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

September 14, 2006 7:51 PM

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.

I also volunteer at the UC Botanic Garden with propagation - helping to pot and re-pot some plants and everything needed to clean and take care of the plants. I mainly work with lapagerias (the Chilean bellflower) and passionflowers. I knew from the beginning I wanted to volunteer at the garden because I wanted to be around plants since they are what I'm interested in. It's fun to make specific mixtures for certain plants and just spend time with them. What is really rewarding and amazing is seeing the plants grow and develop throughout the seasons and years.

As for being a PAL, I knew I wanted to be a part of the program because it sounded like an amazing opportunity to know the college even more. I love being part of CNR as much as I love being a GPB major. Because I wanted to know the college even more and because I wanted to share my knowledge that I have gained with other students, I applied to become a PAL. I also wanted to develop my leadership and communication skills since I always seem to struggle in those areas. Most of all, I also wanted to meet people who shared the same love for CNR as I do.

Although I don't exactly do that much outside schoolwork, these activities have really enriched my college life. I look forward to all the different activities that I might participate in and everything I will learn from these experiences.


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