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

28 October 2010

Flu season is Coming!

I was just in Moffitt Library yesterday and for whatever reason, paused my music and heard, "Yeah, I just got sick last night. I'm still feeling kinda feverish." -cue cough followed by blowing of nose- I turned to my right and, just as I had feared, the speaker was just a few meters away from me. I quickly finished up what I was doing and made a hasty retreat. Still, it seems like I've still been 'infected' since I woke up with mild symptoms.

As students, we fear getting sick because it affects how well we study for upcoming exams. I am no exception. I'm the kind who only has mild symptoms every now and then, but when I actually get the flu, it's bad. (At one point in time, I was so sick that I coughed non-stop until I was practically choking on lack of air. It really wasn't pleasant, at all.)

In the spirit of staying healthy, here are some tips on how to avoid the flu and how to get better if you do have the flu.

Continue reading "Flu season is Coming!" »


Posted by Elodie Tong-Lin at 3:07 | Permalink

27 October 2010

Getting those A's and zzzzzzzzzz's

By now, hopefully you are done with the first round of midterms. In many cases, midterms never seem to end. So in our pursuit of A's how do we also get those zzzzzzzzzz's? Remember, getting enough sleep ensures that you are feeling good and can work as productively as possible. A's come in hand with zzzzz's. As a senior, I am finally getting more rest and sleep than ever before. I suggest you find a way to do so before becoming a senior! And remember, CNR has wonderfully comfy sofas in 260 Mulford if you ever need a comfy seat or a place to rest your head for a few moments. CNR is here for you. If you are finding that your classes are more difficult than you expected or at least pose obstacles that you did not foresee, feel free to make and appointment with an advisor to talk to them and see what they can do. Or even easier, come talk to a PAL during our tabling hours and we'll be happy to advise based on our experience--we've all been through various experiences and would love to share! The Student Learning Center is an excellent resource. One of the things I wish I could change about my time here at Cal would be to have started going to the SLC before my junior year. I highly recommend science majors to take advantage of the tutors who wait for tutees. I wish I had utilized the SLC resources for general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. It's never too late. Just try and check it out. It's also a great place to study because you can bring food inside the SLC and eat! Being at Cal isn't always about just getting those A's. I've come to realize that GSI and professor office hours are invaluable--really a once in a chance lifetime experience. Think about it, you're only at Cal for a relatively microcosmic time portion of your life. Take advantage of the resources here! Get to know your amazing professors and graduate students. Finding mentors while learning material at the same time is like hitting two birds with one stone (not literally). Speaking of animal rights, a biker ran over a squirrel last week and I was appalled. Please be careful on the roads, near the wildlife (regardless of nativity), and get some rest on your pursuit of those A's!

Continue reading "Getting those A's and zzzzzzzzzz's" »


Posted by Katrina Hong at 6:32 | Permalink

25 October 2010

Phase 1 Telebears

Of the many things that can be stressful at Cal, telebears should definitely not be one of them. It is important to make an appointment with your major advisor as early as possible so that you can get your advisor code and have a clear idea about the classes you are planning to take for the incoming semester. Also, make sure you have a back-up plan because although you may be prepared in having your advisor code and the classes you need to take, unexpected things can happen. One day the class can have open seats and two hours later a class can be full. Trust me, this is extremely frustrating; I was usually the one who seemed to have a really late phase 1 appointment, but I always had alternatives. From past experiences here are some classes that I would recommend signing up for during phase 1:

Continue reading "Phase 1 Telebears" »


