By Abigail Guzman, 10th grade, Animo City of Champions Charter High School
This year, I had an eye opening experience during my very first college tour as a sophomore at Ánimo City of Champions Charter High School. Together with my classmates and teachers, we visited Stanford University, University of California, Santa Barbara; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; California State University, Fresno; University of California, Merced; San Jose State University; San Francisco State University, and the University of California, Berkeley. On this tour, I realized that the students we saw in the auditoriums, briskly walking to their classes, and eating lunch with their friends would be us in just three years. When we arrived at the first college, the main thing I noticed was that everyone had their own style and always appeared to know where they were going. They had a purpose, and the more I watched these students, the more I wanted to be like them. I wanted to feel driven, confident, and sure of where I was going too.
Before this trip, I felt like you had to be extraordinary to attend college, but that is not the case. Through these trips, meeting students at various campuses, and learning about their journeys, I’ve learned that college is attainable and that my peers and I can be anything we want to be with hard work and dedication. As my sophomore year concludes, I find myself thinking about UC Berkeley the most. I’ve always been drawn to this school because my uncle attended and graduated from UC Berkeley. He is a positive influence in my life and is always pushing me to be my best. Now, after visiting UC Berkeley, I’m convinced this may be the school for me.
My first college tour really opened my eyes to the many opportunities that exist in the world. It has motivated me to work hard and has really shaped the reason I want to continue my education after high school. The reason I want to go to college isn’t the cliche, “I want to get away from my parents and live my own life” scenario shown on TV shows. I want to attend college to prove that I’m ready for the world, but most importantly, I want to live a better life filled with an array of opportunities. I’m thankful for the visits-- they have sparked something within me and inspired a desire to explore the world and take advantage of all that it has to offer. In three short years, I will be the college student that visiting high school students see on campus. I’ll smile back, sure of my abilities and fully of aware of where I’m going.