A Summer To Remember

When I was informed about my eligibility for the Summer Bridge program, I was discouraged by the comments I had heard on it. Although I was excited to be starting a new chapter of my life at UC Berkeley, I had a sense of doubt in the back of my head that was preventing me from taking advantage of this amazing opportunity. After some self examination and speaking to other staff about the program and its benefits, I took the step and went through with the enrollment process. Looking back at that moment now that I am in my fall semester, it is one of the best decisions I have made with regards to my education. I understand now that I was scared of stepping into the unknown and am now grateful for doing so since Summer Bridge allowed me to preview what was coming in the next four years at UC Berkeley in the context of academics, campus life and relationships.
The transition from being a high school senior to a freshman at UC Berkeley is a difficult one that consists of adjustments, vulnerability and most of all, a growth mindset. While I had taken AP courses in high school that were structured as college-level classes, it was nothing like actually sitting in a lecture hall of 200-300 students. I couldn’t help but feel alone in the process of this transition but Summer Bridge helped me make connections with peers, GSIs and professors that opened my eyes to the fact that I was not the only one feeling this way and that it was alright to struggle, as long as I learned from those mistakes, fixed them and kept on taking school head on. The support from staff at Summer Bridge has made my fall semester a lot easier to navigate through since I now have a set of skills that is essential to my success as a student at UC Berkeley.
The academic rigors I faced during Summer Bridge are ones I had never encountered in my educational career but I was also given the tools to take them on and come out successful in the end. The countless hours of tutoring and support from my Bridgee family are what allowed me to successfully adjust to being a parent and a UC Berkeley student simultaneously. Having 60 page reading assignments due the following day and caring for a one year old in the process has allowed me to strengthen my abilities and mindset, leading to my becoming a better student and a mother. I am grateful that Summer Bridge challenged me to the point where I accepted the fact that my college experience wasn’t going to be like that of everybody else, and that it was totally fine for that to be the case. If more people were able to struggle through Summer Bridge, they would not only grow academically, but socially as well. The path that Summer Bridge put me on has allowed me to see my role as a student a lot differently than I expected coming into UC Berkeley. Having a daughter while being a student at UC Berkeley is extremely difficult and I face challenges different from that of the average student but through all the adversity and statistics against me, I come out stronger in effect.