Monday, April 25, 2011

Decisions, Decisions...

The college admissions process is almost over for the high school class of 2011! With a deadline of May 1st to turn in a Statement of Intent to Register to the school we’ll be attending in September, I’ve been thinking about and revisiting my decision again and again.
My final three choices were Swarthmore, Brown, and Oberlin (down from an intimidating list of 14 schools where I was accepted to, 14/14). Here’s some advice for this year’s ILC students: do not apply to as many schools as I did. Really. Narrow it down to a number as small as 5 – as long as you keep a diverse acceptance rate in mind (highly selective, selective, backup school), I’m sure you’ll be able to go somewhere amazing. It’ll save you a lot of stress later on, too.
So, to help with my final decision, I decided to visit again during Spring Break. Luckily, Swarthmore was offering an all-expenses-paid visit on the 14th and 15th of April. It was a bit of a struggle to arrange a return date in the middle of the week so that I could see Brown again, but we managed to do it.
My plane took off from the San Francisco International Airport at about 10pm Thursday night. I wasn’t too excited about flying on a red-eye, but it didn’t seem that bad until I realized that I had stored my contacts case in the suitcase which was in the overhead bin – and there were two people sleeping to the right of me! I decided to leave the contacts in, and that turned out to be a terrible mistake as my eyes got more and more irritated with every uncomfortable hour. Once I landed in Philadelphia at 3am West Coast time, I made my way to the Swarthmore student group with bleary eyes and a crick in my neck. Red-eye flights are not a good idea on college visit trips (I later couldn’t keep from nodding asleep in a political science class and I felt really terrible afterwards for doing so, but my body just couldn’t handle being awake for so long).
The other admitted students immediately cheered me up. They had taken it upon themselves to gather in a huge circle and go through introductions, and I spotted someone who I had found on the admitted students Facebook group and exchanged a few messages with beforehand. Everyone was very cheerful but also extremely sharp.  Once I got to campus and met my host, I got a chance to reflect. I really liked Swarthmore and what it had to offer on paper, but the vibe just wasn’t quite right. The fact that they paid for my flight was so helpful, and their financial aid package was astoundingly good, but little things jumped out at me and showed me that Swarthmore wasn’t exactly the right fit for me. For example, the admissions office was very lavish (as opposed to Oberlin’s, which just did the job and felt like the perfect combination of down-to-earth and welcoming). The students were also very driven and passionate (which is good) but had a certain air of intensity and a little bit of social awkwardness. Sometimes, they pushed themselves past the limits of what they could handle with courseloads and extracurriculars. Guiltiness washed over me as people asked if I would attend Swarthmore – I answered with a sad “probably not” and knew that I couldn’t see myself living the life of a Swarthmore student. However, Swarthmore is a great, great place with interesting people, endless opportunities, and wonderful academics; for this year’s ILC students, I recommend at least looking into it. It might just be the place for you.
My grandmother picked me up from Swarthmore on Friday night. She lives about 30 minutes away from the campus, so I stayed with her through Sunday morning. I’m very grateful that I was able to do that. It was so nice to spend a bit of time with her, too.
On Sunday morning, I took Amtrak from Philadelphia to Providence so that I could visit Brown. I walked from the train station to Keeney Quad (which was a pretty short walk) and met Cynthia Fong outside her dorm. I had been emailing her before I left with questions about Brown and she was nice enough to let me stay in her room for a few days. We dropped off my bags and headed off to find some food, which wasn’t hard because there were free snacks by Wriston Quad in celebration of Spring Weekend (a festival at Brown that gives students a chance to release stress and have some fun). The SciLi (Science Library) was our next stop, so that we could eat and finish some homework. At 2pm, Cynthia excitedly led me back to Wriston to see Dave Binder perform as part of Spring Weekend. I had never heard of Dave Binder, but people were apparently pretty excited about him. He played lots of covers and sweet acoustic songs; the crowd went wild. I think they were just happy to be able to relax. I did see some drinking, but it wasn’t overwhelming, and it seemed like everyone was staying safe and no one was being pressured. No one was indecent or obnoxious. Cynthia and her friends told me that Spring Weekend is not typical of Brown at all – usually, on the weekends, people are busy studying.
A flash mob surprised us by dancing to “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green. It was really well done and people loved it. Cynthia and I left Wriston happy and smiling. After dinner, I went to Faunce Hall and checked out the LGBTQ Resource Center. It was closed for the night (since it was 9pm already) but I noticed a group talking in the adjacent room. I poked my head in and introduced myself as an admitted student; the group, which was very friendly, turned out to be the Queer Alliance Coordinating Committee (QACC). I was really excited to have found the college organization that corresponds with the Gay-Straight Alliance at my high school, since I’m the club president and I’m so involved in the activist world. They were just finishing up their meeting, but I did ask a few questions about clubs at Brown. Clubs draw up a budget every year and submit it to a committee of students, which then almost always gives the clubs however much money they need to carry out the projects they have planned. I thought that was great – having grown up in California public schools, I would never, ever expect to get that kind of funding and support from my administration (although they probably do wish that it was possible for them to do so). The QACC supervises a variety of subgroups (I think about 15), which range in focus from support to social events to activism.
The leader of the main activist group (QPAC, or the Queer Political Action Committee), whose name is Gabe, actually had Brown and Oberlin as his final two choices just like I did. Because we had that in common, he understood what was so hard about my decision. We both like Oberlin because the atmosphere is so politically diverse and full of creativity. The music scene at Oberlin (classical, jazz, composition, performance, student groups) is also naturally strong because of the conservatory. In spite of Oberlin’s isolated location, there’s no way to be bored, because the student body is so active and interesting. What most impressed me was that everyone was so welcoming; each student pretty much automatically became my friend the second I stepped on campus. However, Gabe chose to go to Brown mainly because of the diversity in ideology among the students – although Brown is a progressive place, there’s enough of a range of opinions that groups like QPAC could actually be making a big difference, whereas at Oberlin QPAC would pretty much be preaching to the choir. That’s the main thing Cynthia emphasized to me, as well. The location is also very convenient and not isolated at all. It’s easy to get around New England on Amtrak and the Rhode Island statehouse is only a 10-minute walk away. QPAC makes good use of the closeness of the R.I. legislators and often visits to make the biggest impact on policy.
I stayed at Brown until Tuesday afternoon. I visited a few classes (Intro to Political Thought, Econ seminar, literature class on Heaven and Hell focusing on Paradise Lost, and a class on Black Lavender theatre) and also stopped by the Third World Center, the Swearer Center for Public Service, and Meehan Auditorium’s ice rink. Unfortunately, Meehan is a seasonal rink, so I wouldn’t be able to figure skate there all year; I did look up some rinks within an hour or two of Providence, though. It seems like it would be possible to start a recreational figure skating club if I wanted to. The last three classes were quite small, and I felt like there was no lack of personal attention. The professors really seemed to care about the students as individuals, and every student participated willingly. Each class also grabbed my attention and held it for the whole duration – for the most part, I had no problem understanding what was being covered. That was a relief. TWC and the Swearer Center came off as great resources with super friendly people working and hanging out inside.
All of this reassured me that Brown could have a small feel and a sense of community without feeling too small. The location, the resources, the friendliness, the diversity of class offerings, and of course the diversity of the students ultimately convinced me that Brown is the school for me. Oberlin will always be special to me, but I’m confident that Brown is the best place for me to spend the next four years of my life.
Again, I’m really grateful to Cynthia, her roommate, my grandmother, my parents, Sue Kim, and the ILC for making it possible for me to get to this point. I almost can’t believe how much I’ve learned and how much I’ve grown since last November. Thank you all so much.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Big Apple Adventure

