A Day in the Life
The CNR Peer Advisor Experience
Level 3
Youh Ying (Amy) Lin
Molecular Environmental Biology major
"I love how MEB provides many choices and flexibility in terms of class selection and my major also helps me with satisfying pre-med requirements."
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April 23, 2008

PALs, spring 2008...

As a PAL, I've always enjoyed spring semesters since it's that time of the year when recruitment events get put on for the next crop of Cal students. The big Kahuna of events was, of course, Cal Day. From student panels to campus tours, us PALs were heavily involved in the process, chatting it up with students and their parents on what it's like to be a Berkeley student and especially, what sets CNR apart from the rest of the campus.

Another perk that's been picking up in CNR is our movie nights, which have grown increasingly popular. Just last Tuesday we showed Juno in the Resource Center. That's right, on the day of release, a week before SUPERB did they're showing. Keep your eye out for future movie nights, as they are always FREE and accompanied by free pizza and drinks. Pretty cool, huh?

This will be my last semester as a PAL--I'll be graduating next month, a scary thought indeed. I'm trying hard to savor the last few weeks of my Cal student existence before entering into the "real world," whatever that is. According to my African lit professor, it will consist of all graduates sitting at home with mac & cheese in front of the couch blubbering in an unspoken existential crisis.

I don't think it will be that bleak, but the moral of the story is: Enjoy Cal while you're here. It goes by faster than you think.

September 18, 2007

Freshman year

Freshman year was a memorable year for me. Everything was exciting. Everyday was like a field trip. Classes were interesting. People were friendly. I quickly fell in love with Berkeley.

I loved walking amongst the crowd in upper Sproul and taking all the flyers that was handed to me. In addition, I signed up for numerous mailing lists by the Career Center, social clubs, pre-med clubs, RSF, Cal Performances, Cal Corp, etc etc. I actually took time to look at these emails and flyers and wrote in my planner the events I could go to. My spare time after classes was saturated with these events. Since I had not decided what activity I was more interested in, attending all these events, forums, and socials gave me a glimpse of what Berkeley has to offer.

After the fourth week of school, I joined the Taiwanese Student Association (TSA) and became one of the interns. My weekends were then obligated to hosting its social events like BBQ, ice skating, karaoke nights, potluck, beach day, and movie nights. Besides TSA, I attended premed info sessions by the career center to learn more about the whole med school process. I found these info sessions really helpful. Career center also offers a myriad of other events for other career fields and majors. Attending forums and info sessions not only makes you more prepared for future plans but also gives you the opportunity to meet friends who are interested in these same topics.

In your first year, you should discover spots that you can study. Depending on your study habit, you might want to try different cafes, the memorial glade with sun glasses and sun block (UV lights are harmful), different libraries (Berkeley has over 30 libraries), study centers in residential halls, or the OCF lounge.

All in all, freshman year is the year to discover as much as you can and have fun! Don’t forget to go to classes and study for the coming midterms!

April 30, 2007

Some Good Life in Berkeley

Shopping
So, wanna shop around Berkeley? Lots of places to go to. The closest shopping place is on Telegraph Avenue and on Bancroft Street. Besides some well known clothing stores like Adidas, Wet Seal, Urban Outfitter, and Hot Topic, there are unique hat stores, cafes, piercing & tattoo stores, and some local/ethnic clothing stores. Shopping on Telegraph is a great way to get to know the culture and history of Berkeley.

Another place for quick shopping is in Emeryville. You can simply jump on the F bus towards San Francisco and arrive in Emeryville in 20 minutes. Besides many typical stores like Ann Taylor, Abercrombie and Fitch, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, etc, there is the AMC movie theater right next to a Barns and Nobles. To get back from Emeryville to Berkeley, you can take the 57 bus and transfer to a 51 bus to get back.

If you love shopping in large scale shopping malls, take the F bus or the BART to San Francisco! There are all kinds of shopping area in the city. In addition to shopping in SF, you can tour around the city. Some nice spots are Pier 39, Fisherman’s Warf, Ghirardelli, the Japanese Town, the China town, etc. If you are over eighteen/twenty-one, clubbing in SF can be another experience to explore.

