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

30 September 2009

Midterms are coming...Are you panic?

The next two weeks seem to be the busy weeks for Cal students as midterms are coming. I know some of you; especially freshman and newly transferred students, might be panic about your first midterm season at Berkeley. As for my own experience, I was very stressed during my first semester and didn’t do well on my tests; thus, I want to share some tips that might be helpful for you to survive through your first challenge.

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Posted by Chau Pham at 0:45 | Permalink

21 September 2009

Why I Decided to Become a PAL

Berkeley can seem like a big place when you first come here. Coming from a small high school from New Jersey, Berkeley was not only huge but had a completely different culture than what I was used to. Being in CNR was one of the things that made the transition a lot easier for me. CNR provided a small college environment within the huge campus of Berkeley. The staff and advisors were all very friendly, as well as the professors and other CNR students. I wanted to become a PAL to be there to provide advice for other students like me, who might need a little help transitioning to college, or need help choosing a major.

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Posted by Jenn Jehnsen at 2:52 | Permalink

20 September 2009

Places to Study @

Now that the fifth week of classes is approaching, our minds may be filled with worries about catching up in classes and midterms. In this week's entry I wanted to take some time to point out various study locations on and off campus. Since coming to Cal, I have went through many favorite study space phases. But for the past year, my favorite was the Marian Koshland Bioscience Library in VLSB (Valley Life Science Building). While there are many study spots along the sides of library's entrance, I always try upstairs because it is quieter and more spacious. Next to each set of stairs is a small room with about 4 study tables and each floor has large study rooms with individual tables. Sometimes students also enjoy studying with classmates or friends in available smaller rooms on each floor. My favorite space, however, are the single tables facing the windows along the end of each bookcase lane. I enjoy working there because seeing the light and outdoors from the window helps me relax amidst all the stress, giving my a sense of the bigger picture so that studying eventually becomes enjoyable. Furthermore, being exposed to the natural light helps you keep track of the time and pace yourself. During my first year, the Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Library was my favorite because not only was it close to my dorms (Foothill) but it provided a very studious and intellectual environment, helping me to concentrate. The only downside is that unlike Moffit Library, which closes at 2am on weekdays, the Bioscience Library and Chemistry Library both close earlier at 11am, Monday through Friday. Anyways, going back to the Chemistry Library, I have found that the best study areas are actually on the second floor, which has tables along the floor's balcony. It is more quiet than than the larger group tables on the first floor. Another library you may be familiar with are Moffit Undergraduate Library, Doe Library and East Asian Library, all of which are big and have a lot lighting. A small library, a gem to some of my friends, worth checking out is the Eshelman Library found on the 7th floor of Eshelman Hall (the office with a Daily Cal sign in Lower Sproul). It is the only library on campus that allows students to eat in. They have several black leather couches where students can take naps if they need it. Eshelman is generally opened 24 hours for studying after the 10th week of classes. Although, I do not generally study off campus, I couple of locations I have been at are local cafes (Starbucks on Oxford St), Berkeley Public Library and the Berkeley City College Library. Often times during finals week, I see students typing vigorously at their laptops to finish final essays. It must be something due to the smell of caffeine that helps them concentrate and continue flows of ideas. The Berkeley Public Library (2090 Kittredge at Shattuck) is large, maybe not as big as Doe, but offers a very quite place to work at. There are many couches and various types of tables that people can choose from. Sometimes, to take a break from my textbooks, I would pick up a magazine or a mystery novel to pass some time. This year the Berkeley City College (2050 Center Street) underwent a lot of remodeling. When I passed by it this weekend, on my way to the Berkeley Farmer's Market, I was astonished by how beautiful and modern the campus looked. Although I have not used their library before, I have seen several Cal students coming out of the library. I am actually thinking of checking it out soon and will let you know how it went!

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Posted by Jenny Zhang at 2:38 | Permalink

14 September 2009

Fall 09 has begun!

School has begun again! Hopefully everyone got the classes they wanted or needed. If you really don't think you can get into a class and you've already e-mailed the professor without much luck, drop by Mulford to get some advising on what courses would make a good substitute. The budget cuts have made classes much more difficult to get into, but there are lots of advisors to help you get your schedule worked out to the best it can be, and they/ we are more than happy to help!

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Posted by Kerry Boyle at 4:56 | Permalink

12 September 2009

Thoughts about getting a new semester started

My last fall semester has just started at Cal. As a Cal-graduate to be, I would like to share some thoughts on how to start off a great semester, how I balance my academic workload, personal life and any other extracurricular activities that I have involved in. To me, I would try to finalize my schedule as soon as possible, preferably before school started. I personally feel like being wait-listed for classes or switching from one session to another can be stressful and problematic at times. It would always be good idea to have alternatives in mind. If you are moving into the upper division courses, it is important to follow through the time line and try to enroll in classes that only being offered once a year. Another thing to take into considerations would be trying to avoid any final conflicts if possible. Studying will become a more enjoyable experience and easier to manage when you can efficiently pace yourself. Once I have my course schedule set up as the centerpiece, I can start work around it and fill up my time with other activities (both on-campus or off-campus).

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Posted by Kay Jiaqi Yang at 1:24 | Permalink

10 September 2009

Getting into Classes and how to deal with being wait-listed

School has officially started! I hope everyone got into all the classes that they wanted this semester and even if you have not, do not panic. Just send the professor a friendly email and tell them why you want to take their class and they will try their best to move you up on the wait list.

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Posted by Julie Zhu at 2:21 | Permalink



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Getting into Classes and how to deal with being wait-listed

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