I did not know much about UCLA when I applied. All I knew was the name – it was a UC school in Los Angeles. My older brother attended another UC when I was younger, so my perceptions of a UC school were very limited. All I remembered from roaming around the huge campus was that the vastness of the university and the many, many students I had passed by. Even my high school did not tell me a lot about the UC system or the differences between the campuses. Yet, at the wish of my mother, I clicked the box next to UCLA on the UC application. I had no idea what to expect.
After I was admitted, I decided it was time to come to the UCLA campus and see what the excitement was all about. I vividly remember walking on campus for my admitted student tour and immediately being overcome with the vibrancy of UCLA. So many students were walking to and from class – all with big smiles and their finest UCLA apparel on. Everyone made me feel genuinely welcome, and I knew that I could thrive here. Even students that I had not previously met said hi to me and helped me find my way around. As we walked around on the tour, the beautiful brick buildings and sunshine made me feel ushered into a new stage of life. I started to realize that this could truly be my future. I could be the student walking sitting on Kerckhoff patio or laying on Janss hill. And as cliché as it is, I knew that I could make UCLA my home.
This experience while I was at campus was a huge role in my decision to come to UCLA. Of course, I needed logistical evidence to confirm my decision as well. Everything seemed to line up – the beautiful southern California weather, the financial aid, and the different opportunities offered within my own major (Nursing). The School of Nursing has incredible programs. As a nursing student, I get to work at many well-known health care institutions around Los Angeles. Our Nursing school partners with hospitals such as Cedars-Sinai and Ronald Reagan, which is located right here on campus! In addition, the School of Nursing offers peer mentoring and faculty mentoring, tutoring, and networking opportunities. I’ve developed close relationships with my professors because of how small the School of Nursing is, and I even meet with one of my professors every quarter for dinner. For me, being in the nursing program is the best of both worlds, as I am a closely-knit community of students while surrounded by a large university full of school spirit and big sports teams.
I was also eager to get involved at UCLA outside of my major, and I found so many ways to do so. Being at UCLA for the past year two and a half years has reassured me that I made the right decision. It has become more than a school for me – it has become the place where I learned more about who I am and how I can make even the smallest impact in this world. I have learned that the big school size has not limited me, but instead it has opened more doors to find a community here. I am very involved in Cru, which is a Christian student club, as well as Pediatrics Interest Club at UCLA, both of which have truly enhanced my college experience. I highly encourage you to check out UCLA and see if it can become home for you. Hope to see you on campus!