Why did you join CAN?
I joined CAN by the lucky chance that during my junior year, it was the first year that CAN was operating at Lindbergh. I felt clueless about applying to college and all the other details that come along with wanting to pursue a higher education (FAFSA and financial aid, SAT versus ACT), so the emergence of CAN at Lindbergh was almost a godsend to me.
Have you always known you wanted to go to college?
Yeah, I’ve always known that wanted to go to college, partly because it has always been expected of me to do so, because my parents and grandparents never had the luxury of obtaining a higher education. They see it as the gateway to a better life (and they haven’t failed to stress it). But another reason I’ve always wanted to go to college was because I’ve always seen college as the way for me to reach my career goals.
How did it feel to get accepted to college?
When I was accepted into my dream college, of course I had that moment of elation and relief, where you feel that all your hard work over the years have amounted to something. But following that moment of celebration, I think that it really set into me that it’s just the beginning of my journey and the first milestone among many more to be met.
Where are you going to college? What do you plan to major in and why?
This upcoming fall, I will be attending the University of Washington-Seattle campus. Although I don’t have a clear cut major in mind yet, I know that I want to go into biology and pursue cancer research. First off, because I had discovered that I like biology, and furthermore, cancer has held great significance in my personal life as my grandmother has been fighting with cancer (and still is fighting with cancer) since I was young.
Why is pursuing your education important to you?
Pursuing my education is important to me not only because I think that it will help with my career goals, but also because I think that it’s an important step for me to grow as a person.
For many people, going to university or college is one of the very first times in their lives where they have to put themselves out of their own comfort zone—the “adulting” aspects of learning to live alone and developing your own schedule. This may also be the first time where they are exposed to people from different places, cultures and/or backgrounds that are immensely different from their own. As uncomfortable as self-discovery can get at times, I believe that it’s a crucial part to truly becoming an adult and growing up. College is a mecca for acquiring knowledge, not only from textbooks, but also from yourself.
What are you most excited about for your first year in college?
I am simultaneously the most excited for and the most dreadful for meeting and engaging with new people for my first year in college. As much as I like to talk with people and get to know them, I’m more introverted when it comes to starting a conversation with someone new.
In 10 years, what do you hope to be doing?
In 10 years, I hope to be working locally in Seattle doing cancer research.
Would high school be different for you without CAN?
If I didn’t have the support of CAN in high school then I probably wouldn’t have come out of my introverted shell as much as I have within these last two years. Being in CAN and having that interaction with my CAN coaches has helped me become a more confident person and they have helped me recognize the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. Above all, CAN has kept me informed and motivated throughout my college application process.
What has been your most memorable moment with your college coach?
My most memorable moments with my CAN coaches would be during the times when I got to get to know and connect with them one on one through sharing my own personal stories.
Because of CAN I was able to get into my dream college and ensure that I’ll be able to pay for it as well. Having CAN in my life changed my approach the college application process. Knowing that you have a community like CAN to support you throughout this daunting process of planning and going to college gives students the opportunity to focus more on how they can best present themselves to prospective colleges, rather than trying to figure out how to approach the application process in the first place.
Michelle is a 2018 graduate of Lindbergh High School and is currently attending University of Washington, Seattle.