We Only Regret the Chances We Didn't Take

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience
8/10. I was highly stressed due to the academic workload and pressure, but I had an amazing support network of family and friends. I loved playing sports, working for the school newspaper, and taking classes with my favorite teachers.

Grades in high school
Mostly A's. After earning all As (if not A+s) in middle school, I considered a "B" as failing. So, when taking AP courses with unbelievably bright classmates, high school was a rude awakening! Although I still earned mostly As, I had to work incredibly hard. My parents never pushed me to get good grades, so I assume my perfectionist tendencies and high-achieving peer group definitely contributed to my desire to do well in school.


Favorite subjects
English, History / Social Studies

Struggled with...
I struggled with math because I had some notoriously condescending and/or apathetic teachers. When I finally earned an A in math as a junior, I realized it was because, for the first time, I had a math teacher who cared deeply about every one of her students, taking the time to explain more difficult concepts. What a significant difference a teacher can make!

Favorite extracurricular
Sports / Recreation

Life since high school

My biggest mistake was not listening to that gut feeling that something needs to change; this has happened in my personal and professional life. Once I made changes in these respective areas, I was a much more happy and healthy person.

Attended college / university at
I went to three different colleges for my undergraduate education! For my freshman year, I went to Occidental, then I transferred to a Foothill Community College, and then I transferred to UCSB, where I graduated with a B.A. in psychology. Having been born and raised in an affluent area where going to a prestigious university is highly valued, I had a very negative association with community college. Therefore, I am forever grateful that I ended up transferring to Foothill because I LOVED my professors, and some of the courses were incredibly difficult! My parents were also really happy because my tuition dropped from about $40k to $1k. No joke.

Post-graduate education or training
I attended UCSB's Teacher Education Program, where I earned my M.Ed. and Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential. Fast forward six years and I am currently at Antioch University, where I am working toward a Master's in Clinical Psychology. I am also considering switching to the university's PsyD program, so I will have more career opportunities when I graduate, but I am not sure yet. 

Places lived in US

Current occupations / past occupations
I taught at the elementary school level for six years, and now I am going to school to become a therapist (or psychologist, if I decide to switch to my university's PsyD program).

Industries I've worked in
- Educational Services
- Accommodation and Food Services

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Experience on the job taught me more than my formal education ever could! That said, I am forever thankful for my college education, which expanded my knowledge and understanding of the world by exposing me to events, theories, beliefs and perspectives that I never would have known otherwise.

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
I recently transitioned from being a teacher to going to school to become a therapist (or psychologist). 

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
To me, being successful means being proud of one's personal, educational, and/or professional accomplishments. I also consider being successful as realizing an important goal in one's life.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to judge someone's success by their paycheck; while I still struggle not to financially compare myself to others, I know being successful does not necessarily correlate with one's salary (in fact, there can be a negative correlation).

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
At first, I thought of my Master's degree, but that answer feels forced. I feel more proud of the fact that I recently took a huge risk by leaving a stable career and returning to school to start down a different path. I've learned that the transition is not always easy, but there is great freedom and happiness that comes from following your heart instead of everyone else's. 

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
My biggest mistake was not listening to that gut feeling that something needs to change; this has happened in my personal and professional life. Once I made changes in these respective areas, I was a much more happy and healthy person. 

An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
I had high hopes that I would get into a specific doctorate program, but I was rejected. While I was sad because I felt like I was not smart enough, I was more upset over the fact that I would have to keep working at my current job. Therefore, this rejection was incredibly valuable to me because it made me realize how unhappy I was at my job and how much I needed to change careers -- regardless of an admission decision. 

This alumni is open to your questions and follow-ups.
In order to protect anonymity, we will pass along your message and they can choose whether to respond.

My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto

Coupa Cafe! :)