Posted by Nancy Piceno at 5:22 | Permalink

25 October 2010

Making the most of office hours

Lots of resources are available to you outside of what is presented in lecture. Many students get caught up in just finishing the weekly homework assignments or cramming for exams that they lose sight of why you’re actually at Cal – to learn and challenge yourself! Your GSIs and professors are worth getting to know for many reasons: whether you’re struggling in a class, in love with the topic that is being covered, hoping to get letters of recommendation, or looking for additional opportunities, it is definitely worth your extra effort to make the most out of office hours! 1. Go with questions - Write down questions that you have during lecture while taking notes - If something is unclear, circle it and write it in a different color so you can easily come back to it - Or, if you want to know more about a topic they didn’t cover in detail - Write down questions as you do the assigned readings - Do extra practice problems if provided (check the end of the chapter in your textbook) and ask if you could go through the problem with them to check your methods 2. Do background research about your professor or GSI’s interests - Read some of their papers - Look up faculty websites - Search faculty research expertise: http://vcresearch.berkeley.edu/faculty-expertise - Use the library databases to search for publications from your professor/GSI - Ask questions about some of their work they may have presented during lecture 3. Don’t just ask for answers - Good students want to really understand what the problem is asking and the concepts behind it. Going to office hours should be more than just to getting the answers out of your professor or GSI! - Reflects poorly on you as a student 4. Don’t just go the week of the exam - As you all know, this is when office hours are most hectic! - To get the most out of the class, try to go to office hours regularly (every week or every other week) to make sure that you’re staying on top of the material and getting to know your professor or GSI outside of exam weeks 5. Ask for advice! - They were undergrads once too… It may be valuable to ask how they got involved in research, if they have any recommendations for summer programs or internships 6. For bigger lectures (especially lower division classes like Chem1A, Bio1B, Bio1A, etc.) you can go to the professor’s office hours just to listen to what other students are asking - Almost acts as an additional, supplemental hour of lecture - Good way to meet fellow students in your class and form study groups 7. If you can’t go to their scheduled office hours, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment with them! - That being said, make sure that you’re prepared to meet with them. There won’t be other students asking questions, most likely, so it’s all on you to make the meeting worth both of your time. It's never too late to start going to office hours, so don't get discouraged that we only have a little over a month left of the semester. Good luck!

Continue reading "Making the most of office hours" »


Posted by Kelley Doyle at 0:48 | Permalink

05 October 2010

Telebears?! Yay new classes!

So I guess it’s that time of the year again…TELE-BEARS!!!! Earlier today I went to Mulford (and so should everybody since it is so amazing!) and picked up my telebears form in 260 so as to get ready for planning. CNR makes it especially easy with its emails and computerized scheduling system so that I could choose what convenient time to see my academic adviser, but first I have to see my faculty adviser. Luckily many of the advisers are nice and after only a short email transaction I’m now scheduled to see my faculty adviser this Friday. This is pretty nice since my appointment with Jenny is on Monday and you have to see your faculty adviser before you can see your academic adviser. Now for some of the classes I highly recommend for spring:

Continue reading "Telebears?! Yay new classes!" »


Posted by Fabian Collazo at 8:36 | Permalink

04 October 2010

Why Sleep?

Do you ever get the feeling that there is just not enough time in a day for all the things you're trying to do? Especially during midterm season, right? Instead of sleeping we might as well be studying. Well, before breaking out the caffeine shots and prepare for the all-nighters, here me out!

Continue reading "Why Sleep?" »


Posted by Stephen Chen at 4:40 | Permalink

01 October 2010

How to Dodge the Procrastination Bug

"There are a million ways to lose a work day, but not even a single way to get one back. " -Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
You may delay, but time will not. -Benjamin Franklin
Procrastination is opportunity's assassin. -Victor Kiam

It isn't easy keeping up with coursework. As Richard Gibson of the Student Learning Center (SLC) mentioned two Wednesdays ago at CNR's "How to Study for Biology" workshop, "you are never done." You can keep up with your classes and still not be done. And the procrastination bug just makes this situation even worse.

At Berkeley, being able to be up-to-date with the material can be what differentiates between a good grade and a bad grade, depending on your definitions of each. For example, I have suffered from the procrastination bug in the past two years and have gotten B's where I could've gotten A's if I had spent more time and procrastinated less. In fact, I still procrastinate every now and then, but I've learnt how to handle and better manage my time.

Here are some of the ways that I find work for me, and hopefully will work for you:

Continue reading "How to Dodge the Procrastination Bug" »


Posted by Elodie Tong-Lin at 8:36 | Permalink

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