew I helped a family build their home. Being part of Habitat is being part of a community. The families chosen for the houses are extremely friendly and wonderful to be around (you actually meet them when you go to the worksite). The organization also isn't about just building houses; it's about offering affordable housing and giving back to the community in all aspects, such as spending time with some seniors in a nursing home. It is a really wonderful club to be a part of.

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Posted by Irene Liao at 9:51 | Permalink

14 September 2006

Extracurricular Life

Although academics are the primary purpose of a college education, undergrad is much more than simply learning in the classroom. You can only study for so long, and pursuing activities outside of classes allows you to meet fellow students, build friendships, and network with individuals who can help advance your college/career goals. Of course, as Cal students, many of you have probably already become involved on campus, which is great! Here's a brief description of what I'm currently into here at Berkeley.

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Posted by Alex Lau at 1:57 | Permalink

13 September 2006

Why I am a PAL again=)

Dear students, I am so glad to be back at Cal for my last year. And even more excited about being a peer advisor! Being a peer advisor last semester has given me the opportunity to develop my leadership and communication skills in countless ways. I got to participate in events such as CAL day and spoke on panels that were held last spring. And that is only a few of the many reasons why I am back again this semester. What i enjoy most within the PAL program is the advising hours during which i get to talk to you guys! Through advising, I have learned so much more about CNR as well as the wide range of opportunities that are available. Finally, I am certainly eager to help those incoming freshmen who are just a little bit scared and confused about their majors and career paths. Because not too long ago, I was in your same shoes. So, please come visit any of us, we will try our best to help you:)

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Posted by Simo Yao at 4:06 | Permalink

13 September 2006

PAL Dedication

When I joined the PAL program one year ago, my intentions were to provide a service to my college and in return gain valuable leadership skills in the process. Not only do I believe that I have achieved both my goals, but my perspective on campus policies and student life has really be altered for the better. When I first started the program, I was one of three students who were given the job of being a liaison to the college, answering phone calls, and advising students on a peer to peer basis. CNR isn't the largest college on campus, but there are a fair share of individuals in the college who had questions and needed advising; so myself and the two other peer advisors had our fair share of work. I admit that despite feeling under pressure and not one hundred percent certain what was going to be the fate of the program, this program was the best experience I have had at school. The ability to communicate with faculty, advisors and students on a personal basis isn't an opportunity that not many get to achieve. With that feeling after my first semester, I knew I would continue with the program to make sure it would grow and live up to its potential This semester, the program is blessed with new dedicated and wonderful peer advisor representing almost every major in CNR. What makes me look forward to our Wednesday meeting and my Wednesday office hours is not only the interaction but the pleasure of helping someone. There are numerous clubs on campus that offer services to society, but in my opinion, none more special than the PAL program. Until I graduate, I will continue to have a dedication to this program and have a fabulous time in the process.

Continue reading "PAL Dedication" »


Posted by Jimmy Rothschild at 3:50 | Permalink

13 September 2006

Happy to be a PAL again!

It is so happy to be in CNR, it is like a second home to me! When there is a question, I am sure my advisors are always here for me. They are very supportive and warm. As I have more and more experience in the college, I feel like it is easier to give help to my peers on classes, resources, etc. PAL is such a great opportunity for me to do it and give back to my “home”! Being as a PAL last semester, I enjoyed talking with students during office hours on their classes, majors, college policies, concerns and expectations from an area of expertise, etc. It was really rewarding when I saw they got the information they needed. PALs worked as a team on planning events and tabling. We experienced team work at the same time while serving together. It was also pleasurable to represent the college and to speak with parents and incoming students about our college and majors on Cal Day or special events. It enriched my experience at Cal at a different level! My college life would be very different if I have never joined PAL. All of these gave me a lot of training to be a better leader and to help others in my career as a dietitian. I would like to keep promoting our college through out reaching others students and different activities to make CNR a more diverse and beautiful community! This semester, I would like to continue to give and learn as a PAL!

Continue reading "Happy to be a PAL again!" »


Posted by Jelyn A. Evangelista at 1:31 | Permalink

13 September 2006

Proud to be PAL Bubble-ized

For those who are familiar with my habits, they know I’m the type of person who spends hours scrunched in front of the computer researching new things—programs, opportunities, activities—because I find myself constantly wondering what kinds of great things are out there. Some say we students live in our own “Berkeley bubble” because we are so sheltered from the outside world, but I believe these students do not know the true meaning of involvement, nor do they appreciate the unique opportunities that Cal has to offer. So, after reading the PAL website and talking to a PAL about his past experiences, I decided that the PAL program would be really fun to be a part of. I realized that 1) it would be a great chance to gain leadership experience, 2) I could now tell all my friends that I have office hours and a business card, 3) I could finally get credit for giving people advice (which I love to do), and 4) I might meet the Chancellor! (Or many other cool people who are a part of running Berkeley’s campus.)

