S O . . . D O Y O U guys remember that post in which I reflected on 2012 and said I wanted to write more about 'serious' things? Well, today, although the title seems pretty facetious, we're going to talk about a very serious matter: school. Now before you run off and unfollow this blog, hear me out for a sec. Instead of droning on and on about why school, more specifically, college is cool; I decided to compile a [semi] succinct list.
- You get to meet new people and make new friends
- The food's pretty good
- You're independent- ain't no parents telling you what you to do no mo' (Count THOSE double negatives)
- You get to learn what you want: ie English, Engineering, Math.
- You'll be richer: The LA Times reports college grads make 84% than high school grads
- It's actually, kinda, maybe... rewarding?
Running short on time, but you get the idea, right? Now the reason why I'm writing this today is because about a little less than a year ago, I was accepted into my dream school and in my complete euphoria, I made a video on my YouTube channel stating my stats (GPA, APs, etc), what schools I applied to, where I got into and was rejected to, and even interviewed some peeps from my high school to share their studying tips or general advice. I even told you guys where I was going to school (where I am now by the way) but it seems that with the increasing number of subscribers, along came an increasing number of creepy men who want to see my feet. Ergo, I took it down for safety purposes. I didn't think I would be getting any more questions pertaining to this very topic, but it seems to my pleasant surprise that a lot of you gals are interesting in higher edjumacation! (I kinda, maybe, actually really wanna give you all a "You Go, Girl!" pin right now.) Anyway, before I digress any more, I'll give you the nitty gritty of what I said in my "How I Got Into College Video," based on recent and the most frequent questions I've been getting emailed/tweeted/messaged.
- I attend a four-year university and am getting a Bachelor of Arts degree in either Communication or Sociology. Don't really know. Technically undeclared-humanities. (Sorry, I can't tell which school, but if you dig deep - ok not even that deep - you'll find it somewhere on this 'ole blog.)
- I applied to 8 schools in total and was accepted into 7: UC Berkeley (rejected), UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara (honors program), UC Davis (full ride, honors program), UC Irvine (honors program), CSULB (scholarship), and NYU (scholarship). In the end, I chose my dream school despite the money... I was really, really close to going to NYU.
My stats in high school
- COURSES: I took 7 AP or Advanced Placement classes (my school did not offer IB but it's essentially the same thing) along with an additional 7-8 honors classes. I am not being racist but my town was predominantly Asian and extremely competitive in academics and so 7-8 APs was considered the average. (The crazy overachievers took 10+!) All schools offer different AP classes but if you are curious as to know which ones I took: World, US History, Biology, English Lang, English Lit, Psychology, Calculus AB. I passed all of them with either 4s or 5s. Got a 3 in AP Bio though- science ain't my strong suit evidently. Yes, I'm still bitter.
- GPA: Got 4 B's throughout high school, I think. But unweighted it was 3.83. Weighted it was a 4.2.
- EXTRACURRICS: I had three jobs: I founded & maintained my own business, I blogged professionally for companies ie. Claire's and was partnered with Youtube; I tutored at an academy every school day for 2+ years and on my own, for one year (I even had fliers!). I was a 3 year member (fundraising director, secretary) of my environmental club and a member of the National Honors Society and Key Club along with a few other things, but those were the main things. I did a total of 200+ volunteer hours (but that was considered the minimum, I think.)
- CLASS RANK: Was 30/508, I think. My memory is evidently hazy.
- SAT: Took it once got a 2020, got cocky and took it again. Ended up with a 2050 noncumulative, 2130 cumulative. Didn't take the ACT.
I just want to make it clear that these stats are specific to myself; My other friends had totally different SAT scores and grades and we all ended up in similar places. I am just sharing these to give you an idea of what I did in high school but by no means am I making this an example of what a typical student accepted at such-and-such college should look like. If you want the best idea on what your dream school's accepted student looks like, you can usually google their 2011-2012 Average Admitted Freshman Profile list! That's what I did. And guess what? I fell short of my dream school's but hey, man, there's hope since I'm here now!
At last... what tips I do have? How did I "stay motivated"? Should you make a store, YouTube channel, any other "unique and special" thing? Any advice for the application process? Words on getting rejected?
