Dear New Bruin,
Congratulations, YOU did it! I’m Stacy Carlos, a soon-to-be graduating senior, with a Communication B.A. and a minor in Digital Humanities. I am also a transfer student from Los Angeles Pierce College! I write to you because I know the plethora of emotions you’re experiencing since receiving your acceptance. Remember this moment, and let it serve as a reminder of all the great things you are capable of accomplishing while at UCLA. So what now? I guess that up to you, but here’s what made my UCLA adventure an unforgettable one:
Pro tip: Be intentional. I say this because the Enormous Activity Fair is a scary affair, and you should not make it your mission to join every conceivable club. Trust me, you don’t want to be a senior and still be on the emailing list of a club you never saw past that day. I will admit there was a silver lining to going to EAF, and it wasn’t the free passion planner, it was an introduction to the Cultural Affairs Commission and Hermanas Unidas, two organizations that shaped a majority of my UCLA experience. CAC allowed me to continue my passion for social advocacy and entertainment, it is there that I have been able to be a part of some of UCLA’s greatest events and have the opportunity to form friendships that share the same passions of community advocacy. Being in CAC basically allowed me to build my Bruin experience in being a part of the teams that bring students, and community members, events like Bruin Bash, Hip Hop Explosion, and JazzReggae Fest. By joining Hermanas, I was able to meet some incredible women and make friends that understand what it’s like to be a Latina in higher education. Together we form a community based on empowering Latina women through academics, community service, and networking.
Then there are the opportunities that happen along the way, you only have to be open to them when they do come. I was able to land my first internship through a random email my department counselor sent out and was able to build myself professionally while forming my career goals. Opportunities to become an active voice in the transfer community have also been a prominent role in my time at UCLA and have ranged from planning the STOMP Conference to panelist opportunities to speak with other transfers. Use UCLA to explore yourself in a way that you have never done before, and I did that through auditioning for the LCC Theater Company. I never thought of myself as an actress, but I guess I’m not that bad at it after all. It has opened up the opportunity to meet phenomenal creatives that recognize the power of the arts in creating social change.
Yes, I have focused a majority of this time on telling you about student life, but it’s because it’s an experience worth seeking. You may feel pressured to focus entirely on your professional development and believe that your social years are behind you, but that’s not