There goes another year. My first year of college has come to a close... #myuclastory
"Doesn't it feel weird?"
"We're graduating. We're leaving. It feels like just yesterday we were first years.."
That moment was terrifying. I know that each quarter is just going to go by faster and faster, and that before I know it I will be the one standing in a cap and gown taking pictures in front of Royce.
During Bruin Day last year, I clearly remember my tour guide expressing jealously toward us incoming freshmen: "You guys still have four amazing years ahead of you". And that basically sums up how I feel. We are no longer going to be the sheltered babies on campus, we're going to have first years to look after, to share the experience with. I envy the Class of 2017, who get to experience the wonders of UCLA from their first night in the dorms during orientation to their first basketball game and even their first finals week. This past year has been absolutely amazing. It has been nothing like what I expected. It's been fun, it's been crazy. I have gotten very little sleep proportionally and had my full share of dorm food (more on that later). In just one short year, 33 weeks, UCLA has given me so much, taught me, molded me into a better person.
summer of our lives
Becoming a Bruin
Sons of westwood
Football season had started. To be quite honest at this point, I had basically no hope for us. But then we magically beat Nebraska during that first game. Like what? Big Ten? Okay! When the second game rolled around, I dragged two lovely high school friends with me to my first football game. That was the first time I had ever set foot at the Rose Bowl, somewhere I have only heard about and seen on TV as a child wrapped up in blankets on New Years in the Midwest. But even so close to move in, I hardly felt connected at that point. I looked around me at people who I could possibly meet in the next year, at the people who I would share a school with. And we sat through maybe half the game before we went back to Westwood for Diddy Riese.
A Bruin Born. Fall12.
sept 21-Moving in
the sound of fall12
Fall quarter was marked by mutual obsessions and overplaying of several songs. But these songs will always bring back the memories.
My sentimental pre-move in post vvvvvvv
Last night home. A place I have been blessed to live in for over 8 years, longer than any other place I've called home. I remember when I first moved here. I hated it. I hated everything about California, from the sunshine to the palm trees. And here I am, about to spend my next four years in sunny California. Looking back, I would have never imagined that I would be where I am now. There were dips, some larger and harder to overcome than others, but it was worth it for the happy memories, for the amazing people I have met (and plan to keep a part of my life), for the inspiring experiences, all of which have made me who I am today. I promised myself I wouldn't make one of these cheesy posts, but sitting here counting down the last hours, I can't help but feel so empty yet anxious, trying to hold on to everything I have, and at the same time reaching out to everything to come. As I move on to my next chapter in life, as many of you already have, and as many of you will sooner that you'd think, I just want to say thank you. To everyone who has touched my life, even if you don't think you have made an impact, you guys are all a part of me and will always be. Home, thank you for being so good to me. Los Angeles, you have a lot to live up to. Tomorrow morning begins a wonderful adventure. My newest first page begins: UCLA.
Fall quarter went by at a leisurely pace. I had classes two and a half days a week, and basically no work in any of the classes (I got so lucky...). My floormates became my family. We spent hours sitting out in the hallway (I don't know why we preferred the floor of the hallway over the chairs in the lounge...but at any given time you would be able to find a few people sitting out doing homework or chatting and before you know it there would be about 15 people blocking the path. We ate every meal together, talked about anything and everything, bonded in the wee hours of the night, and had "beaucoup" of delirious inside jokes. We shared stories and obsessions. We became a perfectly dysfunctional family.
I don't really remember fall quarter all so well. I remember sleeping through the 3 hour DESMA lecture. I remember dropping my laptop on the way to b-caf. I remember stalking James Franco and I remember walking back from class at 6 pm in the rain. I remember skyping a friend late at night and having to get a new roomkey at 3 am. I remember going into college nervous and a little lonely, wishing I had chosen Berkeley where I would go in with a bunch of friends. I remember falling in love with my floor two weeks in and being so happy that I chose to come to such a wonderful place and being so thankful that I got lucky to live with such wonderful people (despite living on the dark side of the floor).
