There’s no lounging on a Mexican beach or backpacking across Europe this summer for UC Merced student Matt Siordia, but he isn’t complaining. Instead of taking a break after his first full year of college, the 19-year-old decided to jump-start the new semester and enroll in UC Merced’s summer session.
“I didn’t get the grade I wanted in a class so I decided to improve my overall GPA and get a little ahead,” he said. The more he gets done early the better off he will be, he added.
As a business management major, Siordia is looking at a very heavy math-oriented fall semester. In addition to the 16 units he plans to take, Siordia will also be studying Japanese, work part-time and be involved in student government as a senator.
“I’ve always had a lot on my plate ever since I was a kid,” he said. “I would play football and go to class and then do something else, so I’m not really afraid of being overwhelmed.”
In fact he prefers to have as many responsibilities as he can safely handle, he said.
UC Merced has been conducting summer session courses since 2000. Students come from UC Merced, other UC campuses, and area high school and community colleges.
After a brief two-week visit to his parents in the San Fernando Valley, Siorda returned to campus to attend his summer courses and to continue working as a community service officer for the campus police department. Acting as the “eyes” and “ears” of the police department, Siordia regularly patrols the campus and escorts students who are attending late night classes.
Upon graduating from UC Merced, Siordia plans to attend culinary school and eventually open his own restaurant. He said the time and effort he puts into his academic and campus life while at UC Merced will help make his goal a successful one.
“That is what really attracted me to this school. I really wanted to be involved in the university and I know that at bigger schools I wouldn’t have the same opportunities,” he said.