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Life as a Highlander at UC Riverside – from Dublin High School to SoCal

August 8, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–Our Life in College Series takes us to UC Riverside, where Dublin High School Class of 2016 alum Anaswar Jayakumar is pursuing a major in mathematics. We caught up with Anaswar to learn more about his college journey.

Anaswar-Jayakumar-DHS-grad Why did you select UC Riverside? What was the decision process?

Anaswar Jayakumar: “I selected UC Riverside mainly because I wanted to stay close to home, yet be able to fully embrace the college experience. I also chose UC Riverside because, like all UCs, it has a strong science and engineering program.” What is your major and why?

Anaswar Jayakumar: “My major is applied mathematics. I chose applied mathematics because math was a subject that I was good at in high school.” What did you expect going into college? What has surprised you, challenged you, and been different than you expected?

Anaswar Jayakumar: “My expectations going into college were that obviously, I knew that college was going be much more difficult than high school and that I would have to put much more effort and time into my studies and education. Although there weren’t a lot of things that surprised me in college, the one thing that surprised me the most in college was the fact that even if you don’t do well in quizzes and homework, if you do well on the midterm, you can still get a good grade, especially in math and science classes. In college, there were a lot of things that challenged me, especially in my first year, one of which was managing the number of units and number of classes that I was taking.” If you gave a UC Riverside campus tour what would you say to the tour group?

Anaswar Jayakumar: “A few things that I would say to the tour group is to first fully take advantage of the resources that college has to offer, second avoid distractions as much as you can and focus on school and studies, and lastly attend every lecture and discussion to the best of your ability. In addition I would advise the tour group to create a schedule so that you can keep track of your classes.” What has been most difficult about the transition from high school to college, and what have you learned?

Anaswar Jayakumar: “The thing that has been most difficult about the transition from high school to college is the struggle to adjust to and keep up with the structure of college itself. Especially in a quarter system where you have 10 weeks’ worth of course material and classes, 1-2 midterms per quarter and a final, it was initially difficult for me to keep up with the number of units and classes I was taking given the short amount of time that I was in college.” What Dublin High School courses best prepared you for your first year in college? Do you have any shoutouts / thank you’s you’d like to share with Dublin High School teachers?

Anaswar Jayakumar: “All of the AP classes that I have taken have best prepared me for my first year of college mainly because the rigor and strict structure of AP classes was similar to the structure and rigor of college. I would like to personally thank Brad Vereen, Jeff Taylor aka “Chef Jeff”, former Dublin High teacher Lisa Carhart, and Jennifer McCort.” What courses in college have been the most interesting and why?

Anaswar Jayakumar: “Math 31 (Linear Algebra) and Math 46 (Differential Equations) have the most interesting courses mainly because they were the most eye-opening for me. In addition Linear Algebra and Differential Equations were classes that I took and have been exposed for the first time which is why I felt it was the most interesting for me.” How are college-level course different from high school?

Anaswar Jayakumar: “College level courses are different from high school in the sense that college level courses usually have a lecture and discussion component. In high school, classes are usually a single class that is supplemented by homework, quizzes, and a final, all of which are important in getting a passing grade. In college, that is usually not the case, as the midterm and final are what determines the grade and while there are weekly homework assignments and quizzes, those don’t usually determine the grade as much as the final and midterm. Furthermore, compared to high school where you can usually study for exams and quizzes at the last minute or even the day before, in college studying has to constantly happen.” Have you joined groups outside of the classroom and what has that experience been like?

Anaswar Jayakumar: “Outside of the classroom, I am an active member of AYUDH, which is the youth wing of Embracing the World, the global charitable organization and network of Mata Amritanandamayi. Being part of AYUDH has been an amazing experience for me as I have bene involved in many service and community project and initiatives. I have also joined a club on campus called Drive @ UCR which is a club for car enthusiasts in the Riverside area. By being a member, I was able to meet other people who also had a common interest and enthusiasm for cars as well as fellow classmates who also attend UCR. I was able to learn so much more about the car community and increase my passion and interest in cars.” If you could go back in time what advice would you give to your high school self?

Anaswar Jayakumar: “If I could go back in time, the advice I would give myself is to live by the following quote from Formula 1 legend Aryton Senna, ‘On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, ‘Okay, this is the limit’. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.'”


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