Greetings ILC students!
My name is Lucina Parada and I am currently a sophomore at UC Berkeley. I graduated from Pinole Valley HS, class of 2009 and I was very fortunate to experience the ILC at Cornell University summer of 2008. I’m currently getting all the relaxing in before I go back to school on the 18th and face yet another semester of piles of reading and endless pages of writing. Unlike high school, you’re expected to read approximately 75-150 pages per week for one class. While it’s a daunting task, I enjoy being able to make connections between I learn in the lecture and what I hear in the media. College has taught me a lot about time management, which makes it easier to balance school and extracurricular activities. This year, I joined the Cal Band, which is a huge time commitment but it’s worth it. When you get to college, don’t be afraid to get involved in different activities. It’s a great way to make friends and to make the campus just a bit smaller.
As for the daunting college process that’s ahead, I’ll be the first to say to you, it’ll stress you out. However, think of it not only as a place where you’ll be getting the best education, but where you’ll be the happiest. Take into account what you like the best out of school, be it academics, school spirit, an array of extracurricular activities, etc. When it came to making my decision, it was probably the hardest month of my life. I was taken aback when I received not only an acceptance letter for Berkeley, but one from Cornell University too. I had gotten in to my top two choices and I had the option of staying 30 minutes away from home or moving 3,000 miles across the country and only coming home approximately three times during the entire year. Although I was torn over where to go, I knew I’d get an amazing education at both schools. In the end, I chose Berkeley over Cornell. I knew I wasn’t ready to move across the country when I could take advantage of the world’s best research university. However, I keep Cornell close to my heart because without the experience I had at the university summer 2008, I don’t know that I would be where I am today.
Overall, I’m happy where I am today. I’m living at home and commuting to school everyday, which is a bit of a hassle, but just knowing that I’m getting a great education and I’m representing the university through the Cal Band makes it all worth it.
Good luck this summer and choosing your colleges!