Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stephanie Chan

Hello Mr. Ramsey and fellow ILC students, My name is Stephanie Chan and I can finally say that I survived my first year of college! I attend UC Davis as a Managerial Economics major and am very happy with my decision. (Currently, I am in Paris, the city of love, studying abroad for seven weeks!) It feels as if I just moved into my dorm yesterday, and now I have moved out of the dorm already. While time flies, it is important to find a balance between your social life, health, and academics. It is definitely a struggle to balance all three, especially during midterm and finals week, but it will definitely be rewarding in the end. If there was one thing I could re-do, I would have without a doubt, taken advantage of my local community college courses and take as many AP tests as possible. Why? Freshmen that come in with units are granted an earlier pass time, which gives them the advantage to ensure a spot for the classes they need/want. I'm not a science major, but I know for a fact that it is not fun when you can't take the classes you absolutely need. Not only does it give you one step ahead of your peers, but often times, most courses transfer over for General Education(GE) requirements, or simply just add to your needed number of units to graduate. The same goes for AP credits. The best part of it is that you have a good chance of graduating early--- and who wouldn't want to do that? Secondly, I would have taken up a job in high school. During that time, I thought high school was enough already, but the truth is, college is ten times more rigorous and demanding. My parents never pushed me to find a job either because they wanted me to focus on my academics and I partly agree. Personally, I have been looking for jobs on our school's job search engine, and I discovered that some minimum wage jobs require cash handling experience from one to two years. That definitely hindered me from applying to a handful of job openings. If I had taken a job at a coffee shop or the mall, it would have allowed me to be 'eligible' to apply. Nevertheless, I've also made very smart decisions that had great turnouts. 1) I chose to room with random roommates. Yes, it's a hit or a miss. However, rooming with complete strangers allow you to be more open-minded to the different opinions/values of others. It also enables you to learn how to share a common space and be flexible to others preferences. 2) As I mentioned above, I am currently in Paris, France studying abroad. I had the privilege to apply to the same program as my older sister, Stacy, who attends UC Berkeley. We are studying French 1 and 2, and also Paris as Palimpsest which is a history/culture course. In the beginning, I was hesitant whether studying abroad as a first-year is a good idea. I can say that it is probably the most rewarding decision I have made for myself. Not only does it give me a chance to learn about the people and culture of Paris, but also to learn through a different and much smaller setting. While a typical UC lecture hall seats around 300+, my French class has only 18 students, and my Palimpsest class has about 20 students. It's an entirely different scene because the professor has the time and ability to give attention to every student and knows each student by name rather than by their ID number. I've finally adjusted to the differences here after two weeks, and I had my difficulties, yet traveling abroad really opened my mind to new people, ideas, classes, food, architecture, and history. The ILC is all about opening your mind, and this experience certainly does that. I strongly encourage everyone to study abroad if you have the chance to do so, and it is never too early to start. I look forward to studying abroad again in the near future. Warm Regards, Stephanie Chan Hercules High School 2011 UC Davis 2015

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