UCLA Kerckhoff Hall

What I Wish I Would Have Known Before Attending UCLA

To all the new baby Bruins, I owe you a huge congratulations! You did it! You are in one of the top universities in the world! Never forget what an achievement you have accomplished! 

I was sitting in your position a little over two years ago. I now find myself graduating early and approaching my senior year with more excitement than I could have ever imagined. The feeling of being able to attend your dream school never really wears off. To prepare you for your first year on campus, I’m going to provide you some key need-to-know tips! 

Wikimedia of UCLA campus Photo by Satyriconi from Wikimedia distributed under a Public Domain license

First and foremost, always dress cooler than the weather says! You will be doing so much walking, like, unfathomable amounts of walking. Regardless of if it looks cool or is in the high 50s, wear a T-shirt, trust me. That being said, always pack a sweater in your bag because the classrooms, without a doubt, will have the air conditioning cranked. On the note of walking, make sure you have a really comfortable backpack that you don’t overstuff. Bringing your textbooks to go to the library after class may seem like a good idea, but when you’re having to walk 25 minutes from the dorms or from your apartment to get there, the weight of your load really starts to kick in. I mean, there is a reason everyone at UCLA has impeccable legs.  college students at a party Photo by Samantha Gades from Unsplash

Second, you are moving to a new place! It doesn’t matter whether you’re moving across the country or twenty minutes away from home, adjustments can be difficult. Take stock in this and allow yourself to have time to acclimate. Maybe explore the area by getting a coffee or go to the club fair before school to get further exposure to campus. The campus and Westwood may seem so large, but it all begins to make sense after a couple of weeks!

Third, it is initially going to feel so overwhelming! With sports games, clubs, sorority rush, school, etc., your head may be in a constant spinning state during your first quarter. This is all great, don’t worry. Just remember your interests and what you want out of college. There are seriously clubs for everything! If you can think of it, you can find it. One of the clubs I found my first year was called Challah for Hunger and  everyone would make challah bread together and donate it to hunger organizations in LA! My biggest advice is don’t take too much on at once. Start with one club and see how that goes with your classes. Then, if you feel that you have more time on your hands, explore more and look at more things that will fulfill your interests. 

woman graduating throwing confetti Photo by Joshua Mcknight from Pexels

Lastly, remember that you have what it takes to go to UCLA. Never doubt your abilities or shy away from expressing your thoughts because you made it here. You are exceptional and UCLA is the place to let that flourish! Take advantage of it while you can!

Here are some things that I wish I would have known before starting UCLA! Good luck new Bruins and we cannot wait to meet you this fall!