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Bruin Essentials: The Do’s and Don’ts Of Navigating Campus Life As A UCLA Student

Every school has its unspoken campus rules. For all the baby Bruins who haven’t been on campus, you might be feeling a bit of nervousness along with your excitement to finally be on campus. If you’re feeling lost, have no fear! I got you! With the new possibility of in-person school resuming in the fall, I thought I’d share some of the do’s and don’ts that I learned from my short time on campus. Hopefully with this list you’ll feel more prepared to tackle the Bruin campus lifestyle! Check out these 12 do's and don'ts here:

DO: Always bring headphones!

Your first couple of strolls down Bruinwalk are exciting, with students from all different clubs desperately trying to get your attention! You may even enjoy it at first! But trust me, it gets exhausting after a while. The last thing you need on your way to a stressful midterm is a student shoving a flyer in your face trying to get you to join a niche club. How do you avoid this? Put your headphones in! Your headphones are powerful. When people see you wearing them, they’re a lot less likely to come up to you. Plus, who doesn't love supplementing their walk to campus with their favorite playlist?  

DON’T: Forget to bring chargers with you

There’s nothing worse than having your laptop die on you in the middle of the day on campus. It takes roughly 20 minutes each way to get up and down the hill, probably longer if you’re in Hedrick Hall or in an apartment. So always be prepared! Investing in an extension chord is a great idea.

DO: Invest in a Phone Wallet

This was definitely a game changer for me. Having your Bruin-card at the ready is super useful, especially for getting into buildings and swiping for food. It also ensures that you’ll never lose it!

DON’T: Immediately buy Textbooks from the UCLA Store

I’m not going to lie, textbooks are pretty expensive. Ask around for free PDF files of your books; you’ll probably find some for most of your classes!

DON’T: Let Andre ask you a question

You may have seen memes about this man coming up to students and asking: “Can I ask you a question?” Long story short, just say no and get to class lol.

DO: Dress in Layers

Even if it’s chilly in the morning, one trip down to campus will have you will dripping in a puddle of your own sweat (speaking from personal experience).  It’s a great opportunity to rock your favorite denim jacket or cute cardigan!

DON’T: Use Trays in the Dining Halls

DEAD newbie giveaway here. I never understood what the problem with using trays was; I guess it’s because they take up a lot of space? I just know that most UCLA kids don’t use them. The more you know!

DO: Get the Spotify Student Discount

This is a GAMECHANGER. Perfect for listening to some tunes on Bruinwalk! It comes with free Hulu too, which is an absolute win!

DO: Try New Things

UCLA has so much to offer, from its prime LA location to its wide variety of clubs and organizations. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone a little! Join new clubs, try new restaurants, check out LA’s beaches and other cool touristy places! That’s how you’ll have the best UCLA experience.

DON’T: Put too much on your plate too soon

While there are a lot of awesome opportunities out there for you, you have to remember that you can’t do it all. Go easy on yourself, and give yourself some time to figure things out! You have plenty of time to join organizations and find the ones that suit you best, so there’s no need to rush into more commitments than you can handle.

DO: Find your own campus niches

Campus may seem intimidating at first, but the best way to make campus feel smaller is to find your own spots to chill with friends or study. Before you know it, campus will feel just like home!

DO: Make friends with those on your floor, in your classes, etc.

This can be a very intimidating tasks for new students. A word of advice: everyone is in the same boat. Everyone is probably feeling some sort of anxiety about starting college, making friends, doing well academically- you name it. You're not alone! People are definitely friendlier than you think. The key to getting through college is to surround yourself with a supportive group of friends. So find your adventure squad; the college experience is best when it's shared.

With this list, you are ready to take on life as a Bruin! There are so many exciting things ahead of you; keep your head up and keep your mind open! Enjoy your college years- they fly by so incredibly quickly! Best of luck! :)

Isis is a second year (pre) Human Biology and Society major at UCLA and she is thrilled to be a Feature Writer for the Her Campus team! In her spare time you can find her at the beach, singing, playing the piano/ukulele, reading or taking long, long naps.
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