Please briefly introduce yourself
I am 18 years old and am about to enter my junior year of college at UC Berkeley.

When were you a student at ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu?
From Fall 2020 to Spring 2022

Which colleges were you accepted to?

Which college did you choose to attend?
UC Berkeley

What was your major?

What do you do now?
I am a 3rd-year college student

How did you first learn about ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu?
My brother started at CC2UC and attended UCLA so we decided that it would be good for me to try it out as well.

What do you remember most about your student life at ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu??
I remember being extremely by all the studying but nothing was more satisfying than seeing my hard work paid off every time I saw my grades or when I got my college acceptance letters. At the moment, it felt like all I was doing was studying but when I look back, I realize I was able to meet new people and make new friends through this program as well.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while you were a student at ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu?
I never took time management that seriously because I always just did my assignments last minute in junior high and high school and ended with satisfactory grades but I realized that it is not the same in college. Time management is very important in our daily lives because it can be applied in all aspects of our life, not just studying, but CAL Edu was able to teach me that.

What have you gained (skills, habits, advice… etc) from ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu?
I have learned how to manage my time wisely so that I am not rushing to do anything last minute. I also got in to the habit of asking questions when I need help instead of just staying quiet and trying to figure it out myself. I think the best advice I got from CAL Edu was that it is okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable as it will happen as we keep moving forward in our life, but we can’t sit on our mistakes and refuse to move forward because of that. We have to carry our mistakes and work harder to make up for them in order to get stronger.

What have you lost (bad habits, old beliefs, limiting beliefs) while you were a student at ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu?
My worst habit was definitely procrastination. I used to do my homework the period before it was due and study for my tests the morning we had them. Another belief I lost personally was that I always believed that I couldn’t study and I would not be “smart” no matter how hard I tried. I started to give up on myself because I thought that I would be even more of a disappointment if I actually tried my best and still got bad results. However, CAL Edu has helped me to realize that genuine hard work will always bring great rewards.

Who / Where / What were you just before you began your journey with ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu?
I started CAL Edu as a junior in high school. I started public school in 9th grade but was taken out to start homeschooling. I was just your average student who didn’t like to study and was always lying in bed watching videos instead of doing anything productive. I got an average of B’s and C’s during my years in high school because I never tried and I prioritized hanging out with friends over doing things that were more important.

What was your motivation behind your decision to join ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu?
A large majority of my decision to join CAL Edu was because of my parents as they really wanted me to join but they still gave me some freedom in my choice as well. I saw how well this program worked out for my brother, who was also just as bad as I was at studying, and thought that it would be my only way of getting into a decent college.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice before starting your journey at ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu, what would it be?
Don’t underestimate yourself. My years of average grades and poor time management led me to believe that I couldn’t do anything on my own. CAL Edu taught me that studying is hard, but it is manageable if I really work hard and do things ahead of time.

What advice do you have for students who are thinking about studying at ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu?
ALWAYS finish your work ahead of time. Basecamp gives up to-do lists with the date assignments are due, but I can guarantee that doing the assignments at the last minute will not bring good results. Last-minute work may be acceptable in high school where the teacher does not care as much, but college professors as well as the CAL Edu teachers/mentors do not take light work.

How has your experience at ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu helped you in your current career?
I just finished my last semester with CAL Edu this year so it has not been that long, but I know it has helped me start the path I want to take in my future career.

Would you recommend ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu to others? Why or why not?
I 100% would recommend CAL Edu to others. If I was asked this just a year ago, I would’ve said no, but the results of following through with this program have been amazing. It is such a great way to get a head start and even get into the colleges people would have never imagined getting into. It’s a fact that it is difficult and that the CAL Edu teachers/mentors expect a lot more than cc does, but it is clear that they just want the best for all of us.

What are the most important skills that you use in your current job?
I do not currently have a job but I can say that my time management skills have definitely improved since before I started CAL Edu.

What do you think would have happened, or where would you be now, if you had not made the decision to join ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu?
I would have 100% been rejected from all the colleges I applied to and would have to go to some local cc instead. With my grades and lifestyle from before CAL Edu, I don’t know how I would manage to make a living. I would probably be sleeping at 4am and waking up at 4pm just to lie in bed and watch videos all day until I finally realize I have work to do at like 1am. This may sound dramatic or like a joke, but I’m being 100% serious.

Can you recall any specific moment or event that happened while you were at ESL Lab / CC2UC / CAL Edu you cannot forget?
I remember this one time I was taking a NUTR course and I finally finished a difficult assignment, but I had forgotten to turn it into the college canvas. I thought I had turned it in because I turned it into the CAL Edu canvas but I didn’t. I remember panicking and I actually started crying because I thought that my grades were ruined. I had always learned that when you get a low grade in college, it’s impossible to bring it bad up. As I was beating myself up for making such a dumb mistake, the CAL Edu teachers/mentors reassured me that it was okay and that I just have to work harder to end with a good grade. It may seem like a small event but to me, I was actually very touched and relieved. It made me feel like others trusted in me and knew that I could do it when I myself felt like I couldn’t do it.