Thursday in the US was one of the great holidays where family gather to eat turkey and a whole bunch of other goodies and try to cram in a few football games. That would be American football. It is always a great occasion when everyone comes together to give thanks.
This is also a time when students have a breather from school to attend to those pesky things called essays. But that is all in the US and not really a factor here in China. None-the-less, it does bring up the importance of timing, getting things done while paying attention to deadlines and other requirements.
This period of time is kind of the doldrums, midterm exams, not too far from Winter Holiday with nothing seemingly on the immediate horizon. Not true, not true at all. There is a ton to do and all of it needs doing well.
Looming in the not too distant future is the University of California (UC) deadline of November 30. That’s 10 days and if you haven’t started – four essays out of a total eight questions, 350 words each. Doesn’t seem like much, but in truth, these short 350 word essays are the key to your soul, well at least the one that may want to get into a University of California university. Honing a quality essay, filled with great perspective and examples is no small task.
Now the UC application is a bit more complicated than other applications since it is an all-in-one application for the nine universities in the undergraduate system. UC San Francisco is a graduate school only. One application, all schools, but you can choose which schools you send your application to. One note, it is not to your benefit to only send your application to one of these UC schools. Pick a few, based on your research. Most students don’t apply to all nine schools. They usually pick Berkeley, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego and more often than not add in Davis. The other schools students need to judge carefully. Irvine, Riverside, Santa Cruz, and Merced are great schools but they are a bit different and unique compared to the form list.
The application itself is a bit of a mind twist too, so take your time, and always READ THE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY before starting down the path. Make sure you take advantage of all the advice links, which show up on the right side of your application. Most of your potential questions about how to input information will show up in that FAQ section of the application.
Unlike most other schools, they do not request a transcript. What they DO expect is that you report your grades on your own. So it is important that you have an unofficial copy of your transcript that you can refer to while completing that section. Just in case you thought you could put in any old set of grades, if you happen to get in and you decide to attend one of the UC’s, your school will send, at that time your transcript. Your input and transcript better match.
Finally, the essays, the next most important part of your application! As mentioned, you have eight choices from which you will choose four. They are great questions. Read the Things to Consider just under each prompt to get an idea of what the UC’s are looking for. Remember essays are and should be a reflection of you AND your personality. In 350 words, answer each question thoroughly.
As this blog comes to a close, it is time to be thankful. Thanksgiving in the US is the beginning of a long holiday and festivity period. Christmas is not too far away. As we lead up to that time, we do need to be thankful that we have family, friends who support our initiative to study far away from home, even if technically it is home. Remember, applying to college is something we should be grateful for; many people in the world never have the chance.
Do well. Eat some turkey! Happy Thanksgiving!