My name is Mel Miller and I am a second year Biology major with a minor in African American studies. My hometown is far away from Los Angeles in Dallas, Texas; but, I chose to leave the Lone Star State for the greatest college experience I could have ever hoped for.
April 2018 was the very first time I visited UCLA. I had just been accepted into a lot of schools, and was eager to see what every college had to offer. Bruin Day undoubtedly set the precedent. I didn’t need to see any other colleges – UCLA was the one. It was absolutely breathtaking. Every inch was covered in activities and opportunities that I knew I had to say yes to. The energy was undeniable; smiling, helpful faces everywhere, Bruin culture and traditions on every corner, and even my first glimpse of college living on the hill was stunning. At the end of my visit, I confidently walked into the UCLA store to buy plenty of UCLA apparel and gifts for my family. It was official – I was a mighty Bruin in the class of 2022.
Being an out of state student at UCLA means utilizing all available support services. Luckily, UCLA does not fall short in any services necessary to uplift Bruins, and allow them to feel at home everyday. Not too long after my acceptance to UCLA, I received my acceptance to the Program for Excellence in Education and Research in Sciences or PEERS at UCLA. PEERS has unquestionably made my time at UCLA much easier to manage and navigate. Enrolling in classes, setting up departmental counseling, finding research opportunities, and receiving adequate tutoring for classes are extremely challenging and overwhelming processes when there is no guidance, especially for a first year Bruin. Not only does the program offer guided assistance in enrolling in classes, PEERS prides itself in having specific academic counselors assigned to every student, tutoring opportunities and workshops, and is ran by the Director of Undergraduate Research and professor in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dr Tama Hassan and Paul Barber. The icing on the cake: admission into PEERS guarantees automatic enrollment in UCLA’s AAP program. This means even more access to counseling and academic services.
With the help of PEERS, I have effectively balanced all of the extracurricular activities and opportunities that UCLA has to offer. On top of being a resident assistant with UCLA Residential Life and a recruiting assistant with UCLA Football, I also participate as a member of the Alumni Scholars Club and have began participating in undergraduate research with UCLA faculty, all while meeting with my academic counselors every 3 weeks and participating in tutoring sessions. PEERS has undoubtedly helped make my experience at UCLA much more comfortable. With the student support services available, it’s easy for UCLA to feel like home, even when I’m 1500 miles away. I couldn’t be more grateful for the experiences that I am able to have at UCLA as a result of endless assistance and engagement with the supportive UCLA community.
I know, without a doubt, that the opportunities and resources necessary to support Bruins will continue to flourish and grow. It is my hope that you will have found comfort in knowing that there is a wonderful, close knit community of Bruins who are willing and able to support you during your journey every step of the way.
UCLA’s acceptance means you’re among the best in the world; your acceptance means you’re ready to change it. Welcome to the family. Welcome Home. GO BRUINS!