One of the biggest perks about being part of the UCLA community is being able to express who you are. When deciding which college to attend, I wanted to make sure that I was going to be able to openly express who I am and make an impact with my talents. I wanted to make sure that I was going to contribute something to the campus. I chose UCLA because I knew of how many student groups, clubs, and organizations were available. Looking over the clubs I realized that there was literally something out there for every student. UCLA has over 1,000 student clubs and organizations! There are clubs for religions, interests such as snowboarding, cooking, political activism, philanthropy groups, sexual orientation identification groups, etc. You name it! That is when I realized why UCLA is one of the most popular universities out there!

When I went to the First Year Student Orientation during July it made me realize why I had made the perfect choice. Everyone I met during student orientation was so welcoming and caring. I literally felt right at home. I toured the campus, learned fun facts about our school, enrolled in classes, but most of all shared this experience with first year students just like me! It made me feel that much better just knowing that I wasn’t in it by myself. There, I also met one of my closest friends whom I am still close to going into my last year at UCLA. It was truly an experience that I would not forget. At Orientation, we also learned about making an impact on campus and being able to express yourself at UCLA through your interests and preferences. I have learned that this is so true in many ways. Whether you join a student club or support an event, you are getting involved and making an impact. Being able to openly express who you are outside your home is one of the top priorities for the UCLA community. I know this to be true because of the numerous campus events and programs that are put in place for UCLA students every week.

One of the biggest fears I had when I was applying to college was whether I was going to be able to be myself on campus. Thankfully, I can put those previous fears to rest as I am able to be who I am at UCLA. Those are some of the biggest fears and concerns I hear when I meet with students as part of my job as a Bruin Ambassador. A lot of the questions I get are ‘How will I make an impact?’, ‘Is UCLA open to various student interests?’ Well, through my experiences I explain to students that there is always something to do for EVERYONE in the UCLA community. I expressed my talents and preferences through getting involved in the literacy group WISH, joining student Housing government, being active in the scholarship group Gates Millennium Student Association, and getting two jobs that are related to what I want to do in the future–Bruin Ambassador and ASK Peer Counselor (I eventually want to become a school administrator).

As for who I am, a lot of people know me as the silly-shopping addicted-Britney Spears super fan student at UCLA. It’s reassuring to know that you are able to be who you are away from home. It makes the school environment and your experience that much better. That is why I am proud to say I am a Bruin!! Once a Bruin, always a Bruin. GO UCLA!