Angela Fang says just thinking about starting college makes her positively giddy, especially because she’s about to become a UC San Diego Triton. She is currently a high school senior at The Preuss School, so she is very familiar with campus. She credits the rigorous educational program at Preuss, and the encouragement of teachers, staff and her family members, for preparing her for the next step in her academic career – becoming a UC San Diego Triton. In this interview, Angela talks about why she chose to attend UC San Diego and what she likes best about being a Preuss student.
How did you end up attending The Preuss School on the UC San Diego campus?
I grew up in a single-parent household with my father and two sisters. Both of my sisters attended and graduated from The Preuss School. When I was in fifth grade, Preuss was the only middle school to which I applied. There was no “plan b.” All of my hopes were riding on admission to the school. I know my dad really wanted me and my sisters to stick together, and stick together we did. And being a Preuss student gave me the confidence to know that I’d make it into a four-year university.
Congratulations on your admission to UC San Diego. How did you decide UC San Diego is the place for you?
Up until last year, I had no idea where I wanted to go to college. Initially, I planned on attending college outside of San Diego so that I could have more experiences outside of where I grew up. But after the Health Information Partnership program that I attended at UC San Diego over the summer of 2011, I realized how much I loved the campus. Also, it’s so close to my house that I could always just pop by to say hi to my dad. After realizing how much I would miss San Diego and my dad, I realized that UC San Diego was actually a great choice for me. Plus, it’s already like home to me.
What do you look forward to most about being a Triton?
I look forward to experiencing college life at UC San Diego, and just thinking about it makes me feel giddy inside. I have known about UC San Diego for half my life. My visits to the campus have been like tiny moments where I’ve tasted independence and the feelings of being a college student. And soon I get to experience it as a Triton! I’m extremely excited about everything that the campus has to offer.
How has your education at The Preuss School prepared you for college?
Although the work load at Preuss is definitely rigorous, it really has shaped me into a person who is dedicated to her work. I treat each assignment as if it were the only assignment that I have to do. I do it with extreme care. Even if it’s just a normal homework assignment, I always choose quality over quantity. I prefer to understand my work, rather than to simply do it just to get the credit. The point of homework is to practice the material in order to reinforce our understanding of it. If I do it without understanding it, I’m just wasting my time. Preuss has taught me the importance of homework and using time wisely.
Also, as a student from Preuss, I’ve learned the importance of effort. Although the faculty at Preuss is beyond amazing when it comes to assisting students, I’ve learned that it is important to use the resources that they give to us as well. It’s one thing to have a teacher come up to you, earnestly asking if you need help. However, they can’t help you unless you reciprocate that earnestness to learn. I’ve really learned to put myself out there when it comes down to doing things to make myself a better person, or to make the community a better place. Whether it is academically or socially, Preuss has taught me that putting forth the effort and encouraging yourself to do something is completely worth it.
What do you want to study, and where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Unlike some students my age, I have several ideas about what I want to do with my life. In the future, I see myself as a lawyer working for the federal government. And it may sound ambitious, but I hope to one day become a Supreme Court Justice or a policymaker in Congress. Before that though, I’d like to get a law degree and start working for the federal government. Although many people have distrustful feelings towards our government, I see our governmental institution as something great. I know for sure that I’d like to contribute to that greatness.
How long have you played the violin, and how did you get involved in the Youth Symphony?
During elementary school, I played the piano, the recorder and the flute, but I had no prior experience with a violin. In the 8th grade, I requested a change to my schedule so I could take orchestra and try the violin. I made this decision because I was amazed with the beautiful sounds that came out of the violin. I really wanted to try playing the violin like I saw violinists on TV playing. In a sense, I wanted to experience their passion towards the instrument and music.
Towards the middle of the year, when my skills were slowly improving, my teacher asked students who were interested in joining the San Diego Youth Symphony to sign up for auditions. My friends and I decided to give it a try. We passed the audition and we entered the San Diego Youth Symphony in our freshman year of high school. We had no idea that we would get so much experience and joy out of it.
Tell me about the other activities in which you are involved?
Usually, seniors in high school are laid back. However, I’m the type of person who enjoys being busy so I’m involved in quite a few activities. I am an officer, as well as an active member, of my school’s Science Olympiad club. We meet every Monday after school in order to prepare for the annual competition. I’m also a member of my school’s San Diego Youth Symphony Audience Development Booster Club and we market concerts to students, parents and faculty members at Preuss. On Tuesdays after school, I head to my local library and volunteer to tutor students who need help with their school work. On the first and last Wednesday of each month, I tutor the middle-school students at my school for the National Honor Society club. Previously, on Fridays, I volunteered at the Thornton Hospital over at the Nutrition Department. Unfortunately however, I recently had to quit because I was having transportation issues. But after I begin attending UC San Diego this fall, I hope to resume my volunteering services. At that point, transportation won’t be an issue. And then of course, on Saturday’s I attend the SDYS ensemble rehearsals over at Balboa Park. Thursdays and Saturdays are my free days. I usually do homework during that time, and I try scheduling activities with my friends too.
What is your favorite part of being a Preuss School student?
I love the unity between the students, teachers and faculty members. The student body at Preuss is unlike other high schools. Everybody there is working towards a common goal: college. That mental battle is what keeps every student on track. Good news means good news for everyone, and bad news means bad news for everyone. As for the teachers, they motivate us and push us to succeed. Whether learning a new mathematical method or conjugating a verb in Spanish, the teachers are always helping us to learn. As a student, it is extremely important to have something or someone pushing you from behind, urging you forward, and that’s what we have at The Preuss School with the teachers and staff members.
Favorite place at UC San Diego: The grassy area around Library Walk
Favorite place on Earth: Anywhere that affords me the luxury of lying in soft, green grass, looking up at the baby blue sky. It’s how I de-stress.
Favorite hobby: Reading or playing the violin and piano
Favorite class: History
Favorite books: If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Favorite quote: “Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together.”
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