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DCP Senior Features: Emmanuel Cruz

DCP Senior Features: Emmanuel Cruz

Follow with us as we celebrate that the Class of 2021 is going to college! Here we share some of their stories and their motivation to pursue the college dream

Meet Emmanuel

High School Attended: DCP El Primero High School  
Colleges Accepted to: CSU Eastbay, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, UC Davis, UC Riverside, UC Berkeley.
College Attending: UC Berkeley

Why are you excited to go to college?

Going to college unlocks a whole new story: discovering yourself and your values, the opportunity to become a trailblazer, unlocking career opportunities, intellectual growth, and exploring your calling. In addition to all the academic opportunities, there are also many clubs you can join that sparks your interest. You also get to enjoy your first years of adulthood with friends and go to eat places on the weekends or go on a picnic trip or to a local hiking attraction. Lastly, when you are on the college campus, you have to look after yourself. You will need to ensure you get your proper sleep, eat a healthy amount along with healthy foods, do your laundry, and attend your classes, all without being mandated by your parents.

Who inspired you to live your dream of going to college?

From a young age, the prominent people who inspired me to go to college would be my father, mother, and brother. Obviously, my mom and dad inspired me because they spoke of all the positive things you can get out of a college experience, just like many other parents. My brother inspired me to attend college because he himself attended college, and I noticed how much college positively affected him, his personality changed a lot, and he became much more mature. I would like to experience the same. As I became older and entered high school, the main people who inspired me to attend college were my teachers, but also much of the inspiration came from myself at that point. I no longer had my parents checking up on my academic progress, and I had to rely on myself to do well in class. It was my initiative to make sure I took rigorous classes to become competitive in my college application, along with attending as many summer enrichment programs as I could. Thanks to the realization of how great college is through the help of my parents, brother, and teachers, they are what inspired me to take charge of myself to ensure the best for my future.

What has been your motivation/silver lining during the pandemic?

I can still remember the time when I was in my Spanish class as a junior where my principal entered the classroom and explained our situation. The administration said they would have to close the school for two weeks to allow the virus to die out, along with the thousands of other schools who also said the same thing. Little did we know, we'd be quarantined for over a year in our rooms attending classes from our computers. At first, I enjoyed the distance learning, a quiet environment, no distractions, and you can do your classwork after class if you'd wish. Although I do recognize it isn't the same for many other students, unfortunately. But as time went on, I became distressed, knowing it's beginning to become harder to grasp concepts in your class because you don't see your teachers in person. You also become very anti-social from your friends because you no longer see them 5+ times a week. Fortunately, the admin recognized a part of our problems, and now all our teachers have set office hours for many hours of the week where you can get 1 on 1 time with your teachers to answer any questions you may have. I also realized because of the distance learning that is going on; this is an opportunity to get a head-start on looking after yourself. It is your job to attend office hours if you are confused, watch YouTube videos for tutorials, and make sure you finish your homework each night. If you don't attend your classes, what are you gonna get? Detention? Obviously not. These are all required skills you will need when you go to college. No professor will come to you asking where you were the day of classes; instead, once you start failing your classes, you will be getting an e-mail that you are at risk of being kicked out of the universities for failing grades. So I see this as a (partially) positive event. My worries of looking after myself and taking the initiative to complete my work or seek help in anything have lowered by a lot over the course of this year.

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