Spending Summer at Colleges

September 29, 2010 — by Lillian Chen

With all the hustle and bustle of college applications for seniors, two girls spent their summers getting a taste of what college life would be like. Seniors Parisa Mirzadegan and Erika Guldner attended classes this past summer at the University of Southern California and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Mirzadegan had always enjoyed reading, but she had discovered a passion for writing junior year from all the fun writing done during her English class. Mirzadegan decided to attend a four-week program during the summer at USC to hone her writing abilities. This program offered different classes on topics such as psychology and architecture, but Mirzadegan’s fondness of writing led her to sign up for a creative writing class.

“It was really great because my teacher was actually a professor at USC, and I got college credit as well,” said Mirzadegan. “I was already interested in writing, but attending this program helped me realize it would be really fun to do for a living. It would be really great if I could actually become a published writer.”

Ever since Mirzadegan was young, she read a lot, but writing as a career choice didn’t seem like a possibility until her junior year. “When I was there, I learned that it was more fun to write since I could write about whatever I wanted to,” said Mirzadegan. “It definitely made me want to pursue writing more.”

Mirzadegan was able to experience what real college life was like through this program. Staying in the dorms, eating in the dining halls, even having the hot water in the shower run out were all experiences that gave Mirzadegan a taste of college life.

“Attending this program definitely made me like USC a lot more. There was a lot to do on campus,” said Mirzadegan. “The main highlight of my trip was meeting so many awesome people that had the same writing interests as I did.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Guldner was busy with her hectic schedule of classes at RISD for six weeks. Guldner had basic drawing class on Mondays, Architecture on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Art History Form on Thursdays, and Basic Design on Fridays.

“I wanted to take part in this program at RISD because I wanted to learn more about architecture,” said Guldner. “This experience helped me understand architecture and architects better.”

Through the program, Guldner was able to add more pieces to her architecture portfolio, which would later help to bulk up her applications to design schools. Guldner had always had an interest in art and design, but she wanted to get her feet wet in an architecture class to see if that particular type of design was a good fit for her.

“I travel a lot with my family, so I like looking at other cultures and their art and designs of their buildings,” said Guldner. “This led to my interest in architecture.”

After spending six weeks taking classes related to what would become her dream career, Guldner realized she really enjoyed working with interiors and colleges and that a career in interior design was definitely for her. Similar to Mirzadegan, Guldner’s highlight of her trip was meeting new people,
making new friends, and getting a feel for college life.

Attending the program at USC, Mirzadegan was showed different styles of writing which helped her think more about what kind of writer she would want to be if she could be one. Guldner learned more about a field she would be interested at her program at RISD.

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