Friday, December 23, 2011

Julie Liang

Again, congratulations on the Golden Bell Award; it is definitely well deserved.

My third semester at UC Berkeley was definitely a busy one. I moved back home in order to save money, and now I commute by car every day to get to class. I also started working a part-time job on top of working for my parents one day a week. I switched my major to Chemistry from Chemical Engineering, and I joined a biofuel research group on campus. This entire semester has been a battle to efficiently manage my time.

Moving back home after spending a year in the dorms was a challenge. I added about 45 minutes to my commute every day, and I was cut off from most campus activities. But the experience helped me become more organized with my time; and surprisingly, I actually got more done than I did while living in the dorms, which just goes to show that living at home is not necessarily limiting my experience.

I took my first chemical engineering class this semester and I learned that chem eng is definitely not for me. Switching my major was a difficult decision because a chemical engineer is virtually guaranteed a job right out of college. Not having the same kind of job security was a worry I considered before switching to chemistry. But I realized that I would rather do something I loved than waste four years of my life and my future doing something I did not find exciting.

I remember mentioning in one of my previous e-mails that going to office hours for your professor is a very good idea. This actually paid off this semester because when I e-mailed my previous professor to ask about working in his lab, he remembered me from his class! I'm not sure I would've gotten the position if I had not gone to his office hours. I look forward to next semester and will definitely share my experiences working for a research lab.

Julie Liang

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