Continue reading "Proud to be PAL Bubble-ized" »


Posted by Adrienne Doi at 0:47 | Permalink

13 September 2006

Why PAL?

From the start, I felt comfortable and at home in CNR because I knew whenever I had a question, there was always a smiling face ready to answer it for me. I am so excited to have the opportunity to return the favor by being a CNR Peer Advising Leader. As a fourth year, I feel that I can provide valuable personal experience about a variety of aspects like professors, classes, and clubs. I think that it can be extremely helpful knowing what to expect when going into a new class, so I am really eager to start giving advice to other students to help them get more out of their educational experience. Not only do I want to be a helpful resource for current CNR students, but I would also like to help enrich and expand the college's diversity by promoting awareness about how unique and special CNR's opportunities are. To do this, I would like to recruit new students to CNR and also inform current students about their amazing resources. I really enjoy being around others and am a naturally helpful and friendly person, which is why I feel that the PAL program is perfect for me.

Continue reading "Why PAL?" »


Posted by Jennifer Powers at 0:09 | Permalink

12 September 2006

Why I became a PAL!

When I transferred to Cal last Fall I didn't know much about requirements and the policies of CNR and the university. I would look online to see what I needed to take for the requirements of my major. Every so often I would go see Tammy and she'd help me figure out what I needed to do because being a transfer and in a new major kind of complicated things for me. I really wanted to be able to know what requirements I needed to graduate. I heard about the PAL program last fall and thought it was interesting, but didn't think I could manage it in the spring. I thought it was a great program that would help me throughout my college career. In addition, it would be a great outlet to share what I am learning with others who are in the same situation of not really knowing much. I think this program will be a great way to develop interpersonal relationships, network with my peers, and improve my communication skills.

Continue reading "Why I became a PAL!" »


Posted by Jennifer Powers at 5:16 | Permalink

08 September 2006

Why I am a GPB major

So many reasons explain my decision to study Genetics and Plant Biology. First of all, it is all one major (just to clarify it). Secondly, I am focusing on the plant biology part of the major title, but I am discovering how much genetics is a part of plant biology in general. I knew I wanted to do something related to plants for a really long time ever since I developed a love and appreciation for nature and the environment. I played around with the idea of becoming an environmentalist or a zoologist or a marine biologist, but as I discovered more about the environment, I noticed a lack of attention to plants. Ever since then, I knew I was going to study plants in some way or form.

Continue reading "Why I am a GPB major" »


Posted by Irene Liao at 3:42 | Permalink

06 September 2006

How I ended up in nutrition...

Looking back, it's amazing how fast undergrad flies by. Now a junior majoring in Nutritional Sciences, I can nostalgically refer back to my freshman days when I first arrived on the sprawling Berkeley campus. Hailing from a small city in socal called South Pasadena, I had settled on bioengineering as a major. I was really interested in research, and bioe seemed to fit like a glove with my goal of making a living from pipetting growth medium and nurturing cell cultures. It only took two weeks of classes, however, for me to realize that I did not get along with engineering. I didn't find biotechnology especially interesting, and decided to pursue something that would place more emphasis on biology or biochemistry. MCB and IB were certainly viable alternatives, but their large class sizes ultimately turned me away from them (over 40% of undergrads are declared as MCB). As serendipity would have it, I enrolled in NST 10, introduction to nutrition, during my first semester. It's a class I'd recommend to every undergrad, as it teaches you the importance of exercising and maintaining a proper diet. It

Continue reading "How I ended up in nutrition..." »


Posted by Alex Lau at 2:25 | Permalink

04 September 2006

It is Whitney, your peer advisor!

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Cal! This is my last year at CNR studying Dietetics! I enjoy being one of the Peer Advisors since last semester. I love to meet every one of you and share with you more about my experience in the college! I was a transfer student from CCSF and now I am finishing up my undergraduate degree. I will apply for dietetic internship which prepares me to be a Registered Dietitan, RD! Feel free to come and talk to me about yourself, your major, dietetics, food, or whatever interest you! I am excited to meet every one of you! Have a nice start of your Fall semester!! Whitney

Continue reading "It is Whitney, your peer advisor!" »


Posted by Jelyn A. Evangelista at 3:00 | Permalink

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