Eating
Berkeley is known for its great and wide variety of ethnic foods. Besides the well-known “Asian Ghetto” food court on telegraph, there are a lot of eateries on College Avenue and on Shattuck. You can find almost any kinds of food, with student price, around the campus: Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Salads, Italian, Ethiopian, Caribbean, Korean….and lots and lots of good cafés!

Hiking/Sports
There is the Tilden Park next to Berkeley. I went camping with my friends on Tilden before. The view was beautiful and it was a good hiking experience. We also went kayaking in the park.

For rock climbing, I heard that Indian Rock Park at Shattuck Avenue is one of the best places to go to around Berkeley.

If you’re out of places to go to, go visit http://events.berkeley.edu. Daily and weekly events are listed there.

April 17, 2007

My Current Extracurricular Activities

One of the reasons I love Berkeley so much is that you can never be bored. Really! There are always academic/career lectures, forums, symposiums, shows…and all kinds of events that you can think of! In addition to the Taiwanese Student Association, Pre-Medical Honor Society, intramural basketball, and volunteering in YWCA from my “Life outside of class~” blog entry on September 18th, 2006, I am going to share some of my current activities with you.

Ever since my junior year, I am devoting most of my time in a molecular toxicology lab. After a semester of basic lab technique training and with the help of my research mentor, I developed my honors thesis. My research focuses on a neural enzyme and I study the function and the health effects of this enzyme in cells. Working in a lab has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me. It leads me to the world of basic science research. It also shows me that medical school, pharmacy school, or optometry school is not the only option after graduating with a biology degree. There is the choice of graduate school. Being a scientist is actually really cool!

In addition, on Fridays, I volunteer in the Alta Bates Medical center. I’ve been volunteering in the hospital since I was in second year. This experience has been pulling me to pursue a career in medicine. Volunteering in a hospital, I observed physician-patient interactions. I also see the interaction between different sectors such as MD’s, nurse, physical therapists, and pharmacists. As a volunteer, I saw many patients’ suffering through pain and I also shared many patients’ happiness when they gradually recover. The greatest lesson I learned is to cherish life.


the MEB major

I chose to come to the College of Natural Resources(CNR), UC Berkeley, three years ago and I have never regretted.

Being a student in CNR is like attending a private college while still having the resources and supports from a big university. I came into Berkeley as a Natural Resources undeclared student. However, after the major presentations at the CALSO orientation, I declared my major, Molecular Environmental Biology(MEB), on that day.

There are six concentrations in MEB: Animal Health and Behavior, Biodiversity, Ecology, Environment and Human Health, Organisms & Environment, and Microbiology. Being an MEB major prepares you to become a scientist in your specific area of interest. Whether you want to pursuit a career in veterinarian, a medical doctor, a environmental scientist, a public health advocate, a journalist, a dentist, a nurse, a social worker, a counselor, or you haven’t decided yet, being an MEB major leads you towards your career goal. Although the MEB major requirements include a broad array of lower division science classes, its flexible upper division requirement allows you to pick your specific area of interest. The MEB curriculum is flexible yet comprehensive to satisfy most of the pre-health requirements. As a pre-medical student, I find it easy to complete both a B.S. degree and all the medical school requirements.

Besides satisfaction in my major, I greatly enjoy CNR’s personal and caring professors, advisors, and environment. The peer advising leadership program and undergraduate research opportunity I received from CNR are the most rewarding experiences I’ve had at Cal. In addition, I found friends who share the same passion and same career goal as me within CNR. Being a student of CNR definitely made my college life more enjoyable and more fulfilling. Come to CAL DAY, which is this Saturday to check out the programs from College of Natural Resources! Hope to see you there!!


