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UC Berkeley campus building PHOTO CREDIT: Sophia Chung

Summit Denali holds its 2022 junior college study trips

By Toli Gonodanov-Meybray and Sean Quigley

Staff Writers

On April 21 and 22, Summit Denali high school juniors went on college study trips. The study trips took students to UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, De Anza College and CSU East Bay.

The students began their study trips on April 21 when they were guided into buses to start their trip to UC Santa Cruz. There, students were allowed to explore the campus with their own student-led groups.  They entered areas such as the library, the gift shop, and the college field to learn more about the college.

Banana slug found on UC Santa Cruz campus PHOTO CREDIT: Sean Quigley

After exploring UC Santa Cruz, students arrived at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and were allowed to buy food and ride on the boardwalk attractions. The festivities on the boardwalk were limited at the boardwalk due to the presence of rain, which prevented certain rides and booths from opening.

The final destination for the first study trip was De Anza College in Cupertino. Unlike UC Santa Cruz, students were not allowed into the college’s buildings because Denali was unable to prove the vaccination status of the students on the trip.

Summit Denali junior Sophia Chung was particularly attracted to De Anza’s food court. She said, “They had really good burgers.”

The following day, the class traveled to UC Berkley. No buses were provided, meaning that parent volunteers for driving were required.

Once at the campus itself, students were allowed to explore the college’s many locations. Among other things, the college’s campus had a cafe for the students to buy food in.

Out of all qualities, Summit Denali junior Scott James noted the size of UC Berkeley’s campus as being exceptional. He said, “UC Berkeley was the largest campus, and was more like a small city than a college.”

After leaving UC Berkley, students were taken to California State University, East Bay. The university’s campus was nearly barren, with lecture halls and campus shops being empty and free to explore.

Scott James believed that the study trips were decent but were held back by a lack of direction. He said, “They did not have any clear direction on what we were supposed to do, nor did we have anyone to guide us.”

Denali juniors at UC Berkeley campus PHOTO CREDIT: Sophia Chung

Other students, such as Denali junior Edward Lee, felt uncomfortable during the long car rides that took place during the study trips in between colleges. He said, “I’ve come to associate the sweaty, awkward rides in other parents’ cars with Denali’s particular flavor of study trip.”

In the end, although the study trips were intended to be fun opportunities to teach students about potential colleges they could attend, many students found the trips lacking. As Edward Lee said, “In many ways, Denali’s study trips are like that of any other school, yet they never escape the impression that their achievements are in spite of a restrictive budget.”

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