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

25 February 2011

Studying for Midterms

Midterm season is a stressful time for everybody; it doesn't matter if you're a freshman or a veteran senior. In my experience, I find the most useful strategy to study during midterm season is to maximize the QUALITY of my studying time, and not the QUANTITY. I can put off all the sleep I need to maximize the amount of time I have to review my material, but that doesn't accomplish anything. The way to maximize the quality of your studying time differs for every class, but here are some of the things I do that I think could be helpful: 1) Memorize things in 5's or less A neat thing I learned from a psychology class is that the brain has a capacity of memorizing 4-7 sets of ideas at a time. If I gave you 10 random numbers to memorize for 5 seconds: 45 53 91 27 93 65 83 02 40 16 45 and tell you to close your eyes and recite them to me, most people can probably recite 4-7 of those numbers back without looking. Try it! The idea here is to organize your material into 5 or less shorter subsets. For example: Suppose I need to remember 7 classes of viruses. I would first organize them into a 2 groups (how you group them is also very important, but that depends on the material), and then learn one group at a time. I found that this is much better than memorizing all 7 at once. However, GROUP THEM IN A WAY THAT IS LOGICAL TO YOU. In the case of viruses, I would group them by RNA viruses and DNA viruses.

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Posted by Bai Chen at 6:45 | Permalink

24 February 2011

Start midterms with a healthy you!

It's no surprise to anyone at Cal that midterms=stress=no life outside of studying. As hard as it may sound, it's also a time to be a little selfish because doing well in your classes depends on you! Everyone is different, but if you can find something that works for you, stick with it. A good way to help your body stay healthy is to eat bright colors (fruits and veggies). If you're anything like me...I'm not very fond of veggies, but there are also many out there that I've never tried. For the past month I have been picking a new vegetable at the grocery store every week and trying it out. So try to be adventurous with what you're putting into your body and who knows...maybe you'll have a new favorite veggie. If you're not into trying new foods, try going to a new group/class workout at the rsf. You don't have to commit to an entire hour at the rsf if you don't want to; they also offer 30minute classes or you can check out a volleyball or basketball or racquetball court.

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Posted by Nancy Piceno at 1:50 | Permalink

18 February 2011

Tips for Tele-BEARS!

It is almost that time again to register for classes! Tele-BEARS is a stressful time for everyone and can be really confusing for new students. I always seem to have a late phase one appointment, which can make things even more ambiguous as classes fill up early. Do not fear though because Berkeley offers tons of cool classes across different departments. Make sure to check the schedule of classes early, and often to see what classes are being offered for next semester. Also meet with your advisor early to talk about course planning! Remember to always have backup courses just in case the ones you planned on taking fill up! Also make sure to enroll in popular courses during phase one! Also check course restrictions before picking classes so you don't end up trying to register for a class that only accepts juniors or seniors. If you are having trouble reaching the minimum of 13 units, check out the DeCal website. These are student run courses on interesting topics that give you 1 or 2 units. I went to a wheelchair basketball DeCal a couple times just for fun! Also make sure to check out volunteering options through Cal Corps. Many offer academic units. Hope this helps! Remember tele-BEARS does not need to be scary :-)

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Posted by Amelia Appell at 4:24 | Permalink

15 February 2011

Oh My...Look at the clock, its Test Time!

A good day and a good evening to everyone. We all know the feeling... the crunch of time, the contractions of the stomach, the dryness of the mouth, the dreaming of a pencil making its way from one question to the next....ITS TEST TIME. It seems as if it creeps upon you. Where did the beginning of my semester go? -- You think. Its that time of the semester -- exams, projects, volunteer work-- all of which begin to steadily pick up, and before we know it we are simply SWAMPED. What can we do? Who can hear our plea for more time, more clarity? Your fellow students, peer advisors, and CNR faculty can certainly relate. Believe it or not, this "crunch" is universal. Would it be too much for us to set aside 30 minutes of our time to relax, prioritize our lives, or speak with someone who cares to understand? It can make a better you, me, and CNR. Let's remind ourselves that Berkeley is NOT beyond us; we can do well if we have confidence -- believe that WE CAN do well -- we can ace that exam! What more can anyone ask of us besides our best? Put the exams and work in perspective -- we give our utmost, we learn from our actions, pick up, and keep on chugging. Again, it's a universal fight...let us at least carry it out with an ounce (if not more) of joy. After all, you make the test, be determined NOT to let it MAKE you (who you are). CNRers, you are never alone in this regard, I'm fighting this battle with you as we speak.... Be well everyone!

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Posted by Ashley Fortenberry at 9:53 | Permalink

09 February 2011

Events on Campus

One of the great aspects of attending Berkeley is the amazing opportunity to participate in the plethora of events, seminars, and festivities available to students. Take a break from the pure academic setting and avail yourselves of of all the great resources this campus has to offer! Here are a list of interesting events that are happening on campus this month: a) Individual Resume Critiques* 260 Mulford Hall, Student Resource Center (sign-up at front desk) Feb 14-17, 20 minute appointments Bring your resume and get feedback before the upcoming career fairs! a) UC Berkeley Marks 50 Years of Peace Corps: In 1961, President John F. Kennedy called on Americans to give two years of their lives in service to others as Peace Corps volunteers. UC Berkeley students answered. In 50 years, more than 3,400 alumni of UC Berkeley have served overseas, ranking the campus #1 in the nation for producing Peace Corps volunteers. On the Peace Corps' 50th anniversary, Cal reflects on this legacy of international service and renews the call for the next generation of Peace Corps volunteers. Visit to learn more about the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Symposium and Celebration on Saturday, February 26, register for events, and mark your place in Berkeley - Peace Corps history. b) Seventh Annual Environmental Justice Symposium Students for Economic and Environmental Justice (SEEJ) is planning and hosting Berkeley Law’s 2011 Environmental Justice Symposium, “Hungry for Justice: Growing an Equitable Food System.” In four unique lunch events, from Monday, February 14 through Thursday, February 17, panels of visionary lawyers, practitioners, and activists will discuss international trade policy and the global food market, hunger as a social ill, low-income communities’ access to healthful food, and industrial farming and farm workers’ rights. Each speaker will draw clear connections between her discussion topic, the environmental justice movement, and the roles that lawyers and policymakers can play in these arenas. c) Microfinance for Student Loans: Giving Youth a Little Credit Silicon Valley Microfinance Network Speaker Event: Thursday, February 24th at Blum Hall on the UC Berkeley campus featuring Kushal Chakrabarti (Co-Founder & CEO, Vittana), Michelle Kreger (Regional Director for Francophone Africa and the Middle East, Kiva) and Noga Leviner (General Manager, Lumni), as they discuss the challenges, successes and future landscape of the new frontier of harnessing microfinance for students loans, both in the US and abroad. Industry leaders are leveraging debt and equity-like investments as well as P2P lending models to provide youth (both in the US and abroad) with the tools necessary to pursue higher education. As a result, the student-loan market has experienced explosive growth. SVMN is proud to present this unique opportunity to hear the nation's leaders talk about the rise of using microloans for education and answer your questions. We look forward to seeing you there! For more information and to register: Register early! Online registration closes the day of the event. At-the-door admission is $10 more. Tickets are limited!

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Posted by Rezwana Abed at 1:21 | Permalink



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