Back to pondering about college- more so now than ever since I went to that college fair on Saturday. It was incredibly fun and informational. People were a little pushy but quite kind and the informational seminars were very helpful. I went with my best friend so it was a very chill affair, and it was nice seeing a lot of people I knew too. It's interesting to see all these people who are interested in learning about colleges, you know? Some of the people you wouldn't expect and... I guess surprises like that made the whole experience fun.
But now to actually get to some substance... I'm back to thinking about college. I'm rather satisfied with my decisions now though. Eight classes next year and I think my biggest challenge will be keeping up with the APUSH curriculm but I figure it'll work out as long as I apply myself. Homework might be a little tough but well, I gotta deal with it. I hear that a lot of work is done at home as far as Journalism goes so I think I'll be able to do my Chem AP homework in that class at least. My current system of doing whatever homework already assigned for the night during class works out pretty well. I'll have to cut back on certain things but well, I can think of that later. So next year's classes are practically set for me. Chemistry AP, Forensics (Speech & Debate), AP US History, English 3 Honors, Journalism, Calculus, and Japanese 4 will make up my 7-class days at school. Then I made an appointment with the SCROC counselor today so I can talk to them about the 8th class I want to take at the Regional Occupational Center. It'll likely be Intro to Engineering or whatever they recommend so I can get a taste of Computer Engineering like Dad wants. On top of that I also plan to participate in CSF (California Scholarship Federation) for volunteer work, KIWINS Key Club for volunteer work, Student's League for volunteer work, perhaps Interact, and lastly Torrbotics which is the Robotics team. I already have connections for most of them so that should work out.
The year after that my tentative plans are for Journalism, Forensics, Japanese AP, Physics AP, Gov/Econ AP, English AP, and dropping Math if possible. Because I'm rather sure after Calculus all the Math options are AP classes and I'm not taking a Math AP on top of everything else. The SCROC class I hope to take then would be Broadcast Journalism because I want to enjoy my Senior year and that seems like the most guaranteed way to do it. All my clubs would likely stay the same that year.
Currently my GPA is a hovering 3.8 weighted, which I don't think is too shabby considering the 7 classes I take and my CSF hours. This summer I hope to use my birthday money to attend the USC Journalism Summer Program, just to test it out and possibly get an edge in if I can. It also counts for 3 USC credits so that sounds nice, and even if I ultimately decide not to go to USC, then I could always tuck that bit of experience under my belt. It may be a little bit outside my comfort zone to not have any of my friends go with me but that's the type of thing I want to prep for. No relying on people, no being a wallflower, no fear. I say I'm confident and it's about gosh darn time for me to show it.
As is I'm trying my best to balance Engineering with Journalism- that is to say, my father's interests and my own. The Robotics Team and Intro to Engineering is all for him, just to appease him so I've at least got options. So that's... basically what my college choices are concerning engineering. Options. That's all. I haven't told them yet but what I want above all else is to go into Broadcast Journalism. I've finally made the decision, yes. It takes in my strengths in English and my love for public speaking and socializing. It's just... I thought about it for a long time, and I realized that this area is what feels right to me. However Dad wants me to be secure and I love him, so I'll at least try to make note of what he wants.
With that as my current standing, I suppose I should mention the colleges I'm looking at next. My safety net school would be CSULA, which is the California State University - Los Angeles. They have the opportunities for Journalism and I like to think that I am guaranteed to get in- what with a 3.0 GPA allowing you to get in without any issues concerning test scores. The Honors college requires a 3.5, I believe. The scholarship that gives you a free ride requires a 3.7. They also have Computer Science options and while I am certain I would not stay there all 4 years, I could at least study for a bit before transferring over to another school. I'm not entirely impressed with them however they are close to home and likely to accept me.
Then I suppose here is where I should get my Engineering choices out of the way. I would never pick a school strictly for Engineering because that's simply not what I want. I would like to make my father understand this, but as is? I'm looking at UC Berkeley and UC Irvine. Both of them offer strong Computer Engineering courses if what I've heard is to be believed, and they also offer Film & Media studies (and I believe Berkeley also offers Literary Journalism). Berkeley also has a Journalism graduate school which is worth some merit, I think. If I lose the battle with Dad, I'll likely go there and study before moving on to a graduate school at either Berkeley or USC to make my way towards internships and what-not.
