COVID-19 has eliminated the college visits for current high school students. Organized by volunteers from local Chinese communities, six college students grown up in twin cities decided to bring their colleges to their hometown high schoolers through zoom.
In the two-hour long panel, Christina Gu, Om Balkrishna Jahagirdar, Eve Liu, Jen Tu, Orien Zeng, and Amy Zhang shared their experiences on how to get into their dream colleges, how to determine career direction, what they would do differently if there could come back to high school, and many other questions related to college and college lives in general.
Among these panelists, Orien Zeng attended Stanford for both undergraduate and graduate studies in computer sciences. Om Balkrishna Jahagirdar is a rising senior in the area of Bio-Med. They represented the west coast. Eve Liu attended Carleton College and is now working in fashion industry in New York. Christina Gu attended Washington University at St. Louis and now with U. of M Med School to become a doctor. Amy Zhang is attending Northwestern University near Chicago to study economy and data sciences. They represent the mid-west colleges. Jen Tu is attending Yale University to study music and history. She represents the east coast.
With different backgrounds and interests, the panelists had shared broad perspectives on how to select their colleges and how to prepare themselves to get in their dream schools. One important message from their answers is that, in high school, you should explore as much as you can and find your passion. This is one of the things that they wish they would have done more when attending high school.
In high school, Om actually shadowed professionals in laws and medical, two fields that he considered to get in. Such experiences helped him to pick medical as his major in college. Orien mentioned that, frustrated by the slowness of his computers when playing games, he spent a lot of time to figure out how to make computer faster for his games in high school. He found it quite interesting and comfortable to work with programming. Thus, computer science becomes a natural choice for him.
There were 144 people attending the zoom session. Many attended as a family. After the session, many gave feedbacks that their high schoolers were highly inspired. First hand experiences from someone in your own neighborhood would definitely help to bring the messages home.
In such a challenging time, it is great to see that these college students are willing to help their hometown youngsters pursuing their dream colleges.
COVID-19 is still here, but life won’t stop. With this, we will win!