Since I was given a day to go out and explore New York City, I decided to take advantage of this opportunity. My mother and I had breakfast in our hotel before we went to the ferry. Once we got to the ferry, my mother asked me where I wanted to go. I told her, “Everywhere! But let’s start with Times Square.” I was really excited. I felt adventurous.

We took the ferry so we could get to Manhattan. Yesterday we also took the Ferry to go check out Wall Street, but I was not able to get a good picture of the Statue of Liberty. I had low battery on my camera, but today was a different story. I managed to get a better picture. The Statue of Liberty is beautiful. I could not take my eyes off of it! It is, indeed, a great gift from the French.

Once the ferry ride was over, we took the train to go to 42nd and Times Square. I was really excited to go out and get to explore the city. After all New York is the big apple, so I wanted to see exactly what makes NYC so famous.

We arrived at our destination and as soon as we got out the Subway, I was really amazed. Uptown New York is awesome. I literally did not know where to go from there. I did not know whether to go to my left, right, or just walk straight. I let my curiosity guide me.

While we were there, my mother and I walked into a lot of stores. The stuff here is really amazing, but it is somewhat pricey. We did not end up purchasing many things, but we still had a great time. We probably walked into more than 30 stores, so it is hard for me to remember all the places. I gladly got “lost” in the crowd. I had a lot of fun!

