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

September 21, 2009 10:52 PM

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.

As a CalSO counselor, I got to work with many different students as they transitioned to Cal, and I wanted to continue to work with other students. Especially with choosing classes, the best advice comes from other students who have taken a class with a specific professor. I felt it was important for me to be a peer advisor for CNR because CNR has different requirements than L&S and the other colleges, but sometimes students do not realize this and end up getting confused about hte CNR-specific requirements. With the peer advisor program, we get to work with students to suggest good classes, go over major requirements, and help with petitions. In addition to helping other students, the PAL program really allows you to develop your leadership skills. Through the program, the peers participate in events at which we represent the college, and we also organize movie nights and advising sessions for telebears. You can bring new ideas to the program to improve it, so you are constantly using your creativity. Overall, being a PAL is a great experience because you get to work closely with the CNR staff, who are all amazing, and working with the other peers to plan events is always a lot of fun becasue everyone is very friendly and enthusiastic. I am really glad that I became a PAL so that I can give back to the CNR community that has provided me with such as a great college experience.


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