This past weekend, one of my best friends came home from a volunteer program in China. I hadn’t seen her in 5 months and it was good to see her face again and hear her voice. We had quite a bit to talk about–mainly her admission to UCLA as a transfer student! We are both very excited about going to school together, but truth be told, she is very nervous about going to “such a big school,” as she puts it. She told me she’s afraid of how overwhelming it could be: “I mean it’s UCLA!”

I told her to trust me; there are many many MANY ways to shrink UCLA and put it in the palm of your hand, which is what it’s there for. UCLA is there for its students and to provide opportunities to grow and develop who we are as students and individuals. I told her that it isn’t just about classes either; there’s so much more to this place. Based on her interests, I told her about Sunset Canyon Recreation Center, one of my favorite places. You can swim, lay out, and relax in a beautiful environment. On a nice California day, it can be an amazing place to spend some time.

She was also worried about getting a job at school too. Once again, no problem. I know she’s very active so I told her about UCLA Rec. UCLA Recreation is in charge of all recreational activities on campus, such as the John Wooden Center, Intramurals, Outdoor adventure classes, etc. One question she asked me was, “It seems like you conquered UCLA with all your classes, your jobs, and clubs and programs and stuff. How do I find out about that stuff?” I told her that it isn’t difficult to find these opportunities–-the campus is thriving with many programs to be part of outside of the classroom. There’s advertisements everywhere, even on your white-board in the classroom!

At the root of it, I told her, you’re not just a student at UCLA because UCLA is not just a school. It’s a community and you’re becoming a member of this community. You’re becoming a Bruin.  Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July Holiday and Go Bruins!!