I participated in the Physics program at the University of Pennsylvania during the summer before my senior year of high school in 2012. The Ivy League Connection was truly an eye-opening experience for me. Prior to my program I was convinced that the East Coast—thousands of miles away from home—was the perfect place for me to attend college. Through the ILC I learned that I was best suited closer to home.
I have just finished up my first quarter at UC Riverside where I am a Neuroscience major. College is tough. Last week my suitemates and I came to the conclusion that while we were all used to striving to get 4.0 GPAs in high school, most students in college are simply striving to pass their classes. Luckily I came in with enough college credits that I acquired during my high school education to have sophomore standing at the university, but classes were still tough for me nonetheless. Attending Middle College High School I thought I had a pretty good idea of academic freedom, but the freedom I now have in college is immense. Breadth course requirements really allow you to expand your knowledge in many different areas. This past quarter I took Comparative Politics, Introduction to Psychology, and a course on smartphones, electronics, and mobile internet. My advice is to really take time to figure out exactly what you’re interested in. Use breadth courses to explore different areas and absorb all the knowledge that you can.
I know this is something you probably hear a lot but DON’T PROCRASTINATE! Keep a schedule and stick to it. Sure long nights spent in the common room “studying” and socializing are what make the college experience memorable but the long nights and early mornings soon can take a toll on your grades.
Although I have only been a student at a university for a short 10 weeks, I have learned so much. College really is a great opportunity that not many are blessed with so use this time to learn about yourself and the world around us.
Best of luck to you all,