8 Ways to Treat Yourself While Living on the Hill

For incoming freshmen and transfer students, it is a little strange to live on campus in the dorms. Many lose their cars and the methods of transportation they used to have before coming to college. It is a brave new world to live without a car, especially in a new surrounding, and it is important to find what works and what does not. It is so easy to feel trapped when living on the Hill, but fear not! There are many ways to relax and treat yourself during your time living in the dorms. Here are 8 fun ways to take care of your mental health by enjoying yourself when you are living on the Hill.

  1. 1. Hang out at Sunset Rec.

    Living on the Hill means taking advantage of the beautiful recreation center that the campus offers. You can soak up the sun on the grass in the fall and spring months. Also, when it is warm enough, you can take a dip in the pool!

  2. 2. Go get some food at Rendez West or hit up Late Night!

    The best way to treat yourself is with some comfort food. If you want a nice comfort food dinner, I highly recommend going to Rendez West for a burrito or burrito bowl! Get the chips and don’t forget to enjoy the salsa bar. For the nights where you stay up late studying or just socializing, don’t forget to hit up Late Night at De Neve. Treat yourself with some chicken tenders and curly fries. Or if you are lucky to be able to use two swipes at once, GET A WHOLE PIZZA!

  3. 3. Relax in the Sculpture Garden

    One of my favorite spots to relax is in the Sculpture Garden in North Campus. It is a quiet place where art surrounds you. If you are looking for a nice place to relax or read, check out the Sculpture Garden. 

  4. 4. Go to the Thursday Farmers’ Market in Westwood. 

    Who doesn’t love free samples? Every Thursday, there is a small and cute Farmer’s Market in Westwood, within walking distance from campus. It is fun to walk around and pick up those delicious samples. Also, if you do see something you want to snack on in the dorms, it can be a fun treat to buy for yourself. 

  5. 5. Have a picnic at Janss Steps. 

    Super simple and fun! Get some food and head to Janss with some friends for a lovely afternoon of relaxation. I did it with other students this summer during Session A classes and it really was a wonderful way to take a break from class. 

  6. 6. Go to the Santa Monica Pier.

    It is easy to forget how close we are to Santa Monica when school is in full swing. But Santa Monica is really just an easy bus ride or Uber/Lyft ride away. Go to the pier with some friends and walk around the shops in Santa Monica, including the many shops and fast food places on 3rd Street Promenade, right next to the pier and boardwalk.  Great food, great sights and great fun!

  7. 7. Movie Night in your dorm room. 

    As your dorm is now your home sweet home, there is one simple way to relax, which is to have a movie night right in the lounge or in your dorm room. Whether you watch a movie on your laptop or have a projector, it’s a good way to have a fun night in. To add to the movie experience, grab some of your junk food from the Hill Top Store, get Postmates to deliver food that isn't available on The Hill and maybe even buy some face masks! Microwaves can also be found in your building if you are craving popcorn.

  8. 8. Attend free screenings and speaker events on campus. 

    UCLA has some great events on campus, but they are easy to miss out on if you don’t look for them. I especially enjoyed the free screening of new movies the campus has held. Last year, I saw early screenings of The Favourite, Happy Death Day 2 U, and Anna and the Apocolypse. I also saw Cody Ko, a comedic YouTuber, when he came to speak on campus. Take advantage of these when you can!

If you ask around, I am sure others may have additional ideas for treating yourself and making sure you enjoy the full West Los Angeles experience which comes with being a student at UCLA. Yes, the work is hard and there is much studying to do. But always remember that it is important to balance your hard work with some fun and relaxation every once in a while.