We asked CollegeSpring alumni from our first academic-year programs–who are starting college this fall–to pass on words of wisdom and advice to the seniors at their high schools who are just beginning the college application process. Here is the response we received from Geovanny Perez, currently a first-year student at the University of California, Riverside.
I actually have started college through a Summer Bridge program here at UCR. I take classes and have already moved into my permanent dorm room for the fall. I’m excited for the fall because I will be one step ahead of my peers. I have been acquainted with all of the buildings, resources on campus, and met many people who are in the same position as me in the fall. One of the most exciting things about taking this first step into my college career is that it eased my transition into college. In the fall, instead of feelings overwhelmed with the 21,000 students, I will be able to serve as guidance to my classmates and help anyone who is need or feels lonely. Although I have yet to start experiencing college with a full campus, I want to let current seniors know to take advantage of everything their college has to offer. For example, this Summer Bridge program has helped me find all the resources I need on campus and get a head start on my education. So please seniors, take advantage of any opportunity that may come up when you start school.
The Summer Before
I knew that I didn’t want to waste my summer before college but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. When the Summer Bridge opportunity was offered to me, I immediately applied and made sure my spot was secure with the program. I was excited. I was starting school before all of my other classmates. I was going to meet my roommates and get comfortable with them before the fall quarter would begin. I was just so excited to start this new chapter in my life. I knew it was going to be work and it was not going to be easy but I also knew that this opportunity could not escape from me. Therefore, my summer before college was going to productive and helpful towards my college experience overall.
Tips for Senior Year
When applying to college, make sure you are thinking about what you are doing. Do not apply to colleges because you want to impress your friends, family, or boyfriend or girlfriend. Please apply to colleges that are in your best interests. Do some research! Figure out if the college you are applying to has your major, has activities that interest you, has housing or not, etc. Make sure once you have chosen the colleges that were right for YOU, explore them. Take tours, find people who attended or have visited the colleges, or even find out if they have fly-out programs. You are going to be at your college for four years, if not longer, therefore you should know all it has to offer. Once you have selected all of the colleges to your best interest, know all of their deadlines like the back of your hand. You do not want to be finishing your personal statements or supplements the night before the applications are due. Make a schedule, proofread your applications, make other people proofread your applications, and give those applications your all. You will be sorry when your dream school is not able to accept you because you forgot to turn in a supplement or you didn’t complete the application. Be careful and good luck!
Words of Encouragement
You guys are seniors, which means it is supposed to be the most fun year of your high school career but it also should mean hard work. You are applying to college, filling out your FAFSA and CSS Profile and you do not want to get caught up in fun and forget about your business. Once you get to college it is going to seem like ten times the amount of work from high school, and it is. Just make sure you don’t fall behind in high school with your deadlines because it is better to be safe then sorry. Like I mentioned before, you do not want to miss opportunities that are presented to you because you were not paying attention. If you see an opportunity grab it!
Best of luck to our recent grads and to the CollegeSpring graduating class of 2014!