Student Experience at College of San Mateo
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November 12 - January 21
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Student Experience
Patrick Burns
Patrick Burns UC Berkeley, Latin American Studies

Patrick Burns is attending UC Berkeley as a Latin American Studies major, having transferred from College of San Mateo at the end of the Spring 2008 semester.

"I struggled in high school, and I knew that if I worked hard at CSM, I would have a second chance to apply to UC Berkeley," he said. "Little did I know that I was about to embark on a journey that would change my life." Patrick did work hard, achieving high grades, serving two terms as District Student Trustee, and helping to charter CSM's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.  "Along the way, I overcame a learning disability, formed amazing relationships with faculty members, lived independently from my parents, and worked full time," he said.

Patrick found the UC admissions process a confusing and an intimidating maze of paperwork, prerequisites, and statistics.  "Thankfully, Mike Mitchell and his staff at the Transfer Center offered all the help I needed, making the process less daunting," Patrick said. "They organized workshops to assist students with the UC application personal statements, as well as question and answer sessions with representatives from every university that I was thinking of applying to." Additionally, my counselor, Kitty Brown, helped me choose the right courses to prepare for Berkeley.  She was relentlessly positive and always encouraged me to stay confident and work hard."  "I realized that I was fully qualified and competitive for any UC, and I knew that even if things didn't work out exactly how I hoped they would, everything would be okay," he stated.  

Ultimately, Patrick was admitted to UC Davis, UCLA, and his first choice, UC Berkeley.  "I know that I will always be deeply grateful for the opportunities and encouragement that I got throughout every step of my journey at CSM-I am working hard and having fun at Cal, and I know that wherever I go in life, I will always be proud to say that my journey began at CSM," he concluded.

This feature first appeared in CSM's President's eNews in November 2008.