My name is Austin Long. I am a Pinole Valley High School graduate, and I'm currently a sophomore at Yale University, prospectively majoring in Chemistry!
I'd first like to apologize to Mr. Ramsey for my extremely long delay in sending this. Being home for the holidays and spending time with family and friends has a habit of making me absentminded, and I'm sorry for my forgetfulness. Thanks to the ILC and the WCCUSD School Board, your work keeps our students competitive in higher education and in the workforce, and you often don't receive enough credit for all that you do for us, so thank you!
Contrary to popular belief, college is cool! Especially here at Yale University. Yale is an amazing place. I know everyone says this about their own college, but Yale truly is a paragon of education. We have unparalleled faculty, resources, classes, and opportunities.
Last semester I took four classes, Chinese (Level 5), Introductory Physics, Multivariable Calculus, and a class on Science and Public Policy. I had a relatively light course load because I had to focus on finishing a couple prerequisites for my upper level chemistry classes next year. Of all my classes, the class I enjoyed the most was my Science and Public Policy class, not just because of the content, but because we had a large number of renowned professors and experts in their fields come to our class to share their experiences and knowledge with us!
Like in high school, I really enjoy extracurricular activities, so I've been trying to be as involved as possible here at Yale. In the clubs I spend most of my time at, I am treasurer of the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association, Co-Chair of the Asian American Student Association's Political Action and Education Committee, and the External Relations Director of the Yale Global China Connections Chapter. In addition, I also work at a local high school as a Public School Intern, where I help tutor students and link the school with Yale resources. By doing so many activities, I feel that I've really broadened my skill set, and I'm learning to multitask better and more efficiently.
I think the best thing about college though is the immense wealth of opportunities that it provides you with. Last summer I was able to study Mandarin in Beijing, China entirely on Yale's dime, and next week I will be able to attend the 2013 Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama because of Yale.
This next semester, I'm taking quite a few more courses than last semester, because I'm working attempting a double major of Chemistry and Political Science, but the feasibility of that remains to be seen.
Good luck to all the high school seniors as you go through college interviews and to all the others as you apply for ILC! I wish you all the best, and I hope that if you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Happy New Years!