September 13, 2007 7:04 PM
3 years ago...
Hi I'm Stephen and I am one of the new peer advisors for this semester. I am currently a senior MEB major and it's hard not to look back the past 3 years and see what I have done with it. When I first came to Cal I did not have the usual "jitters" most freshmen have, mainly because I was so uninformed about everything in Cal. As a result my first year was less than smooth and I was quickly waken to the harsh reality that is Cal. Haha, ok maybe I am exaggerating, but I still think freshmen year is probably the toughest year for me. When I first came to Cal I didn't get involved in too many extra curriculars and as a result I did not meet many people that were outside of my class or dorms. Also, as I mentioned earlier, because I was largely uninformed about Cal, I ended up taking too many tough classes in one semester and that is never any fun. Besides that, I had to deal with the usual freshmen symptons such as homesickness, adjusting to a new environment, starting fresh, and in general dealing with all the unfamliarity of Cal.
Although I had a relatively rough first year, looking back now I believe I could easily have avoided all those things if I just participated more in extra curriculars. Towards the end of my sophmore year I began to take amore active role in the Cal community and it has made all the difference. So I would really recommend all first years to take part in some sort of activity even if you believe you won't have time for it . You get to meet people, you get to clear your mind from studies from time to time, you're not just cooped up in your room watching downloaded episodes of chapelle show all the time, and best of all you are doing something you enjoy!
As for the unfamiliarity of Cal, I heavily suggest talking to advisors (like us!) about what to expect from classes, or any other things related to Berkeley life. We are here for a reason, and we expect you guys to use us!
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