Seniors Take On Early Applications!

The early application deadlines for colleges across the country have just passed.  On November 1st, seniors from every high school in the United States submitted applications to their schools of choice.  

In these college applications, the students are required to submit their transcripts, standardized testing scores and essays on various topics.  To normalize the application process, many colleges, from Harvey Mudd to Woodbury, accept a set of essay prompts known as the ‘common application.’  This year, there are seven different prompts, each with a word limit of 650 words. In order to stand out among the sea of applicants, students try to give a unique point of view without going over the word limit.  

Describing a common issue in responding to these prompts, senior Bailey Robinson Burmester said, “I had some serious writer’s block with the common app personal statement and then overshot the word count by over 1000 words. It was really painful to cut all those words.”

It is recommended that when writing an application, anyone should be able to pick it up on the streets, read your essays, and understand who you are. Through these personal statements and essay prompts, these students try and paint a picture of who they are.

While many schools exclusively use the common app, some schools also require additional information. Colleges such as Stanford require two essays, three short essays, and seven short response questions in addition to the personal statement and writing about extracurricular activities and leadership.  

Some students apply to many schools, while others wait for the normal application deadline.  Burmester applied to Stanford during early action applications, and is planning on applying to Harvard, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and the University of the Pacific for the normal admission. Senior Grace Range decided not to apply for any colleges in the early action period because she wanted to improve her essays before submission.  

After experiencing the application process, the seniors have some advice for the juniors and sophomores. “Do not procrastinate. I know you hear this all the time, but really,” Burmester said. “Start writing as soon as you can access the essay questions. If you can finish, or at least make a good headway before school starts, you will experience a lot less stress in the beginning of your senior year.”

While it is important to work on your college apps and think about your future, it is also important to enjoy your senior year. “Senior year is your last year of high school,” Range said. “So make sure you make time for the people and things that matter.”

With the normal application deadline rapidly approaching, most seniors will continue to work on their essays to maximize their chances of getting into the college of their choice.


Da Vinci Students Take South Korea

For the second year in a row, members of Da Vinci High School’s South Korea Club traveled to South Korea this summer as part of the exchange program between Da Vinci Charter Academy and Yuseong students.  Zevik Citron, Hadley Citron, Jenna Christensen, Grace Holt, Hyung-Seok Park and teacher advisors Ms. DeRobbio and Mr. Langone toured the city of Daejeon, South Korea, immersing themselves in Korean culture for nine days.

The students’ travel itinerary was filled with fun activities, including visiting the National Science Museum, living at the Magoksa Temple and taking a Korean cooking class. At the National Science Museum, the students learned about nature and wildlife in Korea. They learned how to make gimbap, a type of Korean sushi, and japchae, a Korean glass noodle stir fry dish in their cooking class. The students also practiced Korean calligraphy at the Yuseong-gu Lifelong Learning Center.  While staying at the Magoksa Temple, the students studied Buddhism from local monks.

“We got to meditate on these little rocks in a small stream, which was pretty cool,” Hadley Citron said.

In addition to experiencing Korean culture, the students attended Noeun High School for two days, where they sat in classes with their new Korean buddies. The students sat in on various classes, ranging from math and science to Chinese language class.

“They are so rigorous with their schooling,” Holt recalled. It was a tremendous shock to the Korea Club students to attend school from 7:45 AM to 10:30 PM, with extra school from 10:30 PM to 12:30 PM. Unlike Da Vinci, the teachers relied on chalk boards and paper books instead of laptops to teach.

Park said, “It was very cool to be part of a Korean school for two days, and also the students there were very nice and welcoming! Some even asked for pictures and such, making you feel like some kind of celebrity!”

Along with touring South Korea and experiencing Korean school, the South Korea Club attended a baseball game.  

Hadley Citron said, “It was not at all what I was expecting. When each of the home team’s players went up to bat, everyone would sing a song specifically for that player.”  

To conclude their trip, the students met Lee Jae-Kwan, Deputy mayor of the town Yuseong-gu, before heading to the airport.

Soon it will be the South Korea Club members’ turn to host the Korean students. Their newfound friends will visit Da Vinci Charter Academy in the winter, where they will sit in on our classes and be shown around Davis. If you meet them, be sure to say “Hi” and welcome them to the school!