Q&A: Class of 2020 graduate on the cusp of attending UCLA


Amid pandemic life, we held a conversation with Class of 2020 graduate Trinity Bradford of Ánimo South Los Angeles Charter High School and discussed her thoughts, sentiments, and interest around her upcoming transition to college. This transcript has been edited, and you can listen to the full conversation here:

Hi Trinity. Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself as a student at Green Dot Public Schools?

My name is Trinity Bradford, I'm a senior at Ánimo South Los Angeles, and I'll be going to UCLA this fall, majoring in psychobiology.

How did you come across this major?

I've always been interested in life sciences, biology and chemistry. Those have always been my favorite school subjects. So, that's really what I wanted to study in college and when I was applying to colleges.

I would search up the different colleges, what majors they had, and I came across psychobiology when searching through UCLA majors. And I just thought that was perfect for me because in addition to being interested in biology, I'm also interested in psychology and learning about the human mind and the human brain. So I just thought that major was perfect for me.

Where do you see yourself landing in a career with a major in psychobiology? 

I want to be a doctor. Right now I'm thinking about either anesthesiology or maybe OBGYN, but mainly anesthesiology.

Is anyone else in your family a doctor or have encouraged you to pursue medicine? Where did this desire to pursue a medicine come from?

No. No one else in my family's in the medical or health field. I really think wanting to go into the medical field has come from watching some members of my family being sick while I was younger, watching them struggle with their health. I know for sure that definitely impacted my choice of career.

Let’s shift gears back to UCLA. How did you land on UCLA? I'm sure you might have had several other choices, but what about UCLA really stuck out for you?

So ever since I was in the 7th grade, UCLA has always been my dream school. That was always the school I was working towards getting accepted to all throughout high school. So when I got in, it was like...I kind of committed the very next day because I knew there's no other school I really wanted to go to. I think it's a perfect location. I love the Westwood area. The campus is beautiful. They have really good majors for me—and also since I want to be in the medical field, choosing a school with a great hospital and a lot of research opportunities was very big for me. And UCLA has one of the best hospitals in the state, in the country. So I think UCLA is the perfect school for me. 

How do you feel about attending college right now? Are you happy, excited, nervous? What's going through your head right now? 

I'm very, very excited. I'm excited to start college and start studying the things I actually want to study. And I'm very excited to make new friends and join different organizations that will help me go into the career that I actually want to go into.

In addition to being excited, I'm also very nervous. It's no secret that college is completely different from high school, especially considering that I won't know too many people there and too many people there won't know me. So, I'm sort of afraid that I’ll feel really lonely. Actually, I talked to quite a few college students, quite a few UCLA students, and almost everyone says that it's kind of hard.

Let's talk about ASLA for a second. What do you think about attending that school really impacted who you are today.

Definitely the support from my teachers. So it's a very small school, it's under 700 students and staff members. So you really get to make a connection and the bond with your teachers. Like, I'm still really close with some of my freshmen teachers who I haven’t had as an actual teacher in years. But despite that, I'm still really close to them, and they still make sure to check in on me, especially my ninth grade writing teacher, Miss Carrillo. She has been one of my biggest supporters. I think the support I received from my teacher so it's really impacted where I am today, my teachers as well as my counselors.

Last question for you, one that's very simple: How does it feel to graduate? There's a lot going on in the world and you're getting ready to make your first step into adulthood. What kind of thought processes are going on? How are you feeling? What does it really mean to you to graduate right now?

Well, obviously, I'm very excited. I have come to realize that my high school career has come to an end. And I'm excited to embark on a new journey that is college, but at the same time, I am afraid because I'm no longer a child. Like I'm stepping into adulthood and, like obviously, there's just some things that your high school teachers or your parents can’t tell you about coming into adulthood, but, like, there's still a lot of things  that they don't tell you and that you'll just have to learn on your own