We decided to walk to Central Park, so we could also get that experience. It was a really nice place to walk through. I really liked the peacefulness that I felt there. It was also fun to take pictures of some of the statues that I saw there. I ended up taking a lot of random pictures of statues because I thought that there were really interesting.

Overall, my day was really busy. I did my best to make this experience a memorable one. I definitely had an amazing time while being here in New York. I hope to come back and visit NYC later in the future.

P.S. My camera’s battery is currently charging so I am not able to post up pictures today, but I will do so first thing in the morning tomorrow. There are many lovely places that I took pictures of and would like to share!

As promised last night, here are some pictures of what NYC has to offer.

-Statue of Liberty in the day-

-Statue of Liberty at Night-

-View of Manhattan from the Ferry-

Downtown NYC:

Uptown NYC:

After being in NYC for 3 days now, it is time to go back home. I am really thankful for everything!

Exceptional Class of 2015

The past few days have been filled with emotions. I was nervous about what I would think of Denison, once I arrived I was nervous about the difference in culture, and then when I got up this morning I was nervous about if Denison was the right choice. I have come to the conclusion that Denison is an absolutely amazing school that offers exactly what I want from my education. They have small class sizes, great professors (all with doctorates), rigorous classes, an array of extracurricular activities, and good people. Although they are only NCAA division III, the school is still filled with spirit. In talking to the current students, everyone is proud be a part of Denison.

I read an article in “The Denisonian” today that talked about this year’s acceptance rate going down to 48%. I didn’t really understand the value of this until the article explained that less than half the universities in the United States have an acceptance rate under 50%. The article talked about how the class was “sculpted a class rather than simply making one”. This article really made me feel like I had earned my spot into Denison’s class of 2015. After the past few days filled with confusion and frustration I can finally rest a bit. This article makes me feel as though the Class of 2015 will be knowledgeable, hardworking, and passionate about being a student at Denison. What I mean by this is that the students value hard work, but also appreciate having fun. Choosing between UC Davis and Denison has gotten easier because of this trip. If not for the amazing Carla and the generous ILC, I would have never truly known how great Denison really is. My choice is now between a big school or a small school, but I think I’m close to a decision after this visit.

Denison Delight

Today was amazing. As my mother and I drove up to Granville I immediately thought that it was an adorable little town. The houses are quaint, the lawns are trimmed, with a brick road leading up to Denison. The atmosphere of Granville is great, it may be in the middle of nowhere, but it does not feel like it. The town has about everything you need. There is a strip of stores from CVS to a cute little frozen custard shop that is a student favorite. As you walk down the strip there are four churches one on each corner, contributing to the town’s quant atmosphere.

Denison itself is on the hill overlooking Granville. The school is beautiful. The brick buildings and old style architecture give the school personality and class. The school’s slogan is not Big Red for no reason. I got a tour from Carla and was able to attend her biology, German, and kinesiology classes, I met current students of all grade levels, and I got to talk extensively to some about their experience and thoughts on Denison so far.

The first thing we did was attend Carla’s Biology class. The professor was great. She was organized, knowledgeable, and you wouldn’t believe it, knew everyone’s names! I was actually able to talk to her about some of the pathways that there are at Denison for a Biology major. I was happy to hear that they have exactly what I wanted, molecular biology and biochemistry. The professor was engaging and seemed really easy to talk to if someone needed help. I was really impressed by the atmosphere and size of the class. Next we went to Carla’s German class. The professor mostly speaks German, but she still manages to keep me interested, making the hour seem like 20 minutes.

After her German class we went down to town and got lunch. The main entree was good but the desert was ever better. Carla took us to Whit’s were we had some of the best frozen custard I have ever had. I had the Denison Delight and it was definitely delightful. After lunch Carla took us to her kinesiology class. She had been telling me about how fun this class was all day, so I was really excited about being able to go. The class started with everyone (15 people total) , holding hands with our eyes closed and passing on the squeeze. One person would squeeze your hand and then you had to squeeze the person’s hand next to you. This gave me a weird sensation. For the main exercise we were experiencing the movement of our connective tissues and fats. We were to crawl and flip and roll around on the floor working our body. It was quite an experience. At first I was laughing at how dumb I felt rolling around on the floor, but by the end I really got into it. We then discussed the exercise and the professor asked me why I hadn’t talked yet and then she remembered that I was just a prospi, the short name for prospective students. I thought this was funny and flattering. This class really emphasized how personal and entertaining that the Denison classes are.