Amy

March 21, 2007

My Third Spring Break

This will be my third spring break. As usual, I am flying back to Irvine with my little black luggage, which is mainly occupied by my notes and books. Yes, midtermsssss right after break. Ah! But think about the bright side, I get a full week to study for my biochemistry and physiology midterms! I plan to take my metabolism reader to Newport Beach to enjoy some soCal sunshine while I figure out which steps produce CO2’s and which enzymes need the help of NAD+ or FAD in citric acid cycle. After every meal, I will remind myself that my cells are working hard to break down the newly entered glucose in my blood stream via glycolysis. When I go swimming or playing basketball, I will think about why I breathe faster and I will anticipate soreness in my muscles because of the accumulation of lactic acids, of course. Last semester at this same time, I was whining about having two midterms right after break, too, except they were bio1a and physics 8b. Life goes on. Welcome, spring break 2007!
Besides becoming an even harder-working Berkeley student, I will become an American this spring break! I am going to the Naturalization Oath Ceremony in LA tomorrow and after that, I will be Taiwanese-American. After six years of living in America, I will be finally “naturalized” from being an alien. I don’t know what that means. Jury duty? Anyway, another exciting change for this break is that on Thursday, my brother will know whether he gets into Berkeley or not! I really hope he joins me next year!
I am currently sitting right next to Gate nine in Oakland Airport. My plan was to come early and hop onto an earlier flight so I could have dinner with my family, like right now. Apparently my flight ticket wasn’t expensive enough to be qualified for a free standby. So I got myself a gourmet burrito and a cup of coffee.
What are your plans for spring break? Try a new sport or try some new dishes. Read some magazines or watch some movies. Hang out with friends and cherish family time. Remember to catch up on sleep and recharge yourself while playing hard and studying hard! Hope y’all have a wonderful and relaxing spring break. See you after break!

March 13, 2007

Midterms again?

Midterms - Preparing for the next Round (a revisited topic;
or can be "Tips on Studying effectively" from Julie)

I know some of you have midterms right before spring break. It’s a good thing, right? C’mon, SPRING BREAK is almost here! Excited? I am!

For the second midterm, you need to learn from mistakes in the first midterm and improve your studying habits and strategy. Don’t worry, it’s never too late. It doesn’t matter if you got a C, a B, an A, or even an A+, you should reflect through what needs to be improved in turns of studying for your particular class. Maybe now you know that your professors like calculation-based questions more; maybe you found out that there were mostly conceptual questions; maybe from the first paper you learned that your GSI prefers more detailed supporting evidences… you get the idea. So based on your previous experience, you can modify tactics for the second exam.

Don’t give up if you scored below average or a C-. You might be the person who set the curve in second midterm, the professor might just give out 40% of the class A’s, the professor might see your improvements throughout semesters and grand you an A, or just remember, there is still the final for most of the time.

Continue your great work if you got a great score. Remember how you prepared for the first midterms/paper. But don’t slack off! The second midterm might be harder.

Also, be sure to look over the syllabus and revisit the % distributions for each assignment and midterm.

And remember, always give yourself some break. You deserve it.

March 12, 2007

Check out my current Favorites!

Hi everyone! How is school? How were/are the midterms? Don’t forget to relax and always take a break from studying! Today I’m going to list out some of my favorite shows, music, and food!

First, I’ll tell you my current favorite show. I love Grey’s Anatomy! It’s a medical drama describing five surgery interns’ complicated relationships, their excitement, stress, ups and downs as rookie surgeons, and some ethical/debatable issues in healthcare and medicine. Seriously, this show is such a lacrimal gland stimulator. I cry during every episode! Oh, and did you know that you can watch full episodes for the entire season online at http://dynamic.abc.go.com/streaming/landing? Many other shows such as Desperate Housewife and Ugly Betty are on there. Go check it out if you have time!

Continue reading "Check out my current Favorites!" »

