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

April 17, 2011 10:44 AM

Acceptance and My Freshman Semester

I will never forget the day I electronically submit my intent to go to Cal on the myBerkeleyAPP page. In fact, I saved a screenshot of it. Going to Cal not only marked a milestone in my life, but in my family's life. I was to be the first person in my family to go to an American 4-year university. My dad was in China at the time, and I remember my mom calling him as soon as I got the email that I was accepted to Cal (along with other places I got accepted to) even though it was the middle of the night in China time. Ten hours later, around 4 AM, a bunch of my cousins called me to congratulate me. Apparently my dad was so excited that he ran around telling my relatives in China about me going to Cal.That was a moment that I will never forget.

Sorry for the sidetrack. Fast Forwarding.....

My freshman semester was a good learning experience. First of all, I was not yet in the College of Natural Resources, so I was still struggling to figure out my major and find the classes I was interested in. Luckily for me, I took mostly the standard science and school-wide pre-reqs my first semester:
Chemistry 1A/1AL, Anthropology 2AC (for AC requirement), German R5A (for Reading/Writing req), and then Nutrition 10 and MCB 32 and a decal for fun. Class-wise, I thought I made great choices. (I will not talk about all the classes in this blog, but come speak with me during my office hours to learn more!!) Despite not knowing which subject I wanted to major in, I was able to at least get the pre-reqs out of the way so I can get get into a major easier. Even now, I recommend freshmen who don't have a clue what they want to take to at least take a pre-req like AC (American Culture) or RC (Reading and Writing) class while they are "soul-searching" so that they won't fall behind later. However, as much as I liked my classes, I was taking 19 units my first semester! In addition, I was participating in various clubs on campus and spreading myself thin. I was a naive freshman and thought I could do anything. To this day, my freshman semester was the heaviest unit load. Eventually, I had to drop the decal (cannot remember what it is) class because I was starting to struggle. In retrospect, I am sure I could've done better in some of those classes if I was taking less units. If I can do it over again, I would definitely have not taken one of those classes to lighten the load, namely the ones I took for fun. But the past is the past. I learned to take that as a learning experience to prevent future mistakes.

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