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Nicole Laeno Is Showing Us That It’s Okay To Be Lost

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

It is the most wonderful time of the year: spring quarter! The most beloved quarter of all quarters. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and students are tanning on Tongva steps. Believe it or not, I am actually writing this article from Tongva steps at this very moment. While many college students bask in the joys that come with springtime, springtime can also be a time of nerves and anxiety for high school seniors. That’s right, folks. College admissions season is upon us and high school seniors are currently in the process of receiving their admissions decisions. 

One high school senior in particular that has everybody raving is Nicole Laeno. Everybody knows Nicole Laeno, especially if you go to UCLA, as she has been the poster child for UCLA before she was even admitted into the school. Nicole Laeno has an incredibly popular YouTube channel that has impressively amassed 3.9 million subscribers. She is only 18 years old and she is already making waves in the social media world. Her videos mainly consist of high school vlogs, monthly resets, fun family videos, and more. However, it was one specific video that got the whole world talking. 

If you watch her videos, it is no secret that Nicole wanted to go to UCLA. She raved on and on about UCLA being her dream school, filmed on the school campus, and even took dance workshops with UCLA’s very own Spirit Squad. So, when college decisions came out and Nicole suddenly went radio silent about UCLA on social media, audiences were concerned. From March 15th to April 2nd, the question that circulated the internet so much that it trended on TikTok search bars everywhere was: did Nicole Laeno get into UCLA? 

On April 2nd, Nicole posted a video titled “College Decisions Reactions Vlog” where she recorded her reactions for all of the schools that she applied to. And, of course, the moment that everybody was waiting for was Nicole’s UCLA decision. I, like most people, was heavily invested in this. The moment the video came out, my friend and I immediately freaked out and clicked on it. We sat on Tongva steps with our acai bowls and propped up his iPhone, ready to finally find out the answer to the burning question that has been on our minds for weeks. Both of us were shocked to learn that Nicole, unfortunately, did not get into her dream school. 

Nicole was incredibly transparent about how devastating this rejection was for her. In her own words, she describes it as a heartbreak. Nicole talks about how the month of March was dedicated to her essentially grieving a future that she planned for her whole life. This part of the vlog honestly made my friend and I tear up and we had to take a minute to compose ourselves on Tongva steps. However, Nicole took this dark moment in time and showed her audience that it could be something beautiful as well. 

Despite the difficult news of the rejection, Nicole takes a moment to talk about how thankful she is for this experience. She states that this rejection has broken her but has also shown her that not getting into UCLA is not the end of the world. Nicole talks about how she knows that she is on the right path and that the universe will guide her to where she needs to be. She reminds all of her viewers that all of life’s experiences, no matter good or bad, are made to guide you in the right direction. This rejection left Nicole feeling distraught, crushed, and lost about the future. But, like Kelly Clarkson once said, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Nicole says that she knows that everything will eventually fall into place for her and lets her audience know that the same thing will happen for them as well. 

With that being said, Nicole ends the video by excitedly announcing that she will be attending SDSU in the fall! Although I am bummed that I will not be seeing Nicole around campus this upcoming school year, I am so incredibly happy for her and all of the new adventures she will embark on as an SDSU Aztec! Nicole’s college decision reminds us all that it’s okay to be lost and for plans to change. At the end of the day, we all must remember to trust the process. This rejection might have had Nicole feeling lost, but she needed it so she could be found.

Lauren Del Mar is a third-year World Arts and Cultures major at UCLA! She is from San Diego, California and she is beyond excited to be a part of the Her Campus team! From writing to performing on stage, Lauren absolutely adores storytelling and is so happy to be able to tell stories through Her Campus!