One of the most common criticisms of UCLA is its size. And it is true, we are a large public university, with over 38,000-odd students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. But, as I have alluded to and written about many times before, size comes with innumerable opportunities to take hold of.
Today though, I want to take the time to elaborate a bit on my experience in finding a “home” at UCLA. That is, my core group of friends here. One of the best ways to find your niche is to join an on-campus organization – I know people in club sports, fraternities/sororities, service/cultural organizations, UniCamp, Work-Study, ORL, to name just a few. Essentially, if you name it, we have it at UCLA; there will always be someone else on campus that shares your interests and passions. Getting to know the kids that live around you in the dorms is always a great place to start as well!
For me personally, I found my place at UCLA with Asian American Christian Fellowship. I was lucky enough to have a few older kids from my church introduce me to the organization as a freshman, and after four years of membership and service at AACF, I cannot look back at any occasion in my life with more fondness. I have roomed or apartment-ed with fellowship brothers since sophomore year, travel-studied with another AACF-er to Hawaii, visited Taiwan with a group of them – the list goes on and on. I am now on the leadership team as the Discipleship Coordinator, in charge of pairing up mentors and mentees – just one more way to get some of the younger guys involved in our family!
So that’s how I found my “home” here. Moral of the story? Despite how daunting UCLA’s size may initially seem, it’s not so bad once you realize that there are families out there just waiting to invite you in.