Big Announcement April 30, 2007

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Today was a big day. I’m going to share two pretty big things that have occurred recently. First of all, I was awarded the UC Davis Regents Scholarship a couple weeks ago. Also, today I gained admission to UC Berkeley for computer science. God has seemingly given me two paths for me to choose.

Let me explain…

In high school, I wasn’t motivated to do well academically. I spent a lot of my time learning things like web design, photography, and sports. When applying for colleges, my statistics were decent, but not exceptional. I had close to a 4.0 UC weighted GPA, an SAT I score of 1400, and SATII scores of 770 in writing and 750 in math.

One of the biggest factors in choosing where to go for college was proximity to home. I had no desire to run off somewhere and miss out on seeing my parents or being near my brother as he grew up.

In the end, I was accepted at UCLA, UCSD, UCI, UCR, and UC Davis. However, I was rejected from UC Berkeley. I didn’t apply to UCs aside from Davis and Berkeley because I would strongly consider them, but only as backups in case something disastrous happened and I didn’t get into either Davis or Berkeley. After Berkeley rejected me and Davis accepted me, I submitted my SIR to Davis very soon after.

Since starting my college career here at UCD, a lot has changed. I’ve made new friends, developed closer relationships with old ones, joined Grace Alive over ABSK (even though I didn’t think I would), started attending Grace Valley, and had the (sometimes) rare opportunity to spend an extra couple precious years with my family.

However, even from the beginning I was thinking about the possibility of transferring to a school that is stronger in computer science, but without moving too far away from mothertown. Throughout my freshman year, I was considering the possibility of transferring to Stanford as a Junior. Sometime near the end of that year, I suddenly discovered that Stanford would require me to retake the new SAT Is. Although I was really interested in going to Stanford, I dropped that aspiration and considered the new discovery a sign that Stanford wasn’t meant for me.

My thoughts soon turned to the possibility of trying for Berkeley again. There turned out to be many advantages. First, high school statistics, test scores, and everything before college was completely ignored in the transfer application process. They were only interested in GPA, and I was doing well in that category. Also, Berkeley’s tuition is significantly cheaper than Stanford’s…

When my sophomore year at UCD started, I found myself not as interested in leaving. In fact, I eventually almost decided not to pursue the possibility of transferring. I let the UC application period slip by without taking action, thinking that I would stay the duration of my undergraduate education at UCD. However, with only a few days left until the UC application deadline was passed, I was sitting in evening service, and the thought entered my mind again. I basically decided, “Hey, if I’ve done so much thinking about this, and worked so hard towards it, why not just apply?”.

When I got home, I started my application and began writing my three personal response essays. I tried putting everything together as best I could, and sent off an application done in a couple days to just a single school: Berkeley.

Since that time, I’ve returned to my normal UC Davis school life, and kept this application a secret for most of the time to most people. My reasoning for that was this: If the result was another rejection, then there would be no point in having the world know. Also, I would have been content staying at Davis. If, however, I was accepted, then I would begin seeking advice and prayer regarding whether or not to walk through the door.

When I was awarded regents a couple weeks ago, it was a huge relief. It gave me security knowing that whether or not I was accepted at Cal, I would have a good path available to me. Today the decisions were finally released, after four months of not knowing. It was definitely a long time coming.

Now, I’m at a fork in the road of my life. God has brought me to a place where there seems to be two great paths to choose from. Each path has so many upsides, but also a number of downsides. I have exactly one month from today to formally pick one of these paths.

I could definitely use everyone’s prayer and advice while I consider my next steps. Hopefully many of you will leave comments telling me what you think about it. I want to hear from you!

Praise God.


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13