Throughout the day I personally talked to about 15- 20 people who all told me that Denison was a great school. They emphasized how personal the professors are and the relationship that lasts throughout the four years. They also emphasized how great of a balance Denison has when it comes to fun and school. Talking to all of these students gave me confidence that Denison would be the school for me. So far Denison is amazing

My Realization and NYC

I woke up with a single thought in mind yesterday: I’m going to visit Wagner College! I was really excited and anxious to go, but I had to wait until 1 PM for my campus tour. Since we were hungry, my mother and I had breakfast in our hotel. We relaxed for a little while and then called for a taxi at noon. The taxi arrived promptly and took us to our destination.

I got to Wagner College at about 12:30 PM. I wanted to get there earlier because I was super anxious to check out the college. I really wanted to see the college that was possibly going to be my future college. I needed to know if I would feel comfortable being there.

-The first campus building while walking to the Admissions Office-

As soon as I arrived there, I noticed that it was a nice and small college. It looked really cute in appearance and I liked that. I took advantage of my time and walked around with my mother for a while. There were some college students walking around, but not that many since most were in their classes.

Here are some pictures of the marvelous view that I saw while walking around:

-Their tennis field-

-Campus Clock-

The campus was small and easy to get around. It was really calm there and I knew that it had a good relaxing feel to it. I went to Wagner College expecting the best. I wanted to fall in love with it as soon as I walked there, but sadly I did not. That really saddened me. I did not feel that comfortable there as I had expected. It was an amazing small college, but it somehow did not provide me the feel I wanted at that time.

I still ignored this feeling because I really wanted to give Wagner College a chance. It was 12:50 PM, so I told my mother that it was time to head back to the Admissions Office. The Admissions Office had a very nice feel. This is where I felt more comfortable to be here. I started to look at previous Wagner College year books. I started to think to myself, “Can I picture myself being here for the next four years?” I was still unsure.

The Admissions Office:

Then the clock hit 1 PM. It was time to go and take the Campus Tour. A really nice, freshman young lady show us around. I got to ask questions regarding Wagner College. How were the dorms there? How were the meals? I already had an idea of the academics side of Wagner College, but now it was time to learn about the student life there.

We went to see a dorm. The view was simply lovely! I was able to see Manhattan through the dorms window. I asked, “Do all dorms have this wonderful view?” Our guide told us that most of the dorms did have this view. I thought that was really nice to know. The dorms themselves were not in the best conditions, but they were quite livable.

We finished our tour at about 1:45 PM, so then I headed off to the Information Session that was provided. There I realized that a lot of the students that were with me on the tour were really interested in theater. I thought that was really interesting to know. I told the man from the Information Session that I intended to major in business. He told me that business was really popular here, something that I had already read about while doing my college research.

I was reminded about the Wagner Plan while being here. This plan allows me to explore from different fields. I really like that this school is a liberal arts school. Even though I am really interested in business, I really do want to explore other fields. I am open to learning new things.

The Wagner Plan was probably one of the main attractions that I realized I had. Wagner College is a great school, but after the Information Session was done I still was not so sure about the feel I had about it. It was a mixture of emotions. I truly loved the academic side to Wagner, but I was not so fond of the student life here.
I want to be able to go to a college in where I feel really comfortable, as I have said many times before. I am really sad to know that Wagner did not entirely provide me that feel. However, I still think that it is a great school, just not my future college. After coming to New York to see Wagner, I have realized that Wagner isn't the one.

In the end, I did not get the results I was hoping. I really was considering coming to Wagner. Truthfully, if it were not for this trip I probably would have chosen Wagner College. I was really excited about the opportunities that Wagner could provide me. All I ever did was talk about Wagner to my fellow classmates back in California. I probably really annoyed them by talking a lot about Wagner, but that was just because I was really excited about this college.

I am really thankful that the Ivy League Connection allowed me to come to Wagner College, so I could make the right decision for myself. If it were not for this trip, I probably would have chosen a school that was not meant for me. This trip has really been a great learning experience. I will always treasure this trip and be thankful to the ILC for helping me through my college decision process.
After we finished our tour, my mother and I decided to go to the city so we could go exploring. It has always been a dream of mine to see Wall Street, so we went there. We walked around the area and really got to get the feel of the city. It reminded me a lot of San Francisco, but I just realized that there are a lot more people speed walking here. New York is definitely a beautiful place to come to see. I am sad that I will not be able to call New York my home for the next four years; nonetheless, I will still remember this once in a life time experience.

