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Commencement 2004

UC Berkeley Web Feature

What have you learned that you wish you'd known as a freshman?

Alisha Bergin'Number one, do NOT sign up at the credit card tables. And try to work in the community; give something back while you're here.'
—Alisha Bergin, political science and African-American studies, Los Angeles, CA
Hanni Fakhoury'Try to make as many friends as you possibly can. Join student groups, talk to people in class — don't be afraid to approach people. We're all in the same boat.'
—Hanni Fakhoury, history and political science, Concord, CA
Bren Myer'Get to know your classmates — you'll be living with them for four or more years. You can't get through this all by yourself; it's too hard.'
—Bren Myer, civil engineering, Alameda, CA
Astrid Gonzalez'You have to go to class, especially lectures. Don't think you can just sleep in. And take your time picking your major.'
—Astrid Gonzalez, social welfare, Duartie, CA
Nadine Nassif'Work hard and get involved, but at the same time, don't forget to have fun.'
—Nadine Nassif, political science, Alameda, CA
charles Smith'Follow your passion, not your parents'. Otherwise all you might get are F's and C's.'
—Charles Smith, psychology, Berkeley, CA
Matthew Quiring'Distinguish yourself in classes you love, and go to your professors' office hours. Getting to know them will help later when you have to ask for recommendations. Look through the whole catalog and be adventurous about you choices. That's not just a way to discover your own hidden talents, but it enriches the classes for others to have people from outside the department in the mix.'
—Matthew Quiring, psychology, Fresno, CA
Emily Teruya'When I was a freshman, I didn't know anything: I was confused all the time. You have to take the initiative and not just listen to what your adviser has to say. You can approach professors; they're not as hard to talk to as it seems.'
—Emily Teruya, Native American studies and ethnic studies, Oakland, CA
Amanda Knudsen 'It's easy to get lost here, but not if you make an effort not to. Join things. Take small classes and get to know the people in them.'
—Amanda Knudsen, political science and French double, Lundington, MI
Daniel Tello'Find out how much your major makes before you declare it. I wish I'd done that.'
—Daniel Tello, psychology, Fairfield, CA
Sam Asgarian'Make sure you have a digital camera because you'll really use it all four years. I just got one and I've taken more pictures in the last few months than I did my whole time here.'
—Sam Asgarian, molecular and cell biology, Fremont, CA
Sarah Tisdale'To get as much as you can from Berkeley, you have to do more than just your homework and passing your classes. You have to seek out things that will benefit you in what you're going to pursue, like internships.'
—Sarah Tisdale, sociology, Santa Cruz, CA
Shaden Sarafzadeh'Don't buy books from the bookstore; they're overpriced. Buy them from former students. And avoid the country-fried steak in the dining commons.'
—Shaden Sarafzadeh, molecular and cell biology, Woodland Hills, CA
Trina DeHaan'I learned this late, but going to class really does improve your grades and significantly reduces the amount of time you have to spend on homework. Live in the moment and remember to enjoy your college experience — it just flies by otherwise.'
—Trina DeHaan, linguistics, Salt Lake City, UT