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

26 April 2008

Life as a PAL

Being part of the PAL program is one of my favorite things about CNR. I feel so much more plugged into the college community and I can support as well as promote all the resources and opportunities CNR provides. Spring semester for us PALs has been busy but fun. We've had a lot of chances to reach out to the Berkeley campus. In addition to our regular advising office hours, we've had resource fairs, advising nights, and even online chats for students. But I'd have to say that my favorite events are the Movie Nights that PAL hosts. They're a nice way to relax and just have fun with others in the college. Plus, there's always free pizza and drinks! Being part of all these activities always reminds me how awesome CNR is. When I talk to students and share experiences with them, I'm reminded of why I love this college and how it's so unique and tightly-knit. A lot of students have difficulty navigating the large university or are confused in which directions they should go. But CNR offers a lot of support and helps you to feel at home :) If you're interested in becoming a PAL for the upcoming semester, come pick up an application!

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Posted by Wendy Chen at 2:40 | Permalink

23 April 2008

PALs, spring 2008...

As a PAL, I've always enjoyed spring semesters since it's that time of the year when recruitment events get put on for the next crop of Cal students. The big Kahuna of events was, of course, Cal Day. From student panels to campus tours, us PALs were heavily involved in the process, chatting it up with students and their parents on what it's like to be a Berkeley student and especially, what sets CNR apart from the rest of the campus. Another perk that's been picking up in CNR is our movie nights, which have grown increasingly popular. Just last Tuesday we showed Juno in the Resource Center. That's right, on the day of release, a week before SUPERB did they're showing. Keep your eye out for future movie nights, as they are always FREE and accompanied by free pizza and drinks. Pretty cool, huh? This will be my last semester as a PAL--I'll be graduating next month, a scary thought indeed. I'm trying hard to savor the last few weeks of my Cal student existence before entering into the "real world," whatever that is. According to my African lit professor, it will consist of all graduates sitting at home with mac & cheese in front of the couch blubbering in an unspoken existential crisis. I don't think it will be that bleak, but the moral of the story is: Enjoy Cal while you're here. It goes by faster than you think.

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Posted by Alex Lau at 0:57 | Permalink

23 April 2008

Spring semester as a PAL....

Becoming a PAL for CNR has been one of the greatest choices I have made these past four years. I not only get to help students during my usual office hours, but I also get to be involved with some really fun events hosted by CNR. Spring semester is a busy one for the PALs because we are involved in a lot of additional outreach to potential freshmen admits, answering questions, participating in online chats and meeting with students and their parents. Cal Day, especially, was fun since we held student panels, gave campus tours, and I got to meet a lot of eager high school seniors. This semester I am also the website coordinator for PAL. I create photo pages of our recent events and help maintain the PAL blogs. We’ve received so much positive feedback from our blogs and I am so happy that our hard work is appreciated among the campus community and beyond. I’ve actually been recognized, while running errands, as a PAL because of our blog page so it has been really exciting. Each week we post multiple entries to share our experiences and provide lots of advice, so check us out regularly! Aside from all the advising we do, the PALs also host movies nights for students. It’s a great way to meet new people, watch a film you’ve been dying to see, eat some great food and relax from the stress of classes for FREE! We’ve seen so many great movies like Into the Wild, Ratatouille, Juno, and The Transformers! We have big comfy couches to watch to film in so it’s super cozy. I will be graduating soon so I keep reflecting over my experiences here in CNR and how much fun I have had, how much I’ve gained from getting involved with the activities, and how I’ve grown these past four years. Being a PAL has given me leadership experience, a voice in the CNR community, and the confidence to speak in front of large groups. I have also met so many interesting students and faculty on campus by becoming a PAL and have so many stories to take with me when I leave CNR. I hope you get as much out of the PAL program and CNR as we put in, and I hope to see you at some of our events!

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Posted by Julie Ching at 2:09 | Permalink

07 April 2008

CAL and I

After leaving UC Riverside and going to a community college in Sacramento, I initially had my mind set on going to UC Davis for my last years of college. It was a good school that would allow me to commute from home and save money. Fortunately, my parents encouraged me to look towards applying to UC Berkeley. Truth be told, I was a bit hesitate to apply because I was rejected as a freshmen admit. I realized that there was no harm in applying and decided to find out more about Berkeley.

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Posted by Rebekah Kim at 1:51 | Permalink

06 April 2008

The Big "C": Choosing

My older sister, Isah, has been one of my biggest role models in life. I practically did almost everything she did in school. She graduated from UC Davis and now it was my turn to go to college and it came down to two choices: Cal or UC Davis. I had followed her footsteps since day 1 and when I asked her for advice on making a decision, she said to me, “You pick.” To me that was a scary thought, but it made me realize that I had to start making decisions on my own (and also to be a little more open-minded). I am also a first-generation college student, so when I asked my parents for advice they said, “Just go to Davis like your sister” …surprisingly enough. I wanted to do something different this time. I wanted to be a little more adventurous and so I chose Cal simply for the opportunity to experience something new for myself and for my family, to experience a new environment at the same time, to be a part of Cal’s widely acclaimed reputation, history, culture, and academic excellence. “Bigger name, bigger reputation, and bigger prestige” was the impression I got from Cal so I had no doubt that I was going to get a top-notch education here. I came from Modesto, CA, an agricultural suburban city and so coming to Berkeley was all new and exciting for me- the campus, the food, the people, everything. And since I am a momma’s boy, staying close to my family was another reason I chose Cal. All in all, if I had the opportunity to change my decision to go to Cal, I wouldn’t. So if you got into Cal, congratulations! Come to Cal Day on Sunday, April 12th to find out more about campus life and the Cal community. Remember, you are choosing your home for the next four years. Making the decision may not be an easy one, but make it your own. This is your turn, this is your education, and this is your future.

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Posted by Dale Dualan at 5:25 | Permalink

04 April 2008

Why I came Cal

UC Berkeley was the last school to notify me of my acceptance or rejection. I remember nervously clicking on the website and seeing those words “congratulations on your admission to Cal.” I was quite surprised considering the several rejections I received from other colleges earlier in the month. At this point, I was torn between attending UC Davis or UC Berkeley because they both had specialized programs in nutritional science that I was interested in. To learn more about both schools, I talked to several people who went to either Davis or Berkeley and listened to their experience at their respective schools. Quarter system vs. semester, cow town vs. city life, warm weather vs. cold weather by the bay- the list was long, and unfortunately, I couldn’t rely on anyone else to make the decision for me. In the end, I chose Cal because it would be more challenging and it had the reputable name. Come on, I couldn’t deny attending the top public University! Honestly, I was a little intimidated of large lecture classes of 500 students and felt like I wouldn’t be able to succeed at a place where EVERYONE was smart and came to Cal with high school GPAs greater than a 4.0. Despite my fears, I was comforted knowing that graduating from UC Berkeley would carry me far in my career and open up many opportunities for me. As I look back at the challenging classes and all the struggles I endured, I somehow managed to make it through. But I know it wasn’t without help that I pulled through those tough Chem midterms. With the help of the student friendly resources, such as the CNR Pals and the on campus SLC tutoring, I can look forward to graduating in 1.5 months with a degree from UC BERKELEY! Go BEARS!! 

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Posted by Crystal Kwan at 6:56 | Permalink



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