Tour de College

by Gerardo Gonzalez

     Recently, AVID students got the chance to visit many of Southern California’s esteemed college campuses led by AVID Director Michail Tagami. UCLA, UCSD, and CSU Long Beach were just three colleges of the five planned by Mr. Tagami, (the others were UCSB and Cal Poly.) The bus experienced some mechanical difficulties along the way, however. Despite this, the AVID students got to experience the different campuses. The students also had the chance to meet some of UCLA’s alumni and students.

      Most students I interviewed said that after they visited these top-tier campuses, they had second thoughts on their original college choices. Kawika Silva said, “After seeing UCLA’s campus I know it’s actually a lot nicer than [The University of] Hawaii’s campus, so if possible if there’s any way I could try to go there [UCLA]  I would, because I know what’s around the area too so it would be easier for traveling.”

       Besides talking to alumni and the students of UCLA, the AVID students explored the campus. According to Mr. Tagami, all the AVID students hunted for clues around the campus; each of the clues had trivia regarding the college. The scavenger hunt added a sense of adventure and made the trip that much more enjoyable.

      These top colleges opened the eyes of some students. One student saw the connection that the quality of a college’s campus is correlated to how difficult it is to get into said college. Sakthivil Murugan said, “The nicer colleges that are harder to get into have nicer campuses and have better lifestyles. Like UCLA has such a better campus than CSU Long Beach, so it’s like it encouraged me to work harder.” Anita Tutle added, “Being given the opportunity to attend this AVID overnight trip was an amazing opportunity… I was able to make connections and friendships with students I hadn’t yet got the chance to.”

       All the students I interviewed said they enjoyed their trip very much. These colleges have inspired them to be their best, and encouraged them to attend only the best.