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

September 19, 2007 12:13 PM

Setting The Tone

Adjusting to college was not an easy transition for me and it really put some pressure on my academics. I took Chem 1A, Math 16A, Sociology 3AC, and Asian American Studies 20A my fall semester and Chem 3A/3AL, Spanish 3, and Math 16B my spring semester. Overall I didn’t do as well as I wanted to in those classes. I wasn’t taking school seriously thinking that I already knew most of this stuff from high school. So things started to build in: lack of motivation, having too much independence, slacking off. I guess it came down to having some sort of an identity crisis my first year and I started to become confused, intimidated, asking myself questions like “Why? Or What am I doing with my life?” (lol) I just needed to find that balance between school and personal life. … to find that direction to help point the way. (It actually took me about 2 years to finally reach a sense of catharsis).

Besides taking classes, I wanted to get involved in extracurricular activities my first semester and one activity I was interested in was singing. I was pretty shy about singing (still am), but I thought that it was a good opportunity to try something new in college so I looked at various a cappella groups and ended up joining the UC Men’s Chorale, the oldest college a cappella group on the west coast (started back in 1885). Turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences I had at here at Cal. Singing helped to get my mind off of school and personal life. It was fun and I was able to improve my singing technique and build confidence by performing in front of large audiences. Most of all, it was where I met some of my greatest friends here at Cal, who’ve been supportive over the years.

Overall my first year was great in that I was able to make a lot of new friends, but I guess time-management and prioritizing my responsibilities were things I really had to work on. In my opinion, you should allow yourself some time once in a while to re-evaluate your goals and to find that passion, meaning that you should do what you love. Your first semester/year will really set the tone so do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes to find a comfortable and healthy position for yourself because it will truly make a difference in the long run.

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