Interview with a College Prep Camper

What Campers Have to Say About THE College Prep Camp


Eliza attended THE College Prep Camp during the summer of 2015 before her senior year.  I interviewed her after she had been accepted to the top college of her choice. 

Tell us a little about yourself.  Where you are from, what your academic path has been like up to now, what your passions are, what your future goals consist of.

My name is Eliza and I live just outside Yosemite National Park.  I am currently a valedictorian of the class of 2016 at Mariposa County High School.  Next year, I will be attending UCLA to study International Development Studies.  I have enjoyed studying three years of French, AP English Literature, and Drama.  I struggled with, but enjoyed AP Biology and AP AB Calculus.  I am most passionate about working with people, especially in different cultures in different areas around the world.  I am interested in foreign relations, especially in Nepal, India, Tibet, and the Middle East.  

How did you hear about THE College Prep Camp?

I heard about the College Prep Camp from a friend who attended the camp two years earlier and loved it.  

Describe two or three non-academic memories from camp that stand out to you.

I loved meeting new friends through my classes, and especially playing soccer and volleyball with them.  I also loved going to the Lake with everyone, swimming there, and watching a movie (“Inside Out”) on the lakeshore.  My favorite memory was the summer camp atmosphere.  

What was most beneficial to you about the Personal Statement or Personal Insight sessions?

Getting advice from an assortment of professionals as well as other campers about the quality of my writing and different ideas to add.  Constructive criticism was helpful.

Everyone was helpful and I had the opportunity for many people to edit my work.  Other campers especially were so nice about my writing and I wish I could have gotten even more criticism to truly make my writing better.  It was really nice to be able to discuss an idea with a staff member and begin to develop and outline my writing before I wrote.  For me, talking with others sparks inspiration and more ideas.  

Describe Pinecrest and the atmosphere of the camp out in nature.

I absolutely loved the atmosphere.  I love the mountains and atmosphere of summer camp.  It seems to make you leave all your troubles at home and be able to focus. I also think the temperature was perfect.  

What would you tell a student who was thinking about maybe coming to our camp?  Why is it beneficial?

I know almost everyone has been victim to procrastination and the camp really gets your brain thinking about college.  It also gives you a support system; e-mails, phone numbers, and other contacts you can use to reach out for help in the process.  In the process of writing on my own, I continually remembered tips I had learned at camp that helped me out.  If you write your essays at the camp, get them edited all you can.

Where have you been accepted and where do you plan to study next year?  What field?

I was accepted to UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, Lewis & Clark College, Penn State, American University - DC, and George Washington College - DC.  I was waitlisted at Princeton, Bowdoin, Boston College, Pitzer, Middlebury, and Wesleyan.  I will be attending UCLA in the fall to study International Development Studies. I hope to minor and/or study Cultural Anthropology, Language, or Epidemics and Public Health, Conservation Biology, in addition to IDS.