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The Transfer Diaries: Visiting The UCLA Campus For The First Time Ever

On March 17, 2021, I finally visited UCLA. It was a historic moment for a young girl who had decided to drop all her previous plans and accept admission for Fall 2020 without touring campus. This was the confirmation and assurance that I was where I belonged and had made the right decision. It was the day a brand-new chapter of my life began. [bf_image id="spkcb6pmfcrk8ct4hzphjb"]

Growing up, I’d always hear great things about this university, but it never really caught my attention. I was just intrigued by the fact that it was located in Los Angeles, California, where I one day hoped to live. Having always lived in a small desert town in the southern region of California, I had always made it a goal to leave my small town for the big city.

Seeing the campus before my very eyes was a surreal experience. To finally be able to see and walk around the beautiful iconic buildings that any person could distinguish as UCLA was breathtaking. I was so happy to see several students walking around campus, taking their senior pictures and just sitting down and enjoying the weather. It was bittersweet to think that there could have been so many more students around campus enjoying their college experience. I was humbled by that thought, because with every step I took, I thought of the freshmen and transfer students who had to sacrifice their college experience because of the pandemic. I forgot I was there to see the campus for myself, but in my heart, I really carried the students who would have to wait for this opportunity until next school year. [bf_image id="98bst2mv6t37bkjfmwzrs"]

While on my visit, I was given a small tour by my wonderful friend Annie Cui. She was happily willing to set time aside from her priorities and meet me on campus to give me a short tour of Westwood Village. We got to catch up while walking along the parade of shops and restaurants, and I could imagine myself if I were living near campus. Throughout our walk, I started thinking of all the good things this past year has blessed me with. I got to take part in different clubs, I was able to join a cell group at a wonderful church that would have been hard to attend in person due to the distance and I got to meet wonderful people like Annie, who I am blessed to call my friend. How could I be unthankful for these things? How could I overlook them?

It is heartbreaking to think about having lost a whole year of the college experience you were hoping to have. But when you think about it as a whole, aren’t you thankful for what you have right now that possibly wouldn't have happened if things weren’t remote? It’s strange to think about, but I think that embracing each season we are in is necessary and a gateway to living a life of gratefulness. As we survive this last quarter of this school year, I hope you count your blessings and keep moving forward, despite whatever life throws our way.

Marvin is a Junior majoring in Korean and (hopefully) minoring in Comparative Literature. Her dream of living in LA has become a reality, even if she lives the UCLA experience through Zoom.
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