Involvement and Working on Campus

It is a lovely Monday morning in the UCLA Admissions Office!  I have been working for UARS‘ Recruitment Unit for a week now, and it has been a great learning experience for me so far.  Many students at UCLA (myself included) want nothing more than to get involved and, at the same time, take advantage of opportunities to make some extra money.  It seems to me that many of these opportunities continue to present themselves to us in and around campus.

Two years ago, when I entered UCLA as an international freshman student, I was unsure about how integrated into the campus I would become.  My worries about having trouble adjusting have since been repeatedly dispelled as I became more and more involved in activities related to my hobbies (such as joining an a capella group to sing), met people who have been integral to my college experience (friends from orientation, classes and student groups), and took classes that interest me (to help me find my major).  I began with the vaguest possible identity (an Undeclared international student who had no idea where she was from–more on that next time), and have since developed my own personalized shell of someone who possesses features of a UCLA student (Bruin spirit, knowledge and experiences about UCLA), whilst preserving the inner core of what makes me, me (my values and beliefs).

Some people think that international students aren’t allowed to work on campus while they are at UCLA–they can! Working on campus while taking classes is just another way for me to exhibit and express my involvement at UCLA.  I love that so many students feel the same way and are experts at balancing their classes with work, as one becomes a nice break for the other when we do too much of one in particular.  I enjoy going to work in the morning, attending class afterward whilst I am fully alert, and spending the beautiful summer afternoons studying for the fast-paced coursework of summer classes and getting ready for the next day.  I am glad I chose to remain in LA for at least half the summer, even though my mom was curious about what I would be doing during the six weeks that I am taking only two classes.  I always assure her that UCLA will keep me on my toes and that there is no doubt I will find ways to make my time here worthwhile.

4 Comments

  1. Manny says:

    Great article. When I was at UCLA, I made it a point to be connected on campus so that I would experience fully the college life and not be just another reg card number, as I was repeatedly told would happen to most students there. I worked at Bearwear in the Students Store and was a UniCamp counselor. I also gave tours of Ackerman Union and Kerckhoff Hall during Orientation in the summer and was a Student Recruiter. Those were great years at UCLA. Good luck, Eleanor.

    1. Eleanor Fang says:

      Thank you, Manny! It sounds like you feel the same way and share my experiences in campus involvement and making the most of our time at UCLA. When I was deciding between colleges, my counselor made sure I knew that UCLA is a big school, and she was worried that I would feel lost and become just another UID number. The truth is, while that is entirely possible, UCLA offers so many opportunities for us to get involved, and thus we make this big school a little smaller through our personal networks. A big school like this means big opportunities/resources, from the availability of more than a hundred majors to access to one of the best library systems in North America. What is extremely important is that while you can make a big school smaller, you can’t make a small school bigger.

  2. It sounds great! I am also in LA this summer and pass by UCLA to go to SMC almost everyday. I found people here are really diverse and the whole campus is gorgeous. I can’t help loving it! Right now I am preparing to transfer to UCLA from an out-of-state university. I just came to the Admission office this morning to checked whether all my courses meet the transfer requirement. The staff there is very helpful though she cannot evaluate my courses. But I was a little gloomy when I came out of the admission office cuz the chances for students from out-of-state are slim, only 8% of all out-of-state transfers were admitted in 2010. But I will still keep on my way to prepare for it. Do you know any activities of jobs here in UCLA or LA that students can take? I would like to meet people here in UCLA.

    1. Eleanor Fang says:

      I’m so glad you like the campus and its atmosphere, Christina! It’s great to hear that you are coming to campus to find out more. Keep in mind that you can also use our telephone hours for advising, which are 1pm-4pm every Monday through Friday at (310) 825-3101. Don’t give up, and I wish you the best of luck!

      To get involved, you can always check out UCLA’s OrgSync page (http://ucla.orgsync.com/Search) to know more about our student groups and organizations. You can find out about campus career opportunities at Campus Human Resources (http://www.chr.ucla.edu) and Campus Job Openings (http://mycareer.ucla.edu). However, be aware that most, if not all, campus employment can be restricted to current students only.

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