From Richmond High School to Cal

As my senior year in high school approached to an end, I was terrified for what was coming next. College! No one said college would be easy and of course I was not expecting it to be easy. But after constantly hearing negative comments on how Richmond High did not prepare its students for a higher education scared me even more. In some part I did agree that Richmond high did not prepare me well enough for college but then again I feel that it is our responsibility to find and take advantage of the resources offered in high school so that we get a better preparation. I feel that I did get a good enough preparation for college. Thanks to Upward Bound Math and Science I was able to get an early taste of what college would be like. After three summers of rigorous classes and mandatory tutoring I felt that I was ready for college.

During the final summer before I started college I applied to Summer Bridge during the spring of my senior year. Summer bridge made my transition to college much more easier. I did not find it as hard as most of the upcoming freshmen because I felt the same intensity I felt during my Upward Bound summers. During Summer Bridge we were placed in two rigorous classes, I was placed in College Writing and Statistics. Statistic was a nightmare for me, because the material was intense, but other than that I had an amazing time. To be well prepared for my first semester at Cal I researched for available resources offered on Campus, like counseling, tutoring, and advising programs, as well as organizations that interested me.

The first day of college was more that I expected; my Political Science class was huge, about 400 students, bigger than my graduating class. I was shocked to see so many students in one class. Unlike high school, here the professor was not going to know who I was. He would not care if I went to class or not, and he was not going to now my name. Being the first and last class of the day for me, when it was time to go, I was walking back to my dorm when I passed through Sproul Plaza. Hundreds and hundreds of people were there, either tabling or exploring. I knew this was just the beginning of an interesting college experience.

My intended goals at the moment are to double major in Political Science and Legal Studies, so that later on I can apply to Law School and become an attorney. Meanwhile what I look forward to the most this semester is finishing strong and getting good grades in my classes. I hope to learn a lot from programs like Undergraduate Political Science Association (UPSA), and making new friends in Hispanic organizations like TENZA, and Hermanas Unidas (HaU).

– Lizbeth, UC Berkeley ’15