Making UC San Diego Home

By: Janeth Castellanos – G1DPR Alum & UCSD Sophomore

During my college application process, I received continuous support from G1DPR programs. With the help of the Cisneros’ mentorship, the Be A Leader Senior Bootcamp, and The College Blueprint, I was given the essential preparation to get accepted into several colleges.

As a first generation college student, I was unsure how to approach my personal statements. Thankfully, many of these programs helped in both guiding and revising my drafts. Some of my drafts were even revised by college representatives themselves.

In addition, G1DPR taught me different educational components that would eventually set me apart from other students, such as community service. Thus, they offered us a volunteer opportunity in which we helped distribute school supplies to children from low- income families. My volunteer work not only benefited other families, I also was able to use this service as an example of the volunteer work I did on my college applications.

The most challenging part of my first year at UC San Diego was the competitive nature I found in each class. Unlike high school where most students end up familiarizing themselves and connecting with their classmates, in a challenging class with over 200 students, everyone is too focused on trying to learn the context. Socializing was definitely not a priority. This made college seem lonesome.

I recalled the G1DPR counselors always encouraging us to become active within the college community so that college would seem more intimate and friendly. As a result, I decided to join various study groups which both helped me find my classes less challenging and less competitive because of the newly acquired friends.

With the tools that the G1DPR programs have given me, I have completed my freshman year in college. Thanks to the confidence I have gained from G1DPR, my ultimate goal is to graduate from UC San Diego and eventually become a healthcare scientist.