Reflections on UCLA

After finishing my first quarter at UCLA, the first word that comes to mind if relief. I’m so relieved I’ve survived the most intense 10 weeks where I was incredibly busy getting lost on campus, reading hundreds of pages for my classes (procrastinating the readings a little too), making new friends and adjusting to being away from home. One things that I’m sure just about everyone starting college would say is important is time management. To be a good student, and person in general, you have to be able to balance academics, clubs and other school affairs, and your social life–and you need a social life to maintain your sanity.

I think the social factor on campus is something I need to work on looking onward to next quarter. Although I did make friends and explore campus clubs and activities, I couldn’t find much to commit to. The only thing I stayed consistent with was UNICEF at UCLA, which looks to educate the local community about global issues affecting children and mobilize the community to take action. This is very unlike the high school me who was incredibly involved with everything around campus. I spent so much time worrying about academics, I lacked participation on campus. So as the Winter quarter approaches, I’m on the hunt for more clubs and positions.

Something I’m happy to have done this quarter is arrange an appointment with an academic counselor. Together we decided which classes would be best for me to take in the upcoming quarter, figure out which courses I’ve taken at Contra Costa College that qualify as a General Education– or GE– requirement, and discuss my potential major. As of now, I’m considering double majoring in International Development Studies and Economics. Because I attended Middle College High School, most of my GEs have already been completed, so taking just three classes each quarter without counting summers, I can still graduate in four years. That sounds like a great plan to me! Without the direction and motivating words from my counselor, I don’t think I would be as confident as I am to continue with my UCLA education.

Overall, I’m really glad I chose UCLA. Sure, the size of the campus and its distance from home are intimidating, but so is the rest of the world, and living in fear of these things is just silly. I don’t think I would go back and change a thing because after all, college is a learning experience. Each day I go down Bruin Walk I am discovering something new and unique to my experience.

– Michelle, UCLA ’15