March 1, 2007

My Role Model

So I lived with two busy doctors. Mom and Dad. Rehabilitation medicine and Internal pulmonary medicine.
Unlike other kids at school, I never see my parents at home after school since my parents worked from seven in the morning to six in the afternoon. Growing up, I was always the first person to be home, the kid who hung out with friends until sunset, and the babysitter who took care of my little brother. Although my parents could not be with me most of the time throughout my childhood, both of them are my role models. Their actions and behaviors lead me to every person I am today. Their passion and dedication in medicine also influenced my pursuit in medicine.
I admire my mom especially. She gave me a comparison of having a full-time working mother and a full-time mother. Six years ago when my mom was at the peak of her career, she gave up her job as a physician, her position as the head of nursing home, her chances of becoming a MD/PhD and came to America with my brother and me. Mom decided that she should spend more time with us to pass our critical years in education. In the US, she was the one who helped me with learning English, the one who tutored me math, biology, chemistry, and physics, the one who took care of me when I was sick, the one who listened through all my complaints, the one who shared all my joy, the one who always encourages me when I am frustrated, the one who I rely on, and the one who I talk to when I need advises. Even in college, I talk to her everyday on the phone. Because of her, my dad’s dream of having us educated in America came true. She sacrificed her working years for my education in the U.S. During these six years, she also went to community college and took classes when my brother and I are in school. She learned painting and drawing, which she never had time to experience in Taiwan. On weekends, she participates in community services and goes to community dance classes. She also developed a new interest in gardening. Her spirits and time management skills showed me the concept of lifelong learning and lifelong enjoying.
Very soon she will be going back to Taiwan to be a physician again. After June this year I will be with my brother alone in America. However, I believe that I have become stronger and more independent in these years living with my mother. She showed me how to be a good wife, a good physician, a good mother, a good student, and a good mentor. She’s my ultimate role model!!

January 27, 2007

Hopes for 2007!

A brand new year. A brand new semester. Every year I feel myself improving and learning. For the past two years, I have learned to be more responsible and more independent. I have learned to take care of myself and manage a balanced college life. And this is the year that I will turn twenty one!!!!! I am totally excited! In 2007, I hope to expose myself to more cultural diversity and be more open to new activities and new people. I want to spend more time with my family and friends, be more considerate, and be a better listener. At last, I want to work harder for medical school preparation and maintain my happy college life! Have more fun in both studying and partying! =)
So how is everyone’s semester so far? Hope this semester is a blast!
My office hours for this semester are: Monday 2-3 and Wednesday 12-1. Come visit me!

Cheers,

Amy

December 5, 2006

Ready for Winter Break!?

Winter break is the best time to recharge myself for another adventurous semester. It’s time to leave school for awhile and go home to enjoy some family time~! During breaks, my family and I usually travel, either to other countries or within the states. This break is no exception. We will be cruising around in our car in California and Las Vegas!

Besides traveling, I like to spend some of my break reading novels and watching movies. Since I rarely have time for my wanna-read-novels throughout my busy semester, sitting down and submerging into my favorite books or movies is indeed pleasurable!

Being a junior premed student, medical school applications are not far away. So, this winter break, I plan to start studying for the MCAT and change my studying gear to a higher nerdified level. Usually before the start of a new semester, I would buy some of the books for my future classes and start reading a couple of chapters on my own. Just to be ready and to get a feel of what the class is about. By previewing ahead, I find myself more involved in class discussions even in the beginning of semester and have an easier time absorbing the material in class.

Winter break is a good time to volunteer, work, look for an internship, join the gym, learn a new recipe, try new things, and have fun! Most importantly, be safe and happy with whatever you do! Have a nice break everyone! Good luck and do well on finals!

Here are some career center suggestions
http://career.berkeley.edu/Article/041217a-hh.stm
See y’all after break!

November 20, 2006

friends

Away from family, away from hometown, away from things that I was once familiar with, I found myself relying on friends a lot. I met most of my friends through clubs, labs, discussions, and study groups. However, my best friends in Berkeley are the girls I met while living in Stern in freshman year. Since I went back to Irvine only on long weekends like thanksgiving or spring break, I spend most of my weekends and past time with friends. In the past two years, we’ve grown together, went to movies, went to SF, went shopping, went clubbing, taken classes and studies hard together, celebrated birthdays, shared laughers and tears, and most importantly, shared priceless memories. Time flies! We met when we were 18, now we’re all turning 21. Cherish the friends you meet in college! You learn from every friend. The relationship is mutual. Sometimes you give and sometimes you receive. Some friendships might not last forever, but it’s the memories and the process that count!

