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Advice from the experts — Cal's latest graduates

In their four years (or more) at UC Berkeley, students learn a few things — not least of which is how to make the most of their experience here. NewsCenter staff fanned out at Commencement Convocation last May to ask the Class of 2003 what they wish they'd known about Cal when they were freshmen. Comment

Nanita DeGuzman'Study what you really like. I came in as a business major and wasted a semester taking classes I didn't enjoy. And I wish I'd enjoyed myself more my last semester. Remember to have fun.'
—Nanita DeGuzman, Economics graduate
Lin Hsu'A memory is worth more than a grade — I've stuck by that all this last semester. But make sure to graduate. Also, see all the major stuff on campus that you can — I just went and saw the Big C [for Cal] last week, which is sad.'
—Lin Hsu, Computer Science graduate

Trinidad Contreras'Save money — school's not going to be cheap anymore.'
—Trinidad Contreras, Molecular & Cell Biology/Native American Studies graduate
Lisa McIntire'Study abroad for a year. You won't regret it.'
—Lisa McIntire, English graduate

Patricia Hernandez'Don't procrastinate for finals. Don't wait 'til the last minute to do your readings.'
—Patricia Hernandez, Latin American Studies/Spanish graduate
Matthew Eagle'Work hard. It ain't going to happen for you otherwise.'
—Matthew Eagle, Philosophy graduate

Galen Hancock'Seek the advice of upperclassmen. Ask about courses, professors, what is worth your time, and what isn't.'
—Galen Hancock, Science and Math graduate
Nedaa Hannoun'Take it cool. Don't study too hard — that's not the way to succeed. Be yourself and enjoy every minute at Cal.'
—Nedaa Hannoun, Applied Mathematics graduate

Karen Harichandran'Join a student group. If you get too caught up in dorm life, you're going to miss an awful lot. Take the time to look and explore all there is to do here. Don't wait to start looking until you are a senior.'
—Karen Harichandran, Economics graduate
Michelle Martin and daughter'Plan out your classes so you're not all over the place. Decide your major early on and stay focused so you're not a junior freaking out about all the classes you still have to take. And if you have kids, live in family student housing. It's great!'
—Michelle Martin, African-American Studies graduate

Rosette Monzon'Take your time. Enjoy the campus, try to have fun, and don't take school too seriously.'
—Rosette Monzon, Nutritional Science graduate
Lauren van den Hewvel'Savor every moment, even the exams and the hard stuff. Your time here goes by so quickly. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.'
—Lauren van den Hewvel, English graduate

Eva Yee'Have as much fun as possible in college — grades aren't the most important thing. You can succeed academically and still have fun and make great friends. Oh, and no one ever likes their major, so just stick with it anyway.'
—Eva Yee, History/Economics graduate
Erwin Ong'Study abroad, dude, that's the thing. Go to the Big Game. Drink in the Bear's Lair ... when you're 21.'
—Erwin Ong, Molecular & Cell Biology graduate