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July 20, 2010 > College tips from graduates

College tips from graduates

Follow their advice and you could potentially get into that college of your dreams

By Rajeswari Ramanathan
Photos By courtesy of the students

While summertime means vacation and relaxing to many, it also happens to be the best time to begin those lengthy college applications. Even applying for a job or two could add up to earning a lot of savings for college. College applications are one of the deciding factors of whether or not a student gets into the school of his or her dreams. In addition to high SAT scores, an outstanding GPA and all those scholarships, a well-rounded college application with a strong personal statement is extremely important. For college-bound seniors who are beginning their college applications this summer, here are some tips from graduates of our local high schools.

Kylan Nieh - Mission San Jose High School Class of 2010 - University of California, Berkeley:
"Community college is such a smart way to go. So many people take community colleges for granted. I know a whole bunch of students who look down on students who decide to go to community college and then decide to transfer. Also, there are so many great institutions like Ohlone who have an automatic transfer to some UCs."

Jennifer Siew- Irvington High School Class of 2010 - Drexel University:
"Most high school students worry about sounding 'unique' in their personal statements and 'being different,' but to be quite honest, no matter the circumstances you've been through, it's incredibly probable that someone else is writing about a similar occurrence, if not the exact thing. Instead, put yourself on the page, write the way you think, make your piece unique in the way you're unique; give it a personality. In the end, the college that reads it and asks you to join their team of students is the college that wants YOU, not someone else."

Willis Chan - Newark Memorial High School Class of 2001- University of California, Los Angeles:
"There is no rush to choose a major. Understand your passions and interests before committing to a major for four to five years. Research and visit your top five colleges. There are a lot more options out there than you are presented with."

Kaylee Miu - Washington High School Class of 2010 - University of California, San Diego:
"Make it your job to apply to as many scholarships as you can! Talk to your career counselor and you'll be surprised at how many local organizations are giving out free money. It may seem tedious, but it really will be well worth it at the end."

Denzil D'Sa - John F. Kennedy High School Class of 2010 - University of California, Berkeley:
"Make sure that when writing your personal statements, address topics unique to your personality and lifestyle. I found that writing about myself became a lot easier when I wrote about events that majorly impacted my life and my view of the world. Make sure to start brainstorming early, because the longer you wait, the more stress you will be faced with later."

Jennifer Lee - James Logan High School Class of 2010 - Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising:
"The most important thing you need to remember is that you should make your own decisions and follow your own dreams; there is no point in going to UC Berkeley for Business if it was your parents' hopes and not yours. Make sure you have passion for whatever major you're applying for."

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