November 4, 2006

Places of Origin: It's Complicated

A quick look at the geographic locations in my 20 years of life:
I spent my 6 years of elementary school in 3 different areas. I was born and raised in a village in the rural northern part of Taiwan: Ling-co. I had a gang of buddies. They were all guys and I was the only girl. We played together everyday after school. We formed a little bike team. We played basketball, dodge ball, soccer, tennis. We caught grasshoppers together, went on adventures trips to the nearby forests, and play pranks on other kids. The village was big, the grass was so green, the trees were big, the people were nice, and the air was fresh. I fell in love with the beauty of nature. When I was in 5th grade, my parents took me with them to Montreal, Canada, for a year of research. I learned to speak French and learned to speak English. My brother and I were the only Taiwanese in our elementary school. The year for me was a great introduction to westerners and life in the other part of the world. I saw snow for the first time!! I still remember the first time I built my own snowman and gave it a name and watched it die when everything melted~~ good times! I also celebrated my first Thanksgiving, Halloween, Canada day, and St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe it was because of the amount of cheese, pizzas, bagels, muffins, chocolates, sandwiches and good western/Canadian food that I had that year, I grew more than 4 inches that year. After one year, I flew back to Taiwan in my 6th grade and moved to Taipei, where I experienced living as a city kid. I learned to walk really fast, talk really fast, eat really fast, shop a lot, and be really busy or at least act like I was really busy with school work and activities. I practiced a lot of looking many times at the cars around before crossing the streets even when the pedestrian light shows WALK. Never trust strangers and never trust traffic lights because people usually see them just as references. I became used to taking taxi and taking metro to places instead of riding my old bike. I also adjusted my exercising area to the swimming pools, stair masters, fitness centers instead of the big green grass field in front of my house in the village I grew up in. Training to become a real Taipei-er took me about 4 years. After 10th grade, my family immigrated to the United States! We settled in Irvine, Ca, and I finished my high school there. I adapted to Irvine better than I did in Montreal, probably because there are more Asians and Asian foods. Irvine is rated as America’s #7 safest city. It’s really peaceful and quiet. Not much night life goes on in Irvine. One thing I found interesting about Irvine is that not many people walk on the streets. Although the sidewalks are huge, I seldom see pedestrians walking around. Also, I don’t see buses coming often. Typical southern California weather. Not much rain not much wind. Beaches are just 10 minutes away: Newport, Laguna, Corona Del Mar, Huntington, Long Beach, etc. Biggest shopping mall South Coast Plaza is just 15 minutes away too. People always look like they’re ready for beach. I love Irvine!

I’m at my 5th location of my life: Berkeley. Year #3 in progress.

Some of my Favorite Spots

Often times between classes when I have a short break, I like to walk around Sproul and update myself with what goes on in campus. During school hours from 10-2, Sproul Plaza is a major center of for political activities, club events, flyer-ing, octapella, free stuff, and hanging out with friends. If I have time, I’d hang out with friends in front of club tables. Since I have meal plan, I’d also often go to GBC, grab my favorite chicken Caesar salad, and enjoy my salad and the California sunshine. =)

Other than the crowded upper Sproul, my favorite quiet place in Berkeley is the North Reading room in Doe Library! It’s my favorite because the sun can shine through the windows and it is really spacious and comfortable. I also really like those big oak study tables and how they match with the historic atmosphere of the study room. It’s been two years and I haven’t gotten tired or bored of studying in that reading room!

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As for my favorite café-kinda place, it is the Pat Brown’s next to GPB and Morgan Hall. Unlike GBC, this café is never too crowded. As a result, you can study there while eating your lunch. You don’t need to buy food to sit in Pat Brown’s since there are microwaves. The out door sitting area is also nice if the weather is good. Pat Brown’s is also near CNR’s resource center in mulford and it opens from 7:30 – 4:00pm.

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At last, for sight seeing and relaxing views, I like the view from Lawrence Hall of Science the most. You can take the Hill line bus up there or drive up. The bus runs every 30 minutes in front of Evans. If you want to walk up there, the hike is a little intensive but it’s doable. I’ve done it once last summer, took me about 30 minutes from Haas. Up there, I can see the whole San Francisco Bay Area and feel how I’m just a tiny part of the world. However, it’s often cold and foggy at night up in Lawrence.

