High School Stories

Every summer high school students are welcome in most UC Santa Cruz Summer Session courses. They get a taste of college life and earn UC credit they can take with them anywhere. 

We hope you find some inspiration in their stories. 


    Sathvika Musuvathy

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    High School Summer Online

    Course: BIOE 107 - Ecology (5 credits)

    In high school, we are only taught at an introductory level, which left me with many questions regarding subjects, especially biology. Through High School Summer Online, I was able to explore ecology, a branch of biology. Taking Ecology this summer allowed me to explore the subject more through learning material in different ways, such as lectures, exams, and research projects. 

    My favorite experience in Ecology was working through the graduate level research proposal. I loved making observations right in my backyard and investigating the ecosystems around me. 


  • Anthony Garcia

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    High School Summer Online

    Courses:
    EART 3 - Geology of National Parks (5 credits)
    LING 80K - Invented Languages, from Elvish to Esperanto (5 credits)

    I wanted to have something to do over the summer due to the limited options during the epidemic. I also took them to prepare and become accustomed to the demands of a university styled class. I wanted to know what was coming in the future and to help give myself an idea as to how I can complete classes and what method best suits me when it comes to doing classwork in a university styled environment.

    In my class for Invented Languages we would have live video conferences with the class and the professor, where we'd try and create a language for an imaginary creature. Those conferences were great experiences in which students would give their ideas and we'd try and create a language from students suggestions. Creating the language became a fun and involving process until we are able to create a small dictionary for the language and the rules and structure of the language. 

    Thank you for this opportunity and for the amazing classes that are given. It was truly a fun and engaging experience that I do not regret.


  • Ella Speed

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    High School Summer Online

    Course: OCEA 1 - The Oceans (5 credits)

    I have always had a strong interest in marine biology and ocean sciences and have been considering pursuing a career in this field. I applied for the OCEA 1 course to experience what it would be like to study oceanography in college. I found the course to be both fascinating and engaging, reassuring my interest in the subject. 

    One of my favorite experiences from the course was doing independent research for the class assignments with the help and feedback from my course teachers Dr. Bowman and Mr. Murray. 


  • Kasie Cruse

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    High School Summer Online

    Course: OCEA 1 - The Oceans (5 credits)

    I took the UCSC summer high school OCEA-1  course because I wanted to challenge myself in an area that I am very interested in and was not offered at my high school. Taking a College course has helped me reach my academic goals by making me more confident both as a student and as an individual. It’s helped me realize that I can do anything if I believe I can and not be afraid to take on the challenge. I found that when I see a challenge as an obstacle rather than a barrier I tend to do better and has made me much more confident

    I have met some incredible people from within my home state, out of state and even out of country who are interested in the same general areas of study.

    Additional tip to those who are unsure about taking a course: Do it! If you are unsure about whether or not to do it because you think you will be the only high schooler or because your worried it’s too much for you - don’t be! Kick that thought to the curb! First of all, I was so surprised to see How many other high schoolers were enrolled in my class. In addition, I am so happy I did take the UCSC course available for high schoolers because it has made me more confident to take on college and it’s challenges. Secondly, don’t be discouraged by the complex title or the fact it’s a college course. Even if you don’t do as well as you hoped, it’s still an amazing learning experience. Just putting yourself in a position to try something new, challenge yourself and having that experience will help you so much. It’s helped me in ways I didn’t expect. It’s made me confident and ready for future challenges.


  • Benthan Vu

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    High School Summer Online

    Courses: 
    ARTG 132 - 3D Character Rigging and Animation for Video Games (5 credits)
    MATH 11A - Calculus with Applications (5 credits)

    Taking Calculus has helped me reach my academic goals, since I took it as a preview for my actual Calculus class during my high school senior year. My favorite online experience was learning how to make animations in my 3D Animation and Rigging class (see profile photo for example).


  • Golda Huebner

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    High School Summer Online

    Course: STAT 5 Statistics (5 credits)

    This was a difficult class for me, but I’m very glad to have taken it. 

    Over the school year I was already thinking about taking a summer course and wanted to do something useful with my extra time during quarantine. So once I heard about this opportunity, it felt meant to be and I instantly signed up. I was very nervous at the beginning, as well as stressed throughout the course but it was rewarding at the end.

    Taking this class made me see what I’m capable of. There were moments where I thought it was impossible, yet I pushed through, and worked even harder. Now that I have these experiences, I will be able to do the same and better in the future. 

    If I had one tip, it's to not get behind or procrastinate. It is a lot of work and it's best if you do pieces every day.


  • Tiago Beck

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    High School Summer Online

    Course: JAPN 1 - Japanese: First Year (5 credits)

    I had previously made different summer plans, but since those were canceled due to COVID, I decided to try a class at UCSC for the Summer Session. I had tons of fun, though the workload was... a lot. For anyone considering taking one of the classes in this program, like many others have likely said already, make sure to spread out your homework because there's going to be plenty of it.

    Additionally, check your UCSC email frequently starting at least 2 weeks before your class starts. I didn't notice I even had a UCSC email until the day before my class, only to realize that the Japanese class I was taking required several preliminary activities to be completed. I managed to do those during the class and catch up, but it would've been a lot easier if I'd checked beforehand.


  • Ariana Lyman

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    High School Summer Online

    Course: OCEA 1 - The Oceans (5 credits)

    I love the ocean and science so the class was a perfect fit.

    As a rising high school junior, I wanted to experience a university class. The Oceans class was exactly what I wanted. It was a fascinating class and I learned so much about the oceans and the global environment. Professor Bowman and Mr. Murphy were very nice and helpful. Professor Bowman is world famous and I was amazed she always had time to answer my questions. Her online lectures and presentations were way more interesting than my high school classes. While I spent a lot of time studying, I did not mind because the class was so fun. My favorite experience was the knowledge and information I gained from my online experience.

    If you are unsure about taking an Online High School Summer course at UCSC my advice is to do it. You will get through it! It may be challenging but you will succeed. My tip would be to apply early so you can register as soon as classes open.