College Connection – Ellie Tsang

The Blockbuster loves to hear from Burroughs grads to check on their life after high school. Here we catch up with 2021 graduate Ellie Tsang, who is studying Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at University of California, Los Angeles.


Addie Gerber, Staff Reporter

What is the best thing about your college or university?

Being able to explore! There are so many places both on and around campus to check out. My friends and I often go out on the weekends to places like the beach in Santa Monica and Koreatown, especially since the public transportation is well integrated. UCLA itself is nestled in a college town called Westwood which makes shopping and small trips really easy. There are also a lot of UCLA traditions and a collection of people from all over the world that make UCLA unique.

What has been the biggest surprise or adjustment?

The quarter system at UCLA is quite fast. Here we have 10 weeks of regular class with midterms in the middle and a finals week in the end. It definitely took me a while to adjust to the different structures, but so many professors and TAs are willing to help you whether it’s through review sessions or office hours. They truly want you to succeed and often they will make accommodations if you need them. College truly is what you make of it, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Any advice for students still in high school?

Do what you are passionate about, but don’t be afraid to branch out. There are so many ways to look at the amazing, interdisciplinary world we live in, and connecting new concepts to your passions only enriches your experience. For example, my, major is in the life science department, but I have to code for my math class (I code in Python/SageMath) if you were curious!). My simulations allow me to see long-term patterns in biological models and gain a deeper understanding of the field. In general, persevere, be bold, and make your voice heard!