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

August 25, 2009 10:29 PM

Welcome to Berkeley and CNR!

Welcome back everyone! For the incoming freshman, may I first extend a huge welcome from the PALs to Berkeley, especially the CNR community. We are so excited that you've decided to come here - you won't regret it, I promise, even through the tough times, I am pretty sure you'll find something that excites you! But just a warning, these four years (or more) go by really fast, so take advantage of any opportunities that come your way!

For all of the returning students, a lot of you may be looking at it with excitement (finally taking classes that are related to your interests or starting some sort of research) or with dread. For me, it's always a mix of both, but the semester always proves to be filled with so many interesting surprises.

This semester is particularly special for me since it's my last semester....I've extended my stay at Berkeley. It's kind of daunting because I need to figure out what I want to do after I graduate, and at this economy, well, it doesn't seem promising. At the same time, I wish I had the opportunity to take all the interesting classes I've come across! I won't ever have the opportunity to take Art History classes or Music classes or even some Political Science courses...But I will say that I did try to make the most of my experience here.

And finally, because research is close and dear to my heart, I wanted to give a little plug about that, especially since I noticed Fabian at Fresh Faces wrote a post about it:

URAP and SPUR are the two programs anyone interested in getting started with research should definitely take a look at. BUT it's not the only way to get into research; I actually got into my lab in a semi-roundabout way via an introduction by a professor. So sometimes all you need to do is talk to a professor about your interests and see if they match (or if they could introduce you to someone else).

Another thing: you don't need to do it your freshman year. You don't even need to start your sophomore year. Find the time when you feel more comfortable starting something new. I didn't start doing research until the summer before my junior year (and another thing, summer is a great time to start and find opportunities). Your freshman year really should be about getting adjusted to the college lifestyle.

And with that, may I say good luck to all of you this semester! Keep healthy and enjoy your semester!


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