- As cliché as it sounds... Do school for you. And only you. I always say this line, "My parents: breaking the Asian stereotype since 1994," because my parents never forced me to do anything. They always supported me but never were truly involved in my school life. They would open the report card and perhaps acknowledge my grades but never once did they scold me or tell me to do better. And this was because they knew I truly did school for myself. I wanted to be successful on my own, and I honestly believe that is the best way to stay motivated: by doing things for yourself. So you don't want an A on that test? Then don't study. Or maybe you want that A because getting As are freaking awesome? Then study. But don't ever study because you think an A will make your parents proud. It should make you proud. Do it for you.
- Get yo' sleep and eat breakfast! My friends would always do all-nighters- heck, they even bragged about it. I still haven't done an all-nighter to this day and truth be told, just the thought frightens me. What can I say? I love sleep! In high school, the least amount of hours I ever got was 4 hours and that was just because I was working on a freaking 18th birthday collage for one of my close friends. I don't care what you say- there is always time to sleep. And for myself, I could never read a US History text book and retain information if I kept falling asleep every second! So what I learned to do was re-work my sleeping hours: sleep at 10pm and get up at 3am and study until school started which was a good 4 hours later. I was always energized and the house would always be so quiet (because everyone would be sleeping) that it would be a great time to study and it worked a lot better than sleeping at 2am and waking up groggy the next morning. Same goes for breakfast: always eat it. Simple as that.
- Study hard, play hard. I'm a strong believer in rewards. So during my junior year of high school (which is undoubtably the toughest year of your high school career), my friends and I would always without fail go out on Friday nights. A GNO, if you will. We always went out to restaurants and laughed and talked and just hung out and celebrate the fact that AP Bio test was finally over (and ridiculously difficult). It was more so about being able to rewind from all the week's stress than about eating comely and incredibly unhealthy food. BJ's was our joint, man. Pizookie, anyone?! I learned this somewhere in psychology that children also react better towards rewards than punishment. And we're all children at heart, right? So during finals week, because I worked three jobs and had a bit of dough on me all the time, I would say if I got all A's, I would treat myself to a new pair of shoes. It's a strategy I use to this day.
- Do things you like. Don't do things because you saw someone else do it and it worked for them, and certainly don't do things because you think you have to. Join ASB because you like being friendly and social and outgoing and taking charge. Be a part of the green club because you actually think saving the planet is important. Keep in mind that colleges don't look for everyone doing the same thing- they look for people with strong interests! While I know it's hard to resist the urge to want to do something because someone else did it, try to resist it! A lot of the time I get girls messaging me how I started my store and how they can for college or if they should start a YouTube channel for college and while I think these things are awesome, I think the reasons or intentions are not. I didn't do any of these activities thinking "hey this will be great for college so I'm going to do it!" It actually went more along the lines of "...Dang it, what can I add to my college app? Oh hey, I made a store a couple years ago! Sweet!" Also, when you do things you like, you find it easier to manage. Likewise, I know it's hard not to join your school's sports team or debate team or key club or whatever with your parents yelling down your back "it's for college! You have to do something!!" but try not to listen too much of that. Do what you want because at the end of the day, you're going to college, not them. And again with the clichés... but don't forget that you're living for yourself.
Yowza, that was a mouthful. Well if you've made it this far, I just wanted to congratulate you and your "You Go, Girl!" is being shipped to your house as we type. No, but really. I hope you get into the school of your dreams and even if you don't, things truly happen for a reason. People learn to eventually love their schools regardless if they were first choices or not. And transferring is a great option and also a huge money saver. Ultimately, though, just making the decision to further your education is an admirable one. So stay cool. Stay smart. As Rivers Cuomo of Weezer said it best, "Where did all these smart girls come from?"
Also although nothing warms my heart more than tons of young girls interested in pursuing higher education, those folks who have been asking how college has been for myself and if I've been feeling better have been equally making my heart warm and fuzzy. For the record: college has been absolutely and incredibly awesome and I'm feeling much, much better. (I'm actually feeling so much better I'm off to study for midterms now!)
PS. I know acceptances have started rolling out. Please feel free to let me know where you're getting accepted!! UCR, anyone? :-)