The summer of 2017, after 10th-grade year, I traveled to California, Los Angeles to participate in a Pre College summer program in UCLA. I used to go to sports camp and have homestay, however, going to a college and staying in a freshmen’s dorm was my first time in my life. I wanted to participate in a Pre-College Summer Program because I wanted to challenge myself academically, stepping in early for IB and most of all, to improve my self-independence.
I have used Summer Discovery to enter a Pre- College Summer Progam which was a was a 6 weeks session in UCLA from the end of June to the first week of August. As mentioned, going to a camp wasn’t my first time, therefore, I wasn’t nervous about traveling alone. I was more excited and joyful to explore myself and to take a journey for new experiences in my life. But, It was my first time living alone and spending/sharing a room with a roommate. Since I am an only child in my family, my parents are very protective and do not trust me with self-independent about lifestyle-aka can’t look after myself because I do rely on my mom a lot. My main goal from this program was to develop my academic ability/knowledge and making my own decision, meaning, a person who can think as a college student and makes good plans in their studying. However, apart from academics, one of my goals out of many was to show myself and to my parents that I am an independent teenager who can cook and make smart decisions.
Introduction to Psychology In UCLA:
Psychology has always been an interesting subject for me from MYP year. Psychology is such a broad subject that I still cannot answer a question about my favorite and my strongest content in psychology, however, the interest in psychology came from the connection within a real-life situation: such as mental sickness, decision making, memory, stress and so on. I always wonder why and how our brain functions to actions and how we tend to act the way we want to. All these questions and interest concluded to a path of me picking psychology as one of my main pre-summer class to learn more deeply about the aspect of psychology. Also, of course, I was an upcoming junior ( going into an IB life), I wanted to take psychology as my IB course thus, I wanted to start earlier to get a better knowledge in 11th grade.
My psychology class was filled with high school students, undergraduates, and graduate students. My psychology class was twice a week(2hour lecture) with a mid and final semester exam. In each topic, we receive a slideshow that our teacher created. As this was my first time listening to long lectures and taking notes, I didn’t know what best fits me to multitask.
The picture above shows a simple note taking from the class. When I went back in my dorm to self-study what I learned in class, I realized that I have missed a lot of important details which it was hard for me to understand the notes I am even though it made sense when I was taking the class. Then I used a strategy my cousin did when she was a university student. Since I knew my psychology teacher talks really fast, I recorded his voice so that when I go back into my room I can re-note the information I have missed. Thus, the fast lecture and taking notes has helped me in IB classes which I know what works for me and hat doesn’t. In addition, I learned how to take good notes which also helped me in my IB class in 11th grade.
Moreover, another thing we did in our psychology class was to read a case study relating to a topic we learned in class. Our job was to rewrite the study into our own words and summarize the whole case studies. I love reading however, I find reading long studies by a scientist is boring. It was very challenging for me to follow what was happening in the studies, however, as I kept on reading and reading, I have learned a lot of vocabulary and I learned the fun of reading non-fiction.
On the other hand, other than psychology, my other class which was an enrichment course was an SAT prep course. SAT prep course in UCLA gave me 4 chances to take a practice test which will help me in future test in 11th grade. They provided me with good condition to prepare for the actual test and gave me good tips and advice in the math section. Math is not a strong subject to me and still struggling but UCLA SAT prep class gave me a really good tip that I still use in my test. We had our practice test every 2 weeks which gave me confidence and shown growth in my SAT score little by little. I realized that if I study SAT every day for an hour I can improve and feel more confident with time and solving the problem.
Personally, 2017 Summer Pre-College Program has challenged me academically and to be honest, I have never studied this hard during the summer. Since I do competitive cheerleading, I have never deeply focused on education aka- no sports for 6 weeks. I can say it was challenging and hard for me to focus only on education because I am a very active person which is why it was also very challenging for me to focus on education with no active movements. just keep on writing, reading, writing and reading. Also, to only academics, I have experienced fights between friendship in this camp. I thought this can happen in my future university and I am happy that I was able to solve it. I always tell my mom what happened and get advice however since I was alone for 6 weeks and I wanted to stop relying on my mom and be more confident n my action, I am very happy that I was able to solve the situation as soon as possible.
All in all, I felt that this program helped me for college in the future and how to survive in IB. In addition to experiencing college-level academics and a step to being an adult. I am proud that I was able to achieve my own goal to become a better person and be more self-reliance as well. By going to this camp, I was able to understand who I am to achieve my academics better and take notes effectivly.