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.