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Life at UC San Diego – From Dublin High AP to Nanoengineering

December 22, 2010

by Jamie Somerville (Dublin High School Class of 2010 and UCSD Freshman)

Waking up at 8:00 am with the sun shining through my dorm room window, I look out to blue sky, palm trees and the Pacific Ocean in the distance. This paradise-like view from my dorm room window at UC San Diego might seem a little bit clichéd but this really is how my typical day begins. Even with my bad habit of “accidentally” swinging my hand round onto the snooze button, I am soon up and dressed to go for a run along the campus beach. Following this I go to class for a few hours, have soccer practice, study, eat and then try to get to bed at a reasonable time (college reasonable time is very different from normal reasonable time).

My first few weeks of college were very fun but at the same time pretty scary. For the first time in my life I was on my own with no kind of community support web to catch me should I have fallen. I knew it was absolutely crucial to get involved right away or else it would be too late and everyone would have made friends already. I started my new life in San Diego by trying out for the UCSD club soccer team. I was very happy to have made the team, as there were more than 80 people there, as well as 3 rounds of cuts. The older guys on the soccer team immediately made an effort to make the new freshman feel welcome. It gave me an instant social life that I really appreciated. We even went up to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for regionals during October, which was a blast.

Relaxing in my dorm room

Unfortunately, college is not all fun and games and still requires a good amount of work. I am a Nanoengineering major as part of both the Jacobs School of Engineering and Eleanor Roosevelt College (ERC) within UCSD. I picked this major because it is a rapidly expanding field that will present many opportunities once I graduate. I only took general education courses this first quarter so I am very excited to start some of courses required for my major after the break. I just finished picking my classes for next quarter and I hadn’t realized how much AP classes in high school actually help until then.

At my school, your sign-up time for classes is based on how many units you have. The more units, the better the sign-up date. With the many AP classes that I took while at Dublin High School I was able to be one of the first to sign-up and got all my classes at the times I wanted and with the professors that were recommended to me. That’s not the only benefit. By taking AP classes I was also able to get out of a lot of the entry level classes that everyone has to take like Calculus, Chemistry and Biology. This freed up my schedule so I could take classes that interested me such as the astrophysics class I took this quarter. It was very cool taking a class I was so interested in.

Playing UCSD Club Soccer (I’m #23)

Despite being kept busy with school and sport, I did still get a little homesick. I came back home three times this quarter and it definitely made me appreciate what a wonderful place I had the privilege of growing up in, not to mention the good cooking. I know so many people in Dublin and have so many friends that it was very hard to just start anew. Even with a quarter down, I still struggle with this but it is getting better with time.

I love being at UCSD and I can’t see myself being at any other school. The campus is stunning, the weather is great and the people are very cool. It is a magnificent place to live and so far I’m enjoying every minute of it.

At the Dublin High School 2010 Senior Awards Night Jamie Somerville was awarded multiple scholarships including: Justin & Sara Peelle Student Athlete Scholarship/Mentorship Award, Dublin Athletic Boosters, CIF Farmers Scholar/Athlete of the Year.  Jamie is also a California Scholarship Federation Life Member and was recognized with a Gold award under the President’s Outstanding Academic Achievement program.

Other articles in the Life in College series:

UCSD’s majestic neighbor – the Pacific Ocean