Once again, I am extremely thankful to the ILC for making this trip possible. My horizons have expanded greatly. I really did want to be able to say that Wagner College was meant for me, but sadly it is not. I feel a little bummed about that, but I am also really glad that I realized the truth.

Today my mother and I are off to continue exploring New York City. I will post more pictures up later on tonight.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bulldog Days

I woke up Thursday morning feeling sick still, but determined to make the best of the day regardless. The only problem was that I had woken up late, and was almost about to miss the tour of Science Hill that I had wanted to join. We rushed over to Dwight Hall, located in Old Campus, to try to join the tour, only to realize that the tour had already departed. Luckily, my dad still had his car, and he was able to drive until we found the tour, at which point I leapt out of the car and made a mad dash to join the tour.

Unfortunately, there were two tours that depart from Dwight Hall, one for science majors and one for engineering majors. I had stumbled upon the latter. But a tour is a tour is a tour, and it was actually fortunate because I had been thinking about possibly changing from a chemistry major to become a chemical engineering student. The thing about Yale engineering is that the student to faculty ratio is actually an astounding one to one. The ratio for the other sciences is a still amazing three to one, and for the rest of the college the ratio is eight to one, which is very desirable by any standards. The current president of Yale actually strengthened and enhanced Yale's sciences and engineering, by building many new facilities and laboratories as well as hiring the top scientists and professors in each field to teach at Yale. Moreover, every professor at Yale is required to teach underclassmen. At Yale, they really focus on the undergraduate experience, and they're willing to lengths to help underclassmen. Everyone I talked to at Yale really expounded on Yale was willing to accommodate the requests of undergraduates, by giving undergraduates access to upper level division classes, or by letting undergraduates switch specific classes out of prerequisite order to accommodate schedules better. In addition, undergraduates often have sole access to some labs and areas of campus, which ensures that they don't have to fight graduate students to use labs for work or to do research.

-Pictures of Science Hill-

After the tour, my father and I tried to go to the Freshman Experience Panel, which had freshmen from Yale talk about their experiences, but the entire room was filled beyond capacity, with prefrosh sitting not only in the seats of the auditorium, but also in the aisles and on the stairs.

We decided to go to lunch instead, as it is difficult to enjoy the beauty of Yale on an empty stomach. We had lunch in the Commons Dining Hall (where the ice cream social was held the night before).

-The Outside Rotunda of the Commons Dining Hall-

-The Commons Dining Hall-

The food was surprisingly good, even if mass produced. The vegetables didn't taste bland, the fish was tasty without being too fishy, and the sweet and sour pork was delicious. I even considered getting seconds, but I was already too full on the asparagus and the lemon herb chicken. They even had soft serve ice cream, which I can already tell will be a problem for my waistline if I go to Yale.

After lunch, my father and I went to the official welcome address from the deans of the college. The address was held in a giant auditorium, where they use it for official concerts, addresses, and performances. As we entered, we were welcomed by the melodious sounds of the giant organ in the hall, played by one of the professors at Yale.

-Welcome Address-

The welcome address was surprisingly informal, as the deans introduced us to Yale University, and to our futures as Bulldogs. Most of the stuff they told us was stuff that we could have easily found online on the Yale website, but it was reassuring to hear it again from them, especially because all were very in touch with the students. The informality that they presented is a testament to how the staff at Yale really make a point of being approachable, so that they can get connected with the students of the university. In contrast, the faculty at some other colleges and universities have an elite status, and an air of superiority that makes them unapproachable by the students there.

After the welcome address, I went to the Academic Fair and the Extracurricular Bazaar, located in the Yale Stadium. Outside, the Yale Precision Marching Band was playing the Yale fight song to encourage us to go inside.

-Academic Fair-

At the academic fair, I was able to visit the chemistry table and meet with one of the chemistry professors in the department. In chemistry at Yale, there are multiple tracks and specializations of chemistry, and I was able to learn more about each of them from him. The best part is that none of them are mutually exclusive, so I have the option to take the classes that I'm most interested in and slowly specialize my way up. In addition, I was able to learn more about the Yale STARS program, which is designed to help underrepresented minorities in the sciences get extra help and assistance in succeeding in college, as well as paying for summer classes to get ahead. I plan to apply during the summer to be a part of STARS. I also had a chance to learn about PERSPECTIVES, a program for undecided freshmen science majors. It offers those students a sampling of a variety of science classes, to help those students get a feel for every field so that they will have a better idea of what they are interested in pursuing.