Fall quarter was the beginning. I went to my first cultural club meetings. Realized it wasn't for me. I applied for SAA, bombed the interview, didn't get in, but learned a lot. I applied for the Daily Bruin, got in, had no idea what I was in for. I fell asleep in class for the first time. I overslept and missed class for the first time. I ditched lecture for the first time. I got my first A, I saw my first movie premiere, and my first kind of real concert. I went to CityTarget a ridiculous number of times a week, and analyzed it in a 10 page final paper. I pulled my first all nighter decorating the floor. I learned the magic of naps. We all went to New Pauley for the first time. I went to my first NCAA Championship. And sat on the other side for my friend's team fron New York. I went to our floor events and found a safe community, where we could joke around, tease each other, do crazy things, yet when it comes down to it, be there for each other no matter what. I went to the USC game, and standing there freezing, dressed head to toe in blue and gold, hair drenched in the rain, I would not have given up that experience for anything despite the discomfort. For the first time I felt like a part of the Bruin family. Every 8 clap, every touch down, the cheering that pumped through all of us together, the students, the alumni, the fans, united in fanatic spirit and pride. It was absolutely surreal. I am so lucky that we won during my first year, when I almost went to the losing school. When that other school started out on top. In such a short amount of time, 12 weeks, I felt like I had become a part of something wonderful. I learned so much, being surrounded by such passionate and driven people. A beautiful beginning to a beautiful experience.
A bruin bred. winter13.
jan 7- #backatit
I remember feeling a little jittery walking back on campus that Sunday evening. It was like the butterflies I would get while driving past the high school summer after 8th grade. But all butterflies went away when I heard voices in the hall and opened the door to excited smiles and hugs all around. I felt like I was coming home. It was like when I went home for the holidays, I was "going home" and then three weeks later I headed "back home" to campus.
The rhythm was a little different this quarter. Academics hit a little harder and everyone became busier. I had (gasp) classes FOUR days a week. Tragic, I know. We lost a couple floor members to internships and study abroad programs and we spent significantly less time lounging on the hallway floor. However, with all of the exciting events throughout the quarter, the ten weeks breezed by in a blink of an eye. It began with getting out of class Wednesday of week 1 and seeing the line for American Idol premiere. And spontaneously going. Awesome. This quarter also involved a lot of sleeping out in the cold/not sleeping much at all, whether for MACKLEMORE or basketball games...let's just say my sleeping schedule was messed up long before finals week.
All in all the quarter was quite a success. I got up close and personal with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. (That was quite possibly the most painful yet incredible experiences ever; from taking turns camping out in abnormally cold temperatures to getting my hair pulled and being lifted from the ground by the crowd at the concert...still worth it!) I experienced the complexity of the Bruin basketball experience. I officially became a caffeine addict. I watched the last Harry Potter movie for the first time.
I started working for the Daily Bruin (no longer an intern). I learned about survival of the fattest, cocaine, and society. I learned that taking biology, psychology, and sociology at the same time really isn't a good idea.
I became even closer with my floor. By harassing friends virtually. And "hazing" a certain floormate in a make-believe fraternity (Beta Beta). We developed intricately detailed magical stories with fantastic creatures. Had meme wars. YouTube video marathons. And spent the first night of finals week running through the halls with unicorn horns taped to our heads.
I also became restless staying on campus for too long. Which led to weekly food adventures escaping the safe boundaries of Westwood and exploring LA. And spotting JLo and co at The Grove. And being targetted by a homeless man on a bus, missing our stop, and running through traffic under the 405 back onto campus as the sun set. It also led to experience the effects of drugs in the characters found in Venice beach. And finding my future home at the Venice Canals.
I survived my 2nd through 8th all nighters. I learned how not to study. I also discovered that I could indeed write a 10 page paper the day it was due and still pull an A (never again). I dragged people on a ridiculous number of study dates. I turned 19 the night before a midterm and had my studying interrupted by my crazy wonderful friends bringing me disgusting amounts of chocolate and gifts and smiles and happiness in the midst of dark midterms weeks. It was probably the first time anyone made such a huge deal about my birthday and I literally couldn't stop smiling. I discovered true friendship in all these people that put up with my snarkiness throughout the entire quarter. I experienced the pure goodness that comes in the form of screaming goats. And I started to realize that in a college with over 40,000 students, I can do basically whatever I want, in the safety of strangers, my favorite part about wandering big cities. College life. No judgment.
