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

September 8, 2006 11:42 PM

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.

When I applied to colleges, I looked for majors that specifically had plant biology or a specialization in plants. Alas, in the beginning of the application process, I didn't do much research for Cal (I think it had something to do with not thinking I would be able to get in, but that's a different story). In the end, when I received my acceptances, I began to look more closely at each of the majors at each university, comparing programs and the benefits of each college. During the critical decision time, I received several packages from CNR. I was really impressed with what I read about the college - the small size, the extra attention…these are characteristics of the college that one wouldn't expect from a large university. Even more, I was also interested in many of the other majors in CNR, such as Molecular Toxicology or Nutritional Sciences or Molecular Environmental Biology. The upper division courses also interested me, so I knew I would have a good time during the last half of my undergraduate years. But most of all, CNR made me feel like I was wanted, sending me so much information to make my decision.

Also during my decision making time, I e-mailed one of my current advisors, Kyle Dukart, to see what I should do and what CNR and my major offered. He answered my questions as if I was already one of his students. I was definitely impressed, but I also received great advice. Since then, my experience with both of my advisors has been amazing. They have offered me so many suggestions, calmed me during times of panic (especially in choosing and getting classes), and answered all of my questions.

As a second year, I constantly think about whether or not I am in the right major or not for me. After much debate with myself and with the goals of the major (some of the goals have to do with genetics and the function or structure of the plants which I'm not sure if I'm really interested in), I still believe I am in the right major. Although my goals may not necessarily fit those goals, the courses to satisfy my major really do interest me. Of course I can always change my major to my other interests such as nutrition, food agriculture, and toxicology, but in all of those majors, there is a fundamental basis in plants. By studying plants, I can first understand how plants work before applying them to my various interests. And in end, I am happy about my decision to be a Genetics and Plant Biology major.


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