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Learning Props from Profs

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AUGUST 17, 2011

Berkeley is a world-class university with innumerable opportunities. Professors say the only way to take advantage of these opportunities is to realize that these opportunities won’t come to you. You have to go get them.

College is more than just going to class and pulling all-nighters. This is the time to reward your brain with critical thinking instead of brute memorization. Don’t forget that your professors are brilliant — they will see through last-minute bullshit essays and the regurgitated facts you spit back in multiple-choice exams.

Whether you have a superficial, anonymous, mediocre experience, or a challenging, enriching, and transformative experience — that’s up to you. Don’t settle for anonymity and the minimum. Understand that this is a unique time in your life, and that you own it.Brian DeLay, history (Left)

Take a diversity of classes in your first year or two to expose yourself to a broad range of topics and ways of thinking. Find something you’re passionate about and pursue it. You don’t need to declare a major right away, and there’s time to change your mind if you find something more interesting. — Alex Filippenko,  astronomy (right)



Work is the key to success — as a corollary to this idea, it helps if you actually have some passion for the subject matter. If you have a passion for the material, it makes it much easier to put in the work to achieve success. — John Huelsenbeck, biology (left)



One of my grandfathers, the son of German immigrants, told us kids, “Get all the education you can; it’s the only thing no one can take away from you. — Kathryn Klar, Celtic studies (right)

Contact Jonathan Tam at 


AUGUST 21, 2011