Congratulations to the class of 2015! I’m sure you have been told this tons of times either from friends, family, teachers/counselors/principals or even strangers, but there is never too many congratulations, so I’m saying them anyways! It is August and school starts late next month. The date is soon approaching. As I prepare to return to UCLA for the third time (it’s also my last) I have thought up some things that you (primarily as a Freshmen) would like to do before your life is mostly consumed with academics, whether it’s studying, doing homework, completing a project, reading, going on a field trip, or going to class. Before I entered UCLA I did not really think about this. Instead, I avoided the thought of starting college. It was a weird sensation. As a first generation college student, I did not know what to expect, what to think, or how to prepare so I just avoided the thought. Let me tell you, this was not a very smart thing to do. So here, I have noted some things for you first-time Bruins to take into consideration as the days approach to your first official day as a Bruin :D:

— Catch the back-to-school sales going on during August (most of the sales happen during August due to most schools starting during late August…and even if there is a sale in September it is not as nearly as good and you are so busy shopping that you forget so many OTHER things)

— Think of things to take to your dorm (Definitely DO NOT plan on taking your entire closet and what you have in your room into your dorm at UCLA. This was one mistake I made– I took almost all my clothes to my dorm. I regretted it. There was not nearly enough room to put all my clothes in because I took a lot of clothes that I did not even use. I would recommend taking quarterly-appropriate clothes. For example, during the beginning of Fall quarter the weather is warm so take shorts, t-shirts, etc. Near the end of the quarter, it starts to get more chilly. Hopefully you can either go home or do some shopping at UCLA so by the time it starts to get chilly you are covered. YAY! As for other supplies, I recommend you take a printer (along with printer paper :P), laptop/computer, flashlight, medicine, hand sanitizer, pens/pencils, desk light, and lots of pictures of your family and friends :D)

–Think of bedding (take a pillow (or two), covers, sheets, and a COMFORTER…trust me!)

–Think of decorations (you do not need to bedazzle your dorm completely, but it is nice to take a little bit of what you have in your own home and decorate your dorm with it. I took a lot of the high school graduation party and birthday gifts that my sister made for me and decorated my walls with it. I also took lots of pictures of family and friends and decorated my desk with them. Soon enough, after you get settled, you’ll start decorating your dorm with things your UCLA buddies give you or even pictures you have taken with them! :D)

— Start buying your books!!!! (You will get lots of discounts either through Ebay or Amazon! If you can’t find your books from those two services, you can always buy them from Ackerman Student union and have them on reserve for when you move in. Then you will have your books ready for you to start reading!)

— Spend time with your family (I know this sounds like advice anybody would give you BUT I’m still going to tell you…spend AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE with your family…even if you live an hour or less from UCLA! You would be surprised how distracted and time consuming your life becomes, especially during the first few months of being a Bruin. You are trying to adjust to learning the ropes as a Bruin and meeting so many people that sometimes you are not going to be able to call or go home as often. And even when you do get the chance, you mostly want to sleep, catch up with hometown friends, or…wait for it…have some reading or homework to complete.)

–Spend time with your hometown friends (the previous suggestion also applies to this. Your hometown friends are either going to go to another school in another state, a community college, a college in another country, or might not even go to school but the fact is that you are not going to be able to see them as often as you want. Even if you hang out with one or two often, you are not going to be able to spend time WITH ALL OF THEM…at least not the amount of time that you would want. So I recommend to have fun, enjoy quality time, and create that many more memories that you can think back on when you might feel homesick while you are preparing for finals…:P)

— Enjoy your last few weeks of summer vacation! Have days where you sleep in, play with your dogs, cook, bake, take walks by the beach, exercise, etc. Take advantage of every opportunity and minute that you have before you become an official Bruin! Once you start your life as a Bruin, it’s going to be a fun, jam packed, ride! You will LOVE it! Life is beautiful, so enjoy every minute of it!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

** Don’t hesitate to comment or add anything else in the comments that you think you might need to do before your first official day as a Bruin!! ๐Ÿ˜€