Today I was helpful

August 15, 2011

On my way in to work today I meet a mom and her son as they were looking a bit confused.  And for some bizarre reason, I decided to be helpful.

I asked if they were looking for something.  Turns out they drove up from Santa Monica (well they said LA because people don’t know where Santa Monica is… how sad is that?).  They are visiting schools – Berkeley and Stanford today and Davis and Merced tomorrow.

And since they were nice and they had a wait for the first of the orientations, I figured I could share some of the information I had gathered during my many years on campus.  I told young Dwayne that the essay counts and it really can tip the scales in your favor.  If you want to study English in some way then there is always Interdisciplinary Studies where you can mix and match your courses and you just have to write a thesis.  If you are in a class with a football player from the line… trust me, they had to work hard to get here.  They make fantastic group project members.  Fraternity and Sorority life is full of fun and interesting people but never forget that just because everyone else jumps off a bridge, that doesn’t mean that you should too.

When picking a college, look at the town not just the gown.  Wander off campus.  Really look at the place you will be living for at least four years.  Research the crime statistics – they tell you a lot about the local issues.  Stay out of the Eucalyptus Grove after dark.

And should it be an issue, always remember that no matter what the UC system does care about their feeder schools / the California Community College system.  If at first you don’t get in, got the SMCC and get your AA, complete the IGETC series, and transfer in.  Almost a third of the Berkeley population is composed of transfer students.  And while it’s a stiff competition, it’s a secondary option should freshman admission prove elusive.

Good luck Dwayne.  May your essay rock.  May you find an advocate in the admission process.  May you get into the school of your choice and do great things.



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