This is something I've thought about a lot and realized more and more as I went through college, and I am planning on writing a Medium article on it soon - if anyone is interested let me know! But TL;DR would be that everyone comes from such different backgrounds when you go to college. You might meet someone who has international awards in math, or someone that has published a scientific paper before even going to college. Many people experience something called "imposter syndrome," and sometimes it can be demoralizing. How to deal with it is a whole entire topic I don't have space to share here, but please know that it's normal to feel disadvantaged in one way or another when you first get to college - it gets better :)
Kalyn Bowen '15
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Computer Science and Engineering
MS in Computer Science (Concentrations in Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction) in Progress
Kalyn Bowen graduated from PCHS in 2015. She completed her undergraduate degree at MIT studying Computer Science and is now a graduate student at MIT studying Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interactions. After finishing her Master's program, she is hoping to work in the Educational Technology industry, making education more universal and accessible to everyone regardless of their background.
During high school, I held an unpaid internship position at University of Hawaii's Botany Department (which led to my senior project later on). If you're looking to go into STEM programs, research experience during high school puts a boost on your college apps, and I found the internship experience to be an extremely valuable exposure to research. At PCHS, I was the captain of math team during my senior year, and though I wasn't super involved in many extracurriculars, I was able to devote a lot of time to the club I truly cared about. The most helpful class I took was Mr. Adaniya's AP Calculus BC! He really drills you what you need to know on the AP exam, and I believe it really helped me build the foundation for all the math classes I took during college.