Tags: UCLA, first generation
Institution: University of California Los Angeles
Study: Major in mathematics
High School Experience
I have conflicted emotions towards high school. I learned a lot about myself and became so much more confident in the span of four years. I wasn’t the biggest fan of large group settings like rallies, though, because I get very anxious. I met a lot of people and solidified my friend group but I also can’t say I’ll miss anything about being at school except for them.
I was in a program called the Wonderful Academy based around agriculture my entire four years so that molded my academic interests throughout my high school career. I actually didn’t get to choose my courses because of it but I essentially took agriculture based classes and had a lot of hands-on experiences I enjoyed.
I actually wasn’t able to take any AP/IB courses in high school because I was dually enrolled.
I was involved in tennis (1 year), CSF (4 years), a student leadership club (2 years), and student body (1 year). I was Vice President of the student leadership club and secretary for class office my junior year.
I have a handful of teachers I could ask for a recommendation letter and have it completed no questions asked. I feel like I’d even go as far to say they were second parental figures in my life (as a first generation student they were able to guide me through the college application process and help me with things my parents wouldn’t).
I chose to write a narrative for each of my essays but I did make sure to maintain the theme of ‘Making a Change for the Better’. A brief overview of what I wrote: mental health, starting up a club, dual enrollment in high school, and self discipline through TaeKwonDo.
I personally feel that my essays and my dual enrollment made me a stronger applicant. I vented a lot of emotion into my college essays (to the point it was therapeutic).
I want to remind you to never sell yourself short. I applied to top schools with the mindset that I’d automatically be rejected. This September I’ll be attending my dream school. You’re the main character in the story of your life so take risks and make it more interesting.
I am a first generation student, so the college application process was something entirely new to me. I’d stay after school with one of my teachers and ask for their help filling it out. This went on from September to November, but the extra effort paid off I feel like.
I got the opportunity to tour UCLA on a field trip and I loved so many things about it. The cafeteria food was immaculate. The campus looked as big as my home town, and the area is perfect for visiting family that live nearby.