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. 


    Seth De La Pena

  • No alternative text

    2021 High School Summer Online

    Courses:
    POLI 65 - Introduction to International Relations (5 credits)
    POLI 108 - Revolt, Rebellion, Revolution (5 credits)

    High School Summer Online was an incredible opportunity for me to immerse myself in a traditional college environment. From asynchronous textbook studies in POLI 65 to hours-long lectures in POLI 108, I received first-hand experience and knowledge in the field of study that I aim to one day be a part of. Being immersed in my education path showed me the methods of how professors taught in my field of interest, and I learned quickly about the obligations I held while participating and contributing to the course.

    Even as High School Summer Online has concluded, I realize that its positive impacts resonate with me. The fire burning in me to participate, debate, and communicate with my peers encourages me to work with others much more often - and most certainly on larger scales. Being the subject of attention and interest as a participant of the class taught me the importance of friendship and networking with others in my field, and our classroom discussions taught me the importance of constructively debating information that I disagreed with. Although I was unable to participate in person, I realize now that High School Summer Online remains to be one of my most memorable experiences - one that demonstrated the importance of comradery, self-care, and education in preparation for the future.

  • Kelly Coutinho

  • No alternative text

    2021 High School Summer Online

    Courses:
    MATH 19B - Calculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (5 credits)
    PHYS 6AIntroductory Physics I (5 credits)
    PHYS 6L - Introductory Physics I Laboratory (1 credit)

    High School Summer Online helped me prove to myself that I am ready for college coursework. Through this program, I was able to put myself in a class full of college students and learn things the way I wanted to with the many resources that were available to me. It taught me a lot of academic content I wouldn't have learned in my high school equivalent classes, and also taught me a lot about myself. I learned how to motivate myself to finish coursework through this experience, and how to manage my time with two courses and my extracurricular activities.

    My favorite part of my experience was the lab section of my Intro to Physics class. I found out that college classes have separate lab classes that follow the curriculum of the main class, which helps the student convert what they learn in class to see a real life application. It gave me a sense of purpose while doing the class, and made me excited to learn the next concept so that we could do a lab with it. The fact that it was online was also very helpful because I was able to join this course without worrying about the commute to Santa Cruz. The online resources like tutoring and lectures posted by professors were a big help in understanding my learning and give me the confidence to keep going.


  • Aiden Jackson

  • No alternative text

    2021 High School Summer Online

    Course: ECON 1 - Introductory Microeconomics: Resource Allocation and Market Structure (5 credits)

    The High School Summer Online experience positively impacted my life by preparing me to achieve success in advanced or accelerated courses in my next few years in high school. Being in Sophomore and Freshman years in high school was somewhat frustrating to me because most people, including myself, were ineligible for advanced courses until their Junior year.

    Not having any experience with advanced courses while going into the IB Diploma in Junior year would be incredibly stressful but I think that with the experience I gained through High School Summer Online I will be better prepared to excel in my IB courses. It also showed me that if I apply myself I can succeed in a college environment which serves as a boost of confidence that motivates me to continue furthering my academic career.


  • Alexa Sumitra

  • No alternative text

    2021 High School Summer Online

    Courses:
    POLI 17 - U.S. and the World Economy (5 credits)
    KRSG 60C - Prison Narratives (3 credits)

    In the first course I took I was challenged, but it paid off because my writing has significantly improved. The last reason why I love High School Summer at UCSC is because I developed college readiness skills such as time management and how to annotate text. I am happy to have taken two high quality courses at a discounted rate at UCSC. 


  • Molly Berman

  • No alternative text

    2021 High School Summer Online

    Courses: 
    PHYS 6AIntroductory Physics I (5 credits)
    PHYS 6L - Introductory Physics I Laboratory (1 credit)

    I loved high school summer online because of its simplicity. It was easy to find the class work, watch the lectures, and do the quizzes, all from home. I enjoyed being able to ask questions whenever I wished in office hours. I could wake up whenever I wished and sleep in, as the classwork could be completed at any time during the day. Not having to rush from class to class really cut down on the stress. I enjoy learning, and while the class I took was mostly a review for me, it also went into some different subjects I had never touched before. All in all, it was incredibly interesting and the teachers were incredible and kind.


  • James Yeh

  • No alternative text

    2021 High School Summer Online

    Course: LING 50 Introduction to Linguistics (5 credits)

    I loved High School summer mainly for two reasons: First, the online class scheduled offered a lot of flexibility. For my class, the Canvas online instruction accounted for most of the required assignments and learning. There are lectures and class discussions, of course, for students seeking an “on-campus experience”. But they aren’t mandatory -- if we felt tired, we could either watch the recorded lecture or simply complete our learning using the resources provided on canvas; most of our participation came from online discussion assignments with each other.

    The summer class was very both intuitive and flexible, which allowed me to provide the best type of learning pace for myself. Second, I was impressed by the variety of bonding opportunities the UCSC summer sessions offered out of class, these include Game-nights, Cooking or even guided Meditations sessions!. They’ve even sent us a “summer care package” weeks before our summer school started!! Included was a frisbee, sunglasses, and lots of other summer goodies -- all to get us in the mood and preparation for our remote summer session.


  • Ariana Lyman

  • No alternative text

    2020 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.