Why UCLA or UC Berkeley


Photo Credit: Trinity Delacruz

We are so excited for college in the fall.

Irene Fernandez and Mary Nassar

UCLA and UC Berkeley, top schools, are two of the most applied to universities each year. Both are well-known for being among the best public universities in California and across the United States because of their strong academic programs and amazing programs, which are just a few great qualities that drew us to apply.

At Rosary, three students will be attending UCLA and two students will be attending UC Berkeley. We are here to share the reasons why we applied to either institution and why we will be attending in the fall. Hopefully, our experience with the application process will be able to help juniors and underclasswomen out!

Why I chose UCLA (Mary)

For a while, I’ve felt a certain pull toward UCLA that I couldn’t quite explain. Even though I didn’t know too many specifics about the school, it was like something was pulling my heart toward it. So for a long

I’m all smiles in front of UCLA’s mascot, the Bruin bear. (Photo Credit: Rebecca Nassar)

time, whenever someone asked me what college I wanted to attend or what my top/dream school was, the first thing that came to my mind was always UCLA.

When I started doing more college research and filling out college applications, I learned more about the school, and the more I learned about the school, the more I felt like this was the school for me. I loved their top-notch programs, their student life, the plethora of extracurricular activities and clubs, and the location (close to home and in an urban area).

It wasn’t until I submitted my UC Application that I wanted to really see if UCLA was the right fit for me. So my family and I visited the campus over Thanksgiving Break.

I finally realized what the poets meant by love at first sight.

Not only was the campus absolutely gorgeous, but it also felt like I was truly home. I started to see that maybe that pull I had always felt toward UCLA was there for a reason, like it was where I was meant to be.

Royce Hall in all its magnificent glory. (Photo Credit: Mary Nassar)

Now, as a die hard Bruin, here’s a few of the reasons UCLA was my top choice and why I chose to commit there.

What I really loved most about UCLA was its balance between rigorous academics and student life on campus. The English and Political Science programs are top ranked, and there’s plenty of extracurriculars and events to balance my academic and social life. It’s also the perfect location for me–close enough to home that I can visit my family when I want but also in an urban area where I can have more access to job opportunities, shops, restaurants, and other activities. And most importantly, the breathtaking beauty of that campus.

Enough said.

Now, I didn’t actually apply to UC Berkeley mainly because it was too far away from home, and I wanted to be close to home, so I can visit my parents and sister regularly. Also, I wanted to stay in Southern California because I couldn’t really see myself living in Northern California.

Sophia Kondo ‘22 and Katie Fang ‘22 will also be attending UCLA (hopefully as my roommates!), so I talked to them about why they personally chose UCLA.

Me standing in front of the beautiful Royce Hall. (Photo Credit: Rebecca Nassar)

Katie explains why she chose to attend UCLA: “I actually applied to UCLA and not Berkeley mostly because Berkeley is farther in distance but also because I’m not sure how well I would fit in with the student population there. I chose UCLA because I feel like I vibe with the environment, and it’s a lot closer to home. (Also, I heard the dorm food is really good, so that’s another reason).”

Overall, Sophia, Katie, and I are excited to continue our academic journey together!


Why I chose UC Berkeley (Irene) 

UC Berkeley has been one of my dream schools since middle school, when I first wanted to major in Biochemistry. The thought of attending always stuck with me, and throughout my first two years of high school, I was always drawn to the lively campus culture and activism Berkeley is known for.

I could see the Golden Gate Bridge from Berkeley’s Campanile Tower. (Photo Credit: Rosalia Fernandez)

While Berkeley is not directly in San Francisco, it is only a 30 minute drive away, which I love because San Francisco is my favorite city in California and I also just love the Bay Area. I visited when I was younger and instantly knew that I wanted to get out of Orange County to move to Northern California at some point in my life.

Recently, on April 23, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Cal Day, an annual event that introduces prospective families and students to life on campus. The day was dedicated to showcasing the school through student-led tours, dorm parties, performances, and information booths.

The first event I attended was the Chancellor’s Morning Welcome where I was able to meet other students and also witness my first Berkeley impromptu protest. Afterwards, I took a student led-tour around campus and explored the student organizations. Every single person I interacted with was extremely kind, interested in talking to me, and highly welcoming. Some of the first things I noticed were cool fashion and people not afraid to express their identity.

The University Library is beautiful. (Photo Credit: Irene Fernandez)
A creek runs across UC Berkeley. (Photo Credit: Irene Fernandez)

The school is academically rigorous with a lively student body. I was drawn to the beautiful nature all over campus, especially the creek that made the school much more beautiful. Hearing from current students’ experiences, talking to the leaders of student organizations I was interested in, looking inside the libraries, and walking around the dorm areas solidified my decision. I knew I belonged here.

The other Rosary student who will be attending UC Berkeley is Lauren Cottrell ‘22. She said, “I chose Berkeley because I loved the campus when I visited. The architecture is so gorgeous and there’s so many things to look at. They also have an incredible political science program so I’m really looking forward to studying there!”

She continued, “I really liked the city of Berkeley. There were so many good restaurants with lots of vegetarian options. I’m looking forward to meeting all of my fellow incoming freshmen and experiencing college life!”

I am extremely excited about my decision and am looking forward to a great college experience in the fall. I am also proud of Mary, Katie, and Sophia, my UCLA friends. Despite us choosing different schools, we are where we are meant to be.