Bites of Advice

By Maddon Hoh-Choi

As an outgoing senior, there are thousands of tidbits of advice I’ve accumulated.  

One of the most important pieces I can offer is to attend as many seminars, career talks, and college visits as possible. These events can be incredibly informative and offer valuable insights into what it takes to succeed or even find your future career. 

Don’t get too caught up in trying to achieve a perfect GPA, but you should really prioritize getting good grades. When it comes to senior year, it’s essential to stay active in your academics. Even taking an off period in your senior year can hurt your chances of getting into the college of your choice, so try to take rigorous courses and show that you’re committed to your studies.

Another essential piece of advice is to prioritize improving your grades in your weaker classes. There’s no need to obsess over improving a 93% to a 98% in computer science when you could be spending that time improving your grades in a subject where you’re struggling. Two A- grades are better than a B+ and an A+. Try your best on AP tests, especially if they’re relevant to your major, and take AP tests for all your classes in your senior year to look better on college applications.

Getting an internship during high school is also a great way to gain valuable experience and skills that can help you succeed in college and beyond. Additionally, creating something like a club, website, or company can distinguish you from other applicants and make you a more attractive candidate for admission.

When choosing a college, don’t worry too much about cost, as the potential career outcome will outweigh the cost of tuition. However, it’s a good idea to stay in-state as much as possible to reduce costs, and if you can get a fee waiver, apply to all the UC/CSU campuses you can.

Don’t worry too much if you don’t get into your dream school, as you can always attend community college (CC) and transfer. In fact, most CC schools in the area are free for the first two years. 

If you’re writing an essay on a political topic, it’s important to show a willingness to be bipartisan and work with both sides in your essays and activities to demonstrate an open mind and commitment to working together.

Lastly, remember that your school doesn’t define you. Your success in life is about how hard you’re willing to work, not what college you attend. Keep striving to improve yourself and aim for the best, even if it means accepting that life is full of disappointments. With hard work and ambition, you can achieve great things and succeed in whatever path you choose.