Hello fellow ILC students,
My name is Adriana Ramirez, and I graduated from Richmond High School in 2009. I am now currently a junior at UCLA studying psychology and political science.
I am very thankful for all the opportunities that the Ivy League Connection has provided for me and many more students, and thus the program is very deserving of the award.
I just finished my 7th quarter at UCLA and I can give some pieces of advice I didn't get from other people but had to learn on my own. College is VERY different than High School, looking back at my High School years I can say that not much effort had to be put into my work to get good grades, and now in college I feel like I have to give more effort than ever. Reading hundreds of pages a week, and keeping up with papers, homework, work and social life is very difficult. There are many decisions to be made and in College no one is there to tell you what decisions are best and which aren't, you're on your own.
This past quarter was one of my hardest quarters, I decided to take more work than I could handle. I work part-time at school, 20 hours a week, I am part of a student organization, did community service, and took 3 of the most difficult classes in both of my majors. I ended up having to drop a class to focus on my other two classes, had a family emergency the day before my midterms and ended up failing both of my midterms. I cried a lot after seeing I was failing but what got me through was knowing that I have worked so hard all my life to be where I am, I couldn't give up so easily, and I hope that none of you are ever in this type of situation, but if you are, you should know that it's okay to not be perfect but rising from your failures is what matters the most. I had to work ten times harder than ever to raise those F's... and I did it. I passed my two classes and I am still maintaining above a 3.0 GPA.
In high school I was a 4.3 GPA student and it was heart aching to see myself failing, but you know things happen and we have to pull through. So my piece of advice for anyone who is college bound is, take a work load that works for you, do not over work yourself. We tend to believe we can do everything but we are human and we make mistakes, but what counts is what you do to rise from your falls.
This quarter what I've learned the most is to grow up, and suck it up if I am ever in an unpleasant predicament. College is not just about studying but also about growing up, no one will be there to baby you, cook for you, take care of you, you have to do this on your own and keep up with your responsibilities.. and that's something I thought I had already learned but I really experienced it this past quarter. I am glad that ILC gives students a taste of the college lifestyle in its summer programs, because it does get your ready for what living far away from home and taking care of yourself is like, If I had not experienced that early on I don't think I would have succeeded this past quarter.
Final advice: Keep your head up when the going is tough, and don't ever give up, things do work out.
P.S. sorry that my response is more of a depressing one but I feel like it's a side of college that I feel is important to share... It's not always perfect but it's also not terrible, its a process of learning not just academic but also personal learning.