“Don’t lose sight of your vision, just keep working towards it.”

How Sebastian made it to Harvard University


Maria Soberanis

Sebastian at Harvard University.

I interviewed my cousin Sebastian Maruquin and talked about how he was able to succeed and go to college and what he did in college to get a career.
“Well, I went to high school there. I took several different AP courses. I did extracurriculars such as soccer and then I also did some SAT prep. And then my application process started my junior year of high school. That’s when I started writing the essays for colleges and stuff.
Each college has their own question that you have to write an essay about and different applications that you have to do. And then by senior year, that’s when responses come out. So that’s how it kind of went.
It was difficult. I took five AP courses my senior year out of the six classes I could take. So I was trying to always take the hardest I could. And not only that, just trying to find colleges that would give me scholarships and colleges that would support my financial needs was super challenging and limiting. So when I applied to colleges, I didn’t only have to apply to colleges, I was also applying to scholarships such as the Gates Scholarship or the Dell Scholarship to help support me. So it was like doing two things at once. Just to have a better future for myself. I knew if I stayed here without going to college, I would just be living in poverty my entire life and wouldn’t be able to support my parents or my family as well. So that can push me towards going to college and getting a career.
My dream career was to be a chef. I wanted to go to culinary school, but that option is a little more risky financially later on, so that’s why I opted for college.       
Yeah, I went to high school first, and then once I graduated, I applied.
My high school’s name was Oscar de Hoya Charter High School in East Los Angeles.
Well, I had to take a bunch of math courses, algebra, geometry, some statistics, stuff like that. I took different language courses from Spanish, I took history courses, science courses. They call them their A-G requirements. And these requirements basically are fulfilled by certain classes you take. They encompass different things from science, math, different subjects in each branch and stuff like that. So I had to fill those requirements, and then I could graduate.
My favorite thing about college so far is I could take classes about whatever I want. So this semester I was taking classes in statistics, data science, economics, stuff like that. But I was also able to take engineering courses, even though they’re not necessarily related. So I’ve always been able to explore different interests at the college. So that’s what I’ve liked so far.
Before attending college, I thought it was going to be somewhere in the middle. Obviously, it wasn’t going to be easy simply because a lot of these colleges expect you to have pretty high grades and not a lot of assistance. So I had to find first get those high grades and then that financial backing for college. So there are those obstacles to overcome, but the rest, it kind of happens by itself. Like just taking classes and trying to do good in them. That’s how you do get high grades, just putting effort in that. Then with those high grades, you can apply to different colleges, and scholarships will accept you for those. So it’s kind of all in one process.
My college’s name is Harvard University. 
There’s a bunch of smart people there. That’s what’s really cool about it. Everyone’s really smart, but it’s fun. 
If you go to college, make sure you’re prepared for a lot of hard work. You have to study hard.
You have to work hard. But in the end, that work is worth it later on.”