Hi everyone! My name is Cynthia Gaw and I am a fourth year Environmental Sciences major with a Toxicology minor. Coming to Cal was definitely an experience. Even before I got here people were scaring me about the academics and I constantly kept hearing the phrase "find your own niche at Cal". I didn't really pay attention to the second piece of advice when I first came and I got so lost my Freshman year. Berkeley has a huge student community it is very easy to get lost in, especially with the multitudes of clubs and organizations that you can explore. Amidst all of this I had CNR, CNR provides a smaller college setting inside a bigger university, I found myself stopping by a lot just because it was one place on campus I felt like I knew. The college and its staff provided a lot of support for me as my advisor encouraged me despite how I felt about my grades and she was always there to answer questions. The PALs were awesome in helping out with classes and just questions in general as well.
As a PAL I hope to give back to the student community and help other students find their niche at Cal. It took me a while to find the organizations that I was interested in and felt passionate about and I want to help them find that group of people that makes the whole Cal experience great. Not only that but I also want to show people that you don't need to give up a major that you love in order to pursue your dreams. As a Pre-med I have always been told to be MCB or IB but instead I chose Environmental Science because it's a subject I have been interested since childhood. So don't be afraid to study what you want to study, if you know what you want to do and are willing to work to make it happen it will happen! If you have any questions about clubs, ES, study abroad or anything come talk to me and I'll be happy to do my best to help :].
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