Tags: UCLA, first generation
Institution: University of California Los Angeles
Study: Major in biochemistry
High School Experience
My high school experience was overall a really helpful experience. Getting to know people and grow as a person was essential for me because I was kind of a shy person. I really enjoyed being a part of student government. I started junior year as a rep then got executive president for my senior year. It was fulfilling to me to set up events for my student body to enjoy and to be part of something bigger than just myself. Something that I didn’t particularly like about high school was the information lacking to students. As a first generation college student, like every other, I feel like I had to go through extensive research just to gain the same amount of information that people with parents who went to college would have already known. I wish I would’ve taken advantage of the dual enrollment opportunities but I wasn’t aware of them until I did my own research sophomore year second semester.
I took 8 APs. 1 my sophomore year, 3 my junior year, and 4 my senior year. I only passed the one from my sophomore year but it was AP spanish so at least it satisfies a foreign language requirement. I also took 26 semester units of college courses.
I based my application off of leadership. I was the ASB executive president, NHS President, school site council member, and student representative for the School Board of Education. I did other extracurriculars but those were the ones I put on my application because they were most relevant.
Letters of recommendation weren’t needed for my UC application, but for the common app I was able to get stellar letters of recommendations from my principal activities director and science teacher of 3 years who is also the NHS advisor.
My narrative or theme to my application was based on being a first generation college student and overcoming obstacles that come with it but also toward leadership and service to my school.
I believe what made me a strong applicant was that I stood out amongst my senior class so I was chosen as the representative of my area. I come from California so that may also play into it.
Yes, I even applied for the AAPs freshman summer program for underrepresented students who are given the opportunity to earn credits during the summer. I'm also a first generation student.