Then we get to my dream schools. Oh my gosh, my dream schools.
Columbia College of Chicago. It's a private arts and media college however it also specializes in Communication Arts which I think is simply fantastic. I'm impressed with their merits and there's just so much just on the paper that they handed out that catches my eye. There seem to be a lot of options for student work and internships so I can help pay off my student debts that way. However it stands to fact that the main issue here is well... Chicago. Not only is it extremely far from home, but it'll cost money to get there. Away from California? I don't know if I can do it. However I'd love to try for this school and if mother finally considers me responsible enough to handle it. There's also the fact that Shari's in Chicago and you might say that's not a worthy enough reason to go but I say fuck you, I love Shari.
... Off-topic. But yeah, there's Dream College Option 1.
Dream College Option 2? Hahaha, who knew my default college would have everything I could possibly ask for? University of Southern California, yeah. I wasn't aware until recently that they had a whole school for Journalism and Communication. That's... kind of perfect, really. Like I said above, I plan on going into the USC Summer Program anyway so if I can actually get myself admitted into the college, then it would be absolutely lovely. I'm not so sure about tuition here but again I hope to get scholarships and what-not to help me along the way. With the courses I'm taking, I hope that I can deem myself worthy? It seems incredibly daunting to try to enter USC but damned if I don't try. It's here in Southern California (my home, I swear), I've heard good things, it's relatively prestigious, and not only does it have what I'm looking for in Journalism, but it has a Computer Engineering & Computer Sciences option. I can likely convince Dad to let me go here and possibly take a minor in Computer Engineering if he really pushes it. So there are my hopes and dreams.
Then settled pleasantly in the middle: California State University - Long Beach, which... is not even an hour away if memory serves. It's admittedly not nearly as prestigious as the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism that USC offers, but it's still got everything I'm looking for. A Broadcast Journalism department on top of a secure Computer Engineering department and it offers minors in both. It's very safe in it's financial situation and though I fear I won't be able to get the best Journalism education from it, I could always look into internships for myself and learn that way. Long Beach is admittedly the middle option that I'm not sure I'll get into, but it's likely, and well... I'd be comfortable going there, though I'm going to continue to shoot for USC.
So in order of ascending interest... CSULA, UC-Irvine, UC-Berkeley, CSULB, Columbia, then USC at the very top.
... I admit it may seem rather fairy tale-oriented of me to completely ignore finances right now, though I'm not saying that's keeping me from applying from scholarships and stuff. I know I need those things. However I'm not about to keep money from being the deciding factor in which school I'm going to if that school fits my needs and is willing to take me. The way I see it? I can play those loans off leisurely as soon as I succeed- because I really don't think there's any other option. I will succeed. As long as I am certain of myself and as long as I care, I cannot fail. That's my formula and constant way of tackling things, after all.
The only thing I fear at this point is my father's position in all this. I'm rather certain of myself and I've done my research. It's competetive but you know what? I'm competetive! I'm piling up everything in my high school career to make it look like I've got what it takes to learn. I don't want this blind arrogance to be the only thing that gets me through, though. I want to be informed and do everything I can- and once I've done that, then maybe I can be arrogant. However it's just... I'll take Intro to Engineering and I'll try to be open-minded, but if I really dislike it, I'm going to have to speak up. And even if I don't really dislike it, I need to make it clear where my passions lie. That's all it is. He's not as stubborn as usual when it looks like I know what I'm doing, at least. Sometimes he tells me that it's a hard world out there for us- in terms of being Filipino. Perhaps that's true and I just don't like seeing it, but... I don't want to get past it all in spite of it, I want to succeed despite it, if you know what I mean? I don't want to leave in a world of rainbows and butterflies... but I don't want to start doubting myself now of all times either.
And that's that.
In other news, I missed three days of class due to a cold, but the good news is that I didn't miss much! Just a lot of movies lately, oddly enough. Very lucky if you ask me. Oh man, I'm the luckiest person in the world sometimes.