Tags: UC Berkeley
Institution: University of California Berkeley
Study: Major in electrical engineering and computer science
High School Experience
I actually really liked high school! I did IB and the ib community at my school was super supportive and strong. I also was involved in clubs, sports, and leadership. I genuinely loved all of my friends and they all pushed me to do well in school. I also really liked most of my teachers so I built relationships with many of them! I can’t really think of anything right now that I didn’t like in high school.
Being in the IB Program my course selection was pretty set in stone so I didn’t have that much freedom with it. I actually took risks with my course selections like taking IB computer science and art (with no experience in either).
I was a diploma candidate and took IB English HL, History of America’s HL, Studio Art HL, Comp Sci SL, Math SL, and Spanish SL. I didn’t take 5 of the exams due to COVID-19 but I did take the CS Exam and got a 4 on it.
SAT superscore: 1350
SAT Math 2: 730
SAT Literature: 500
I had a lot of different interests. I was very active in my cultural clubs—Asian Pacific Islander Club (APIC) for all 4 years and Latinos Unidos for 2 years. In APIC I was a social event planning chair and co president, and in Latinos Unidos I was part of a committee. I was in this club called Hispanic Engineers and Scientists which was a junior chapter of a local university. I was in the club for 2 years and served as secretary. I also joined the cheer team my junior year. I did competitive + sideline cheer my first year then just sideline my senior year to ease my schedule. I‘ve been tutoring local elementary school students in math for 2 years and participated in math competitions very briefly in my sophomore year with the mathletes club. I did a statewide youth government program for two years. My first year I was in the mock trial program where I won my first case and my second year I interviewed for the appointed position of a deputy secretary of state and I got it. My final year of high school I also interviewed for ASB + IB leadership and did both.
My relationship with my teachers were great! I genuinely loved them and trust them! I often went to talk to them during office hours and such.
I didn’t have a theme to my essays or I at least didn’t intend to have any. I generally wrote about my cultural identity and interests. Also just really reflected on my high school experience and how it shaped me into the person I am today.
Personally I think what made me a strong applicant (which I really didn’t even think I was) was my GPA, my involvements, and my course selections.
I’d say definitely try to surround yourself with people who support you and will help you in times of need. Perhaps similar minded people with the same goals so there’s some relatability. Try new things and really step out of your comfort zone, it helped me a lot with figuring out my interests!
I chose this university because it was both the best (in terms of quality of education) and cheapest of my options!