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October 23, 2006

Getting the midterms back~

How did you do on the midterms?
Are you happy with the scores? If so, congratulations! Keep up the good work and maintain the good grades! Remember how your study style matches with the testing style of your professors, so you’ll have an easier time studying for the second midterm! Also, note if the next midterm or final is cumulative. Keep the notes, keep the tests.

If you’re not happy with the midterm scores, first ask yourself if you really studied hard enough. Did you try your best but you’re just not getting the score you want? Maybe it’s your studying habit or studying style. Or maybe you didn’t focus on what was considered “important”. Sign up for professor’s or GSI’s office hours and talk to them about how you are preparing for their tests. Ask them what they value as the most important information in their courses and what they expect their students to gain from taking the class. If they say midterms are lecture based, then focus more on lecture material and use textbook as a supplement. If the parts you got wrong on midterms are problems that require you to get the big picture and integrate different concepts, ask professors or GSI’s better ways to memorize, understand, or solve the problems. Do they recommend any helpful study resources (website/books/videos) or can they give out extra problems for you to practice? Also, think about other resources such as the Student Learning Center, study groups, review sessions, residential academic centers, private tutoring, etc.
In addition, reflect on your study habits and study environments. Maybe studying with other classmates helps with doing problems. Other people might have a better or faster solution to solving a problem. Teaching other people what you’ve already know will definitely help with your understanding of material. Maybe doing extra textbook problems would help. Maybe you spent too much time doing community services or hanging out with friends that you simply need more time to study. Maybe you aren’t getting enough sleep so you couldn’t concentrate while studying or while taking the midterms. Maybe…

What if you think the class is just really really really too hard for you? Since it’s before the 10th week, take it P/NP. Did you miss out its prerequisites or do you just not get it? Talk to your advisors and professors about it. Maybe you aren’t in the right class. Maybe you aren’t in the right major.

All in all, the main thing is: NEVER GIVE UP! You still have plenty of time to turn that unhappy score to a happier one. Give yourself a chance. Prove to yourself that you can do it!

October 13, 2006

Ready for the midterm?

Midterm season~
Midterm stress huh! So I just had my physics 8b midterm this Wednesday and 3 more midterms next week! 3 midterms… how do I handle that?

The best way to reduce midterm stress is to study bits and pieces when you don’t have midterms. Don’t pile up studying until 3 days before midterm. Summarizing weekly lecture notes and key concepts in textbook is important!

What I usually do during midterm weeks is to have a more regular schedule, which is sleeping, eating, studying, relaxing, and waking up on regular and normal basis. The one thing you don’t want to do is sleeping so little to study that you are totally exhausted on the day of midterm. You need to be healthy to study! Save energy for that big day! Eat well! Sleep well! Also, list out the total amount of chapters, pages, papers, problem sets, and reviews you need to go over, about 2 weeks before the midterm. Plan out your study timeline and really do follow your agenda. Be realistic of course. Listing out all the things you need to do and crossing out items on the list will decrease the freaking out level.

After some hardcore studying, be sure to give yourself a little reward, or some break. Break is important but not too much. You need to recharge your energy and motivation before reading another 100 pages. Moreover, alternate studying with 2-3 subjects prevent you from getting too bored with just one topic. Don’t set your goal to be something like
> study chem3a from 9am – 9 pm. I mean, it’s doable, but might not be as efficient after the first 5 hours, right?

And don’t be antisocial~ the right amount of hanging out with friends is always good!


Hopefully I’ve given some helpful tips! It’s Preparing for a midterm is like finishing a 400m run. Keep your pace in the first 300m and save energy for that final 100m and dash your till the finishing line. You want to have a strong and powerful ending.

Good luck studying!

October 3, 2006

Need more time?

Have you ever woke up on a Sunday morning and wished that your freedom Friday was just about to begin? What if you utilize those last 24 hours as 72 hours, would your weekend come back again? Sometimes…
Here comes the importance of time management~

I found these tips useful
1. While studying, minimize the amount of online chatting time. Better to turn off your Instant messengers unless you need to discuss online ( Yahoo! MSN. AIM. ICQ. Skype…)
2. If you have an hour break in between class and have nothing to do, chill or study in library.
3. It’s good to have dinner with friends, but on a weekday or midterm season, limit down the eating time.
4. Keep track of your daily cell phone minutes. Talk less. Think about what you are going to do more.
5. Keep a planer! List out everything you want to do!
6. Reward yourself with some “fun time” after serious studying. However, limit the relaxing time and always count in the time you need to drag yourself back to the state of concentrating again.
7. Study with a friend is always good. But don’t talk too much.

I recommend going over your notes after class even you think you got everything in lecture. Most of the time, I study in library without my laptop so I don’t chat online. I carry around a planer, in which I list out everything I plan to do, and I cross each item out as I finish them. Listing out a schedule is always good, however, you must be realistic. Think about the time you have in a day and the most important item on your list!

September 18, 2006

Life outside of class~

Besides studying, extracurricular activities make the most of my college life! In this blog, I’ll highlight some of the activities I’ve done so far in my 2+ years of college life.

I came from Taiwan when I was in 10th grade so naturally, I joined the Taiwanese Student Association (TSA) in my freshman year. TSA is designed mainly for mandarin speaker and it is a non-political, pure social club. It offers a variety of events throughout the semester, including night market, karaoke night, karaoke contest, sports day, ice cream night, beach day, dance mixer, etc... The events are usually on Fridays, a time to just chill out with friends and relax! Since I really enjoyed the events, I became an officer. Being an officer let me understand how college clubs run in a big university. It also enhanced my event planning and social skills. So if you guys think you want to meet more people and just have a night to get away from academics, I’d definitely recommend joining a social club. Life is harsh, have some fun!


Besides social club, I also joined the Pre-Medical Honor Society (PMHS). PMHS is a club for premed students with a GPA higher than or equal to 3.7. It offers resources and activities like mentoring program with medical students, volunteering on weekends, application process forums, and lectures. From there, I learned more about being a premed. Some stuff you just have to learn through talking with people. I also met many friends in the club and we have been taking classes together. I believe meeting people, or working with people of your academic interest is a very important thing in college. Having friends who want to pursuit a same career path not only makes you see a wider perspective, it also provides resources in terms of hw, class selections, activities offered on campus, application timelines, etc.

I volunteered as an English tutor in YWCA’s English In Action (EIA) program when I was in first and second year. It was a pretty fun experience! I got to meet people from different countries with different cultural and academic backgrounds. It only requires one hour a week. I’ve had 2 partners so far. One is a bioengineer from China and the other is a MCB researcher from Korea. Both of them introduced me to their work and their studies on campus. It’s really neat because I learned something I couldn’t learn from peers of my age and my major. Yup, so if you guys have time, go check out EIA in YWCA. It’s just down on Bancroft!

Another cool activity I had was the Intramural (IM) Coed Basketball! I teamed up with some friends last year and we formed a basketball team. If you haven’t heard of IM Basketball, it’s basically teams of recreational level competing with other teams on campus. Our team met once to twice a week for practice then we competed on some night. It was just plain fun! Plus, if you have trouble getting your buddies to go work out with you, joining an IM sport takes care of your weekly exercise! There are also a variety of sports offered in RSF: volleyball, ultimate freebie… Go check out the RSF website!

Yah, all in all, the point is……….. everyone should join at least one activity! It will only enrich your college life! I promise! If you have any questions, come by during my office hours on M 1-2, F 10-11. Bye bye for now!

September 15, 2006

Why PAL?

Since I have the time and energy, why not become a PAL? As I mentioned in my bio, I joined PAL because I my proud of being part of CNR, and I want more people to know what CNR offers. A lot of my friends ask me what exactly is CNR? What can environmental science majors do when they graduate? Being a PAL, I can understand more about my own major and CNR and in turn provide a better answer when people ask me questions. Besides that, I want to mention again how CNR’s friendly environment attracts me. Where can you get a first-name-hello on campus? CNR advising office! I wanted to become part of the welcoming staff and so I became a PAL.
As a PAL, I hope to know more about the policy and events of the college, to meet more students, and to improve my communication and public speaking skills! Hope to see you guys during my office hours!