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

31 March 2011

Eating For Your Health

Ah-choo! The midterm season is quickly approaching, which also means that there will be a lot of cramming and bad sleep/eating habits. Despite our busy schedules, it's very important that you try to evenly space out your studying and maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. In that aspect, we are very lucky to be living in Berkeley, where there are many health-conscious, vegan/vegetarian residents and restaurateurs. In fact, Alice Waters-owner of the world-renowned Chez Panisse, is a premiere pioneer in pushing for the availability and use of locally-grown, sustainable produce in cooking. This may be one of the reasons why Berkeley has three local farmer's markets every week for its resident perusal. Since the past three months of being vegetarian, I have learned so much about eating consciously for our own health and the global health of our environment. As most of you probably have heard, the average efficiency of energy transfer through food is about 10%. So that means in actuality, you are not getting adequate energy from meats as you might acquire directly by eating plants. Vegetarianism may not seem appealing because there is the notion that we only eat salads; but in fact there are many wonderful options. I recommend trying a sandwich with firm tofu and tofurkey to replace cheese and deli meat. It is equally delicious and more fulfilling. Black bean and corn quinoa is also a wonderful option because it provides a large portion of our daily fiber and protein. There are also many vegetarian/vegan restaurants that one should check out before leaving Berkeley. I hope one of these days, you will become inspired to undertake an enriching culinary adventure in Berkeley. Below are some I enjoy and recommend to y'all!

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Posted by Jenny Zhang at 1:04 | Permalink

24 March 2011

Approaching Graduation...What are your plans?

First off, happy spring break everyone! I hope that amidst the studying, you have all been able to somewhat enjoy the one-week vacation by spending time with friends and family. However as our vacation comes to a slow halt, I am sure that for many of us are beginning to contemplate post-graduation plans. Despite the myriad of news headlines about job insecurities and the economic recession, there are remains many employment opportunities for our graduating seniors. Depending on one's dream career and ambitions, there are many resources to turn to. I, myself included, am also on the same boat--with the vivid dream of going into the field of pediatric oncology and the strife to continue research after graduation. In these past months, I have heard many worries and doubts from friends who have already applied and chosen a path (either to graduate or professional school). But believe me when I say, EVERYONE is unsure of their decisions---especially at our young ages. Sometimes, the only way to find our niche is to dip our toes into new territory. So for those of you who are contemplating if you have made the right decision, go for the new adventure that awaits you! I hope that you will all be pleasantly surprised and enjoy a new portion of your life.

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Posted by Jenny Zhang at 5:00 | Permalink

30 November 2010

Keep Warm!

As most of you have probably already felt it, the cold weather has finally hit Berkeley again! Especially at chilly times like these along with the approach of finals and stress that students need to take better care of their bodies. Whether it be taking the annual flu shot at the Tang Center or piling on more layers, all of us are getting ready for the winter season. After nearly four years at UC Berkeley, I have realized that our bodies are the most vulnerable between and after our stressful periods of midterms/finals/projects. To strengthen our immune systems, try to fit a well balanced breakfast into your daily routine and include a rainbow assortment of vegetables and fruits into your diet. This is not just because our mothers told us so but because it has also been scientifically proven that those who eat a healthy breakfast have more energy throughout the day and are sick less often.

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Posted by Jenny Zhang at 0:50 | Permalink

30 March 2010

It's Telebears Season!

WELCOME BACK FROM SPRING BREAK! I hope everyone's was relaxing and a lot of fun. I unfortunately caught the flu over break so it wasn't so great for me :(. However, I had a wonderful time seeing my parents, little brother and high school friends again, all of which made up for the awful virus! :) On another note, I know we don't want to think about school right after our return from break, nevertheless the next semester, but telebears season is upon us again! I wanted to take this entry to remind everyone to check their Telebears appointments, get their adviser codes and provide some tips when enrolling for classes in Phase I.

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Posted by Jenny Zhang at 1:27 | Permalink

13 February 2010

Getting Involved

Although I was fortunate to have so many of my high school friends attending UC Berkeley, I believe that an important part of college is meeting new people. One major advantage of going to a large university like UC Berkeley is the many unique individuals you will meet during your four years of your undergraduate education. While it is understandable that academics should be on the top of our priorities because it is what brought us our acceptance to the prestigious Cal; however, it is equally important for us to enjoy our time here. Join a campus organization, try the greek life (rush), participate in research and introduce yourself to your professors! You will never know what you are missing out on until you try. It is important to make friends and form of network of people from all majors and backgrounds.

