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Cosplaying College Student: Five Spots on UCLA’s Campus to Live out Your Main Character Moment

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.


As the excitement and shenanigans of week zero have come and gone, quickly followed by another draining week of syllabus content, we now find ourselves stranded in the academic doldrums of week two. The reality of attending lectures, participating in discussions and dragging ourselves to dreaded 8 AMs has finally sunk in. It seems as if we’ve just gotten back to school, yet somehow we’re already behind on studying for midterms (shout out quarter system!). So, if you find yourself lacking motivation, needing a mental escape or even yearning to create a Hollywood-worthy alternate reality, keep reading. Here are the five best spots on the UCLA campus to romanticize your life and pretend you’re the star of a college coming-of-age film, not sitting in Stats 20:

#1 Powell Library:

A not-so-shocking first pick, sitting in Powell quite literally feels like you’re studying at Hogwarts. The grandiose arches, intricate mosaics, delicate piping adorning massive windows, towering chandeliers, endless brick, Romanesque Revival ceilings and even those little green lamps – need I say more? Forget the monotony of your Writing II class, when you take a seat in Powell, you’ll feel whisked away to another magical reality.

#2 The Sculpture Garden:

UCLA Sculpture Garden
Original photo by Ciara Murphy

A truly underappreciated spot on UCLA campus, the Sculpture Garden provides a lush refuge full of greenery and foliage amidst its industrial surroundings. Need a break from schoolwork, yet still pining to feel productive? Close out TikTok and get lost in a good book in the Sculpture Garden instead. Dive into the world each page creates for you, immersing yourself in the story completely. And who knows, maybe you’ll look so mysterious and alluring that you’ll compel a new love interest to enter your real-life story. 

#3 Kerckhoff Coffeehouse:

UCLA Kerckhoff Hall
Ashley Ha

If it’s good enough for Elle Woods, it’s good enough for me. The filming location for many movies, Legally Blonde included, Kerckhoff is a truly enchanting place. Grind out your problem set over an iced chai and a chocolate chip muffin, envisioning yourself crushing it in law school just to get back at an ex. “What, like it’s hard?” 

#4 De Neve (Hot Take, I KnoW):

UCLA De Neve Dining Hall from above
Original photo by Ciara Murphy

Before this controversial opinion makes you close this tab and stop reading, hear me out. UCLA dining is number one in the country, which means so are the dining halls themselves. Epicuria feels like an upscale Mediterranean restaurant, BPlate is a boujee LA cafe and what is up with that massive table at The Study? De Neve is the one dining hall on the hill that truly gives you that classic college feel. It’s what you see in every movie or TV show, and the place to go when you crave traditional comfort. Plus, one bite of their deep dish brownie will turn your world upside down.

#5 Kuruvungna Steps:

UCLA Janss Steps Hammock
Original photo by Ciara Murphy

Finally, this list wouldn’t be complete without the most picturesque and classic spot on campus, the Steps. Whether you’re picnicking, hammocking, slacklining or even slip ‘n sliding, the iconic staircase never disappoints. In the heart of campus, you’ll be surrounded by Royce Hall, Powell Library, Bruin Walk and the Student Activities Center. Spending time at the Kuruvungna Steps  truly gives you that intangible feeling of a bustling college. Put on your favorite playlist, soak in the LA sun and watch the vibrant whirlwind of UCLA student life go by.

Life at college can quickly become overwhelming; don’t forget to take a break and recenter yourself every once in a while. Remember to let yourself be the priority and the main character sometimes! Whether you decide to picnic in the Sculpture Garden or brunch at De Neve, our campus is full of idyllic spots to cosplay your college student dreams. 

Ciara is a third year UCLA student from Oakland, CA who is majoring in Public Health. She loves to travel and explore new places; especially when there's any kind of ocean involved. When she's not busy workshopping her next Her Campus article, you can find Ciara sipping her morning coffee somewhere sunny, relaxing in her hammock, or chasing a sunset.