-Extracurricular Bazaar-

Next I went to the Extracurricular Bazaar, which was conveniently located adjacent to the Academic Fair. Inside, there were throngs of people everywhere, and the atmosphere was electric. There were glee clubs singing, bands playing, people cheering, and everywhere I looked, prefrosh were being recruited to join clubs. As I made my way through the aisles of clubs, I did my best to learn about every club, but I must admit that there so many clubs that it was all very overwhelming. From Mock UN to Ultimate Frisbee to the Yale Symphony Orchestra, there were clubs for every type of person with every interest. Among the most popular interests at Yale must be singing and acting, as I was barraged people asking me if I sing and invitations to watch improv shows later that night.

Among the clubs I'm really interest in joining are:
  • Yale Symphony Orchestra
  • Yale Precision Marching Band
  • Yale Debate
  • Yale Political Society
  • Yale Chinese American Student Association
  • Yale Student Roundtable
  • Building Bridges
  • Chemistry Club
  • Model UN
  • and many others...
I know that there is no way I'll have enough time to do all of these extracurricular activities and go to class at the same time, but I'm really interested in doing at least some of these activities.

Afterwards, I met up with Yohanna Pepa, a current Yale student who graduated from Pinole Valley High School last year and was a member of the Ivy League Connections, for frozen yogurt. I got disoriented trying to find her at the start, but luckily enough she was able to save me from getting completely lost in Yale. She bought me frozen yogurt (which I really appreciate), and told me a lot about Yale. Before I talked to Yohanna, I was very scared about Yale, and about fitting into a college which is drastically different from Pinole, not only academically, but also in the composition of the student body. But after Yohanna explained to me how well people get together and become friends, I felt a lot better. In addition, she also explained how the atmosphere is not competitive but cooperative, because there is no need to compete for resources or classes, as Yale will accommodate the students needs. Unlike at a University of California, Yale classes are rarely too full, and there is greater professor and student interaction. Yohanna also told me a lot about student life, and about how important it is to balance academics with extracurricular activities, so that I won't overextend what I can do. Honestly, before talking to Yohanna, I was very intimidated by the prospect of attending Yale. After talking to her, and seeing how well she is doing at Yale, I feel like I have a chance to succeed at Yale as well, and I don't feel as if I won't fit.

-Thank you Yohanna for helping me out so much!-

Later, I met up with my dad who had been listening to the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and he was completely blown away by how great they sounded. Throughout dinner in the Common Dining Hall, he could not stop talking about how great they sounded, and how much he wished I could have been there to listen to them as well. Dinner tasted great as well, and afterwards we quickly headed over the Law School to listen to a presentation on careers and opportunities at Yale.

-Presentation on Abroad Programs-

Yale has the intention of having all of its students spend at least a portion of their four years studying abroad, because they intend to transform Yale into an international university. There are so many opportunities presented by Yale, but there is also the option to get a fellowship by discovering your own program you want to help and Yale will help fund your trip. In addition, there are many internships that Yale will also help secure for students so that they can have the maximum potential to learn.

Thank you to Yohanna again, and I learned a lot about Yale from everyone. Thank you to the ILC for making this possible for me!

Austin Long

Pinole Valley High School
Brown '10

An Amazing Oppertunity Just in Time

I woke up this morning and was excited about finally seeing Denison. As my dad dropped off my mom and I, my stomach was filled with butterflies. I hope to have a strong feeling when I get to Denison. I have been going back and forth between UC Davis and Denison, so being able to visit will really help me make this life changing decision. The ILC presented the opportunity for me to visit Denison just in time; I was literally seconds away from accepting my admission to UC Davis when I got the email.
I have been talking with former ILC member, Carla Ramirez Velasquez, about her experience at Denison. I first met Carla at an Environmental Science Camp over the summer. We were talking about television shows and high school and then she mentioned the ILC. I was extremely excited about meeting a former ILC member. She told me she would be going to Denison in the fall with such enthusiasm. I latter heard about Denison through the “Colleges that Change Lives Seminar” and was really impressed by what they had to offer. From that point on I talked with Carla about her experience at Denison, the good, the bad, and the beautiful. I feel as though this trip will give me the opportunity to see for myself how amazing Denison is and if it is the place for me. I will be able to make a knowledgeable choice about where I should go for the next four years. I have only been in town for an hour and have already had people telling me what a great school Denison is.