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Posted by Jenny Zhang at 7:10 | Permalink

04 November 2009

Local Eateries

One of the most frequently visited locations around the UC Campus is the Durant Food Court or what was once known as Asian Ghetto. Since its convenient for students and house a wide range of cuisines, its no brainer that this is the first thought in people's mind as an alternative to cooking or eating in the dorms. I, too, have a couple of favorite restaurants there. Normally, when I eat there with friends, I order the Kimchi Spam Fried Rice from Bear's Ramen House. Even for those of you who are afraid of spicy food, you should try it because its actually more sweet than spicy and has a lot of delicious flavor. Thai Basil is another favorite among my friends, who often swear by their Pad Thai over any other Thai restaurant around the area. Although, Gypsy's look like a small, crowded and oily restaurant, you will be surprised by the satisfaction a large plate of Italian homecooking can bring. However, I also want to introduce you to MANY other incredible restaurants in Berkeley to visit before you graduate. So here is MY LIST!

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Posted by Jenny Zhang at 1:22 | Permalink

20 September 2009

Places to Study @

Now that the fifth week of classes is approaching, our minds may be filled with worries about catching up in classes and midterms. In this week's entry I wanted to take some time to point out various study locations on and off campus. Since coming to Cal, I have went through many favorite study space phases. But for the past year, my favorite was the Marian Koshland Bioscience Library in VLSB (Valley Life Science Building). While there are many study spots along the sides of library's entrance, I always try upstairs because it is quieter and more spacious. Next to each set of stairs is a small room with about 4 study tables and each floor has large study rooms with individual tables. Sometimes students also enjoy studying with classmates or friends in available smaller rooms on each floor. My favorite space, however, are the single tables facing the windows along the end of each bookcase lane. I enjoy working there because seeing the light and outdoors from the window helps me relax amidst all the stress, giving my a sense of the bigger picture so that studying eventually becomes enjoyable. Furthermore, being exposed to the natural light helps you keep track of the time and pace yourself. During my first year, the Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Library was my favorite because not only was it close to my dorms (Foothill) but it provided a very studious and intellectual environment, helping me to concentrate. The only downside is that unlike Moffit Library, which closes at 2am on weekdays, the Bioscience Library and Chemistry Library both close earlier at 11am, Monday through Friday. Anyways, going back to the Chemistry Library, I have found that the best study areas are actually on the second floor, which has tables along the floor's balcony. It is more quiet than than the larger group tables on the first floor. Another library you may be familiar with are Moffit Undergraduate Library, Doe Library and East Asian Library, all of which are big and have a lot lighting. A small library, a gem to some of my friends, worth checking out is the Eshelman Library found on the 7th floor of Eshelman Hall (the office with a Daily Cal sign in Lower Sproul). It is the only library on campus that allows students to eat in. They have several black leather couches where students can take naps if they need it. Eshelman is generally opened 24 hours for studying after the 10th week of classes. Although, I do not generally study off campus, I couple of locations I have been at are local cafes (Starbucks on Oxford St), Berkeley Public Library and the Berkeley City College Library. Often times during finals week, I see students typing vigorously at their laptops to finish final essays. It must be something due to the smell of caffeine that helps them concentrate and continue flows of ideas. The Berkeley Public Library (2090 Kittredge at Shattuck) is large, maybe not as big as Doe, but offers a very quite place to work at. There are many couches and various types of tables that people can choose from. Sometimes, to take a break from my textbooks, I would pick up a magazine or a mystery novel to pass some time. This year the Berkeley City College (2050 Center Street) underwent a lot of remodeling. When I passed by it this weekend, on my way to the Berkeley Farmer's Market, I was astonished by how beautiful and modern the campus looked. Although I have not used their library before, I have seen several Cal students coming out of the library. I am actually thinking of checking it out soon and will let you know how it went!

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Posted by Jenny Zhang at 2:38 | Permalink

06 May 2009

Plans for the Summer?

Finals season is almost here! It's amazing how quickly this semester has passed. By now, most of us are probably completing final projects or essays for classes and trying to squeeze in extra hours of studying for the final exams. I know that I get most stressed out about this period but knowing that summer is approaching helps to pull me through the next two weeks. I wanted to use this blog to talk about the myriad activities that you can get involved in during the summer. Some examples may be an paid/unpaid internship, research position, summer classes or even going abroad to study or volunteer. Summer is a perfect time to explore possible career options and set your foot in the real world. Do not be discouraged by the fact that it may be too late to apply for anything. In fact, now is a perfect time to ask your professor if s/he would like any help in his/her lab or even look up companies in yellow pages and call them if you can intern at their office.

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Posted by Jenny Zhang at 3:48 | Permalink

25 February 2009

Got Stress?

Can you believe it? Midterm 1 season has already begun! It seemed just a couple weeks ago that we were all making New Year's Resolutions and settling into the new semester. I am sure that most of you are taking harder courses compared to last semester. But that's okay! Don't stress. I remember being in the same position, faced with the tensions and nerves of taking Introduction to Organic Chemistry. But you'll realize that the challenge is great and will push you to think more critically than before. You'll realize that once you've convinced yourself that your harder courses and material are only going to help you become more intelligent, studying will no longer become a burden.

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Posted by Jenny Zhang at 9:40 | Permalink

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