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

September 12, 2009 9:24 PM

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).

There are multiple venues to get involved and enjoy your semester while staying on top of the academic work. Various campus groups and student organizations would be great options to making new friends, developing new skills, devoting your time and talents in public service, gaining valuable experience relevant to your academic and career goals, and last but not least, having fun. Information regarding different student organizations and campus groups can be accessed on the school website. If you would like to know more details regarding activities and projects for a particular group, representatives from different organizations would be available to answer questions at the Sproul plaza. Attending a general meeting would be another way to get to know the organization, explore your interest, and network with members. I think it would be more manageable and enjoyable if you selectively committed your time up to two organizations or student groups per semester. Another alterative to spice up your semester is to take advantage of this research institution by participating in research projects. CNR offers different research opportunities to students within different majors. If you are interested in a particular project/topic, do not hesitate to seek advice from CNR faculty who specialize in the field. SPUR and the Honor program are two exceptional opportunities for CNR students. Lastly, please do not forget to cheer for our football team and partake this exciting part of student life. Overall, I think you will be surprised that how much you can discover on this campus if you can plan ahead and look beyond, explore different possibilities at the beginning of each semester.


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