Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The first three weeks at UCLA were exciting, I was happy to be in Los Angeles far away from home; most of all I was excited to experience being on my own. I was not home sick for those first three weeks, but I was very nervous and shy when it came to my classes ad getting to know other people. After the first month at UCLA I became very home sick but coped with it by webcamming with friends and calling my family every night.
Making it to UCLA is an accomplishment that I am very proud of but at the beginning of the school year I questioned my abilities and compared them to the ones of my peers, peers who obviously grew up in better environments and attended high schools that were extremely competitive. In high school I was used to being the top student who had no competition, but at UCLA I struggled and had to come to terms with accepting the fact that I was no longer the top student in the class; I now had to work ten times harder than I ever did in high school. I doubted my abilities the first quarter but throughout the first year I discovered that I was just as competitive and capable as all the other students, even if it took me longer to understand something.
Three things that I had to teach myself during my first year were:
I had to learn to read, and by "learn to read" I mean to comprehend and analyze in depth what I'm reading. I had to learn to read beyond the words on the paper; to think what the literature means and how this literature was relevant to the topic that I was studying and of course how I could expand the ideas that the writer focused on. I also had to learn to read faster, this is something I really wish I could have learned in high school.
I had to learn to write better and to write more than just one draft to be able to get a good grade.
I also had to change my study habits, the study habits that I had in high school were not helpful in college. I had to rethink my study habits, and change them to what would be most helpful to me.
Another thing I had to learn during my first year was to take care of myself. Once you are in college you won't have your parents there with you, and you have to be responsible with what you have to do. In college you won't have anyone to remind you to study or to go to class, or to even pay attention; all of this you have to do it on your own.
The best part of being in college was discovering new people, I truly believe that if I had not gone from the East Bay to Los Angeles I would have not met the many great people I know now. "Who would have I met in Richmond? or what would I be doing if I had not gone to college?" I really don't care to know the answers to these questions because I am having fun being in a new environment where everyone that surrounds me has a positive view of the future and cares about and education as much as I do.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Home, sweet home. There is nothing yummier than a homemade meal.
I arrived about an hour ago and in the six hour plane ride back to California I was thinking about the trip, the goods and the bads.
I will be able to make an informed decision on what school I want to go to. I got to meet Vassar and NYU in 3D which is way better than 2D (the only way you can meet them in the Internet and on the catalogs.) These schools are both good schools. I also got to see the neighborhoods around both schools and they seem very safe, not like how CSI:NY and Law and Order portrays New York City.
I am glad I was given this opportunity and I advise all students who have the chance to do this to do it too. Of course it would be better if students were to do it there junior year, where they could visit the schools that they are interested in, thus helping them narrow their list down.
It was cold! It was helpful but my opinion is that if more students are going to be given the chance to see colleges personally, it should be their Junior year.
I wish more people from our community were applying to these schools, there is so much outside of Richmond to see that it's insane, Richmond does not compare to any of these cities.
We need to get the word out that the West Contra Costa School District does exist! And I say this because of past experience where Mr. Ramsey, Jose Canchola and I attended a Brown informational session where everyone there was not a minority and where the Admissions Representative from our region did not even know where Richmond was! There is that question of "How do we do that?" I don't really know, but I do know that parents do need to be more supportive of their children.
AGAIN THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO MADE THIS TRIP POSSIBLE!
Friday, February 20, 2009
My mom and I went to NYU's informational session and tour, today was the coldest day of the three we have been here! It was really cold, I left the hotel with my hair wet and no joke the tips of my hair froze.
NYU was not as nice as Vassar, it is intertwined with the city and I think that's one reason why my mom didn't like it. She likes re more peaceful school, and I like a big city but we will see what happens. One thing I like about NYU is that there is more diversity as well as every dorm room has it's own personal bathroom!
If I get accepted to both NYU and Vassar it will be hard to choose between the two since they are different and both have things I am looking in a school.
Today is my last night here so my mom as I will go out to time square one last time.
Thanks for this opportunity, I had a great time and I learned a lot!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
My mother and I went to the Vassar College tour and informational session. I learned so much! I was the only senior out of all the students who were taking the tour and not surprising the only Mexican there. It was a little uncomfortable but I understood why that was that way. I learned that Vassar like Brown has an open curriculum where students can choose whatever classes they want. Something that I like.
I also visited the ALANA cultural center, which stands for African American, Latino/a, Asian American, and Native American. There I spoke with three girls Kristen, Indiana and Dronile. They told me about their situation there. They told me that they too came from schools that have 99% Latinos, 1% black and 0% white. They told me that now they are the minority and that it's difficult to talk about race with others in their school but that they still managed to make strong bonds with people there. What they like the most about being there is that they are going to graduate debt less and that financial aid is always willing to help as well as the fact that they have built strong bonds with their profesors. What they don't like is that it was hard to adjust but they are glad they are attending Vassar.
What I liked about the ALANA center was that everyone was so close, they were a community.
This was really helpful since I could relate to them.
My mother and I were tourists today! We went to Central Park, saw the Statue of Liberty, walked china town, and saw where the World Trade Center was. We walked a lot, used public transportation, and we didn't get lost! I like New York, it's very impressing.
Tomorrow my mom and I will be going to NYU!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
First we left the East Coast from Oakland and landed at JFK airport in New York. After that my mother and I took a bus to Penn Station, of course this was during rush hour and it was crazzzzzy (yes with that many "z's") ten times or even faster than San Francisco. Although everyone seemed to be minding there on business and walking pretty fast I didn't feel intimidated at all. I am surprised.
At Penn station we took the train to Poughkeepsie, NY, and my mother and I ate dinner.
I am excited and grateful for this chance, and I can't wait for tomorrow, I will be taking a tour of Vassar and afterwards I will be going back to New York City to see NYU. Well I am off to get some sleep, have to make a good impression, starting with being well rested.
By the way, It was sunny when I got to NY and not too cold. But Poughkeepsie is by far colder than New York City.