Bruins 'til the day we're dead. spring13.
march 31: the last haul
spring13 is but a concert
Spring quarter can basically be summarized by newsroom and food adventures. In this quarter, I went from being a contributer to assistant editor, spent hours upon hours sitting in that windowless room, and ultimately fell in love with the semi professional semi family-like atmosphere. As for food adventures, my claustrophobia from my dorm room and the stressful school environment got me out wandering Los Angeles every week. From k-town to Beverly Hills to Hollywood to Sawtelle, I ended up with about 60 swipes with two weeks left to go. And I don't even have 19P.
The quarter kicked off with too many campus tours (literally surrounding me and blocking off all paths) and too many people (Bruin Day, ew). There were wonderful parts and not so wonderful parts, but I learned a lot and when it came time to say goodbye, it was very hard.
I had classes (gasp) every day of the week this term! Mornings were spent class hopping (good thing each class was about an hour long aka only slightly pushing my attention span), and non-working afternoons were spent making Los Angeles our oyster, not using swipes, not reading...and having everything catch up to me around weeks 6 through 8. In those short weeks, there was a huge wildfire that swept through my home county, I had the stress of multiple interviews and midterms, tests, presentations and on top of everything my phone broke and someone hacked into my bank account. I think I was a little sick too. Needless to say I was not having it. Shoutout to all my beautiful friends who pushed me through with hugs, a lot of sympathy for my snarkiness, adorable puppy pictures and chocolate. AND, of course, the best possible way to escape, ten hour concert. Awesome music with awesome people...and my awesome dad who got my phone fixed! Soon after, I got my card back, my phone back, got to go home for Mother's Day and Memorial Weekend (and got to visit the high school and have mini reunions while everyone was on summer already..), and got to take a breath 9th week and life was beautiful once more.
My not-so-sentimental "I'm done" post vvvvv
Holy bajeezus it's over I'm done. Officially done with my first year at college. this is so weird. A few more hours before I say bye to the campus for for a few months and a few more days before I say bye to this hemisphere for a couple months. AHHHHH SUMMER SKSHAKDJSKAH.
It was a little weird, considering it wasn't like I had just gotten into my dream school since I was five kind of thing. I just remember staring. And not knowing what to do. Wanting to tell someone. But not knowing who to tell. And wishing more than anything, that my friends got in. And when a lot of them didn't, it tore me apart. The experience was bittersweet. I couldn't tell my parents except via email. I woke up the next day...and for weeks afterwards whenever I was feeling down "UCLA wants me. UCLA wants ME!" It was surreal.
But if I learned one thing from college it is that while our society is built upon institutional certification for legitimacy, what really results in success is passion. I love UCLA because I am surrounded by passionate people. People who are driven toward a dream, who are willing to work for what they want no matter how difficult it is to achieve. It is these people who inspire me. But even at such a prestigious institution, there are people there who don't have this passion. And I know so many people who may not have gotten into their dream school or who may not have chosen further education as the path toward their dreams who have just as much capacity and dedication and who I know will succeed regardless of where they are after high school, perhaps more so than people who are lucky enough to go to a top university but silly enough to just go through the motions and not invest more. It makes me sad when I see the college application process tear people apart. Sadder when I see it build egos and a false sense of confidence in others. I truly believe that if you put your heart into something, you will succeed, because you won't let yourself settle. All I want to make clear to high school students is that life is more than what college you go to. That no matter where you end up, if you have passion, you will do great things. That you should never ever let an admissions board determine your happiness.
In 8 months, I have gained so much awareness about the world. In the safe haven that is Westwood, my eyes were opened to the world, inspired to take part, to be an active member of the global community. The diversity on campus has shown me that I know very little, but have the capacity to understand much more. The academic environment motivated me to do my best, to soak in as much as I can about anything and everything I have ever wanted. The spirited environment gave me a sense of being in something bigger, being a part of a legacy that will continue for generations to come. The family community provided me with a safe place to express myself, to learn and to grow, to fall and to be picked up, to succeed and to fail all with the support of peers and mentors. To the people on bruinwalk, I know that I ignore you and your fliers every day, but it is inspiring to see people involved in making a difference in the world, in every which way, to be surrounded by people who are driven by what they love and dedicate time and effort to doing something that they love.
UCLA, I look forward to everything you have in store for me. But for now, I need a break. Let the summer commence! (time to continue packing)