The Search for College

P says “talk about your college applications”

As mentioned in previous posts, I was kind of an idiot in high school.  Why do I always say that?  Because I wouldn’t do homework just to not do homework or because I was overwhelmed with laziness.  Procrastination always won and I was so ‘cheap’ I hardly paid attention.  So, I wasn’t going to apply to any high class schools, yet I still felt that I was better than most of the lower end choices.

When I became a senior, my knowledge of which colleges existed out there was pretty minimal.  So, I didn’t really know where I wanted to go.  And although she will deny it, my mom only wanted me to go to a school that was at most an hours drive away from home.  That ruled out schools out of state, schools in San Diego and Nor Cal.  Not that I knew of many schools anyway.  These are the colleges I ended up applying to:

USC, UCR, UCI, CSULA, CSULB, CPP, Pepperdine, Occidental, LMU, Whittier College

Other than the UC’s and USC, I didn’t know what was out there, my dad kind of just recommended some schools for me.  Which, he did his homework pretty well, this was a nice little variety.


This blanket is 50% USC shirts.  AKA most of my wardrobe in high school.

As you may know, I really wanted to go to USC.  I was the next Yuan in line to go to college, I felt I had to carry on the legacy!  Since I was USC fanatic, I thoroughly enjoyed their application process.  I enjoyed everything from the essay down to the supplemental questions.  This joy would extend over to my other applications.  Although it’s thrilling to brag about one’s self, I didn’t have a whole lot talk about.  Violin, piano, orchestra, football, church activities.. that’s about it.  Still, I tried to make the most of it, citing even the most miniscule of achievements and awards.  I think I had all my applications done by the end of September.  A lot of my peers struggled to get their applications in on time.  This would prove fatal when the UC’s servers died on the deadline to apply, too many kids were trying to turn in their essay last minute.  I guess I found it exciting?  Not just for USC, but for all my school applications.  Something about taking a chance on something that has seemingly low success rate.  At least, I felt like it was a low success rate.  Here’s why:

I went to San Marino High School and I hung out with a lot of smart kids.  Maybe by some standards, I would be an above average student, but not at San Marino, I was pretty low tier.  I’m not just saying that because San Marino has a great Academic Performance Index, but also because I really was an idiot.  When the time came for acceptance letters to be sent out, I would hear how my friends got into Columbia, Duke, Berkeley, Stanford, among other top rated schools.  One by one, I would get rejected by every school I applied to.  Well, almost every school.  I was accepted by Cal Poly Pomona and Whittier College.  Funny story, I never got rejected by UCI.  They claimed that I didn’t turn in my SAT scores, which I did.  I sent them in again and they have yet to get back to me still.  Perhaps the hardest rejection to stomach was that of USC.  I knew it was a reach school for me, but I still had high hopes.  Even after rejection I went through the appeal process and after that, I applied again after my first year of college.  Though, I did take it better than my cousin Princeton when he got rejected from Princeton.


So I had a choice to make, albeit a simple one (one school or the other).  I refused to go to PCC or any other community college, cause I knew of the horror stories that accompanied it.  I didn’t want to get stuck there because I couldn’t get into classes, nor did I want to end up transferring to Cal Poly Pomona anyway.  Because knowing me, that might have happened.

I actually had a scholarship to go to Whittier.  But $7,000 off of $31,000 / year was still vastly more than CPP’s tuition.  Despite Whittier College having a football team (division 3) and an electrical engineering program that transferred you to USC to finish up, I didn’t like the vibe the school had when I went on the campus tour.  Not that I had good logic back then.  I chose to go to CPP on the fact that it was cheaper and that Stanley would be there with me.  Yup.  That’s all!


Yes, I got to spend a year with this handsome fellow before he transferred elsewhere.

I always wondered what would have happened in my life if I decided to go to Whittier instead.  And that’s why multiverses exist.  Perhaps there’s a timeline out there where I am smarter and cooler than Princeton..




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