View student life on a UC Campus Tour
A friend of mine once told me she regretted not taking her son up to “see Stanford, before it was too late”. From her experience she had come across a number of parents who all said their students toured Stanford as Juniors, loved the campus but said, “I wish I had known this was what I was working for. I would have tried harder.” The fact is that most of what a student includes on their applications (academically) shows just a tiny fraction of their k-12 experience, 9th to 11th grades and GPA. So it is true that essentially finding academic inspiration as a junior, to improve your grades may be too late to have the greatest impact on your college admissions outcome. College applications are due before students have any grades to share from senior year, and unless you are waitlisted, senior grades will not be reviewed until after you have been accepted (Note: be sure your grades do not drop after you are admitted)
So the advice here is go see some schools now that will inspire you academically. Nothing will help you burn the midnight oil studying better than having your eye on a prize. If you shoot for the top, your chances of satisfaction are greater no matter where you end up. You will have some kind of choice, and choice is what you are working for. The ability to choose between several schools, the one that fits you personally best.
Look to tour a University of California campus for inspiration and recharging your batteries for the long haul…Here is how you book UC Campus Tours:
UCLA Tours http://www.admissions.ucla.edu/tours.htm
UC San Diego Tours http://admissions.ucsd.edu/tours/
Berkeley Tours http://visitors.berkeley.edu/tour/general.shtml
Berkeley offers a few special tours, Memorial Stadium Tour & Engineering Tours, but you need advance reservations FYI they book fast. My friends and I went on the stadium tour and found it offers a nice break from the academic tours plus has incredible views of the newly refurbished Memorial Stadium from inside the University Club or views of the bay from the new Sky Deck. We also were glad we take we took the elevator to the top of the Sather Tower Campanile; you do not need reservations. A small fee is required to go to the top of the campanile. I believe it pays for the cheerful Cal student tour guide who rides in the cramped elevator with you and talks about the tower history on the way up. A must do!
UC Santa Barbara Tours http://admissions.sa.ucsb.edu/visit-ucsb/tours
UC Santa Cruz Tours http://admissions.ucsc.edu/visit/campus-tours.html
UC Davis Tours http://visit.ucdavis.edu/tourreg/
UC Irvine Tours http://www.campustours.uci.edu/
UC Riverside Tours http://admissions.ucr.edu/VisitUCR
UC Merced Tours http://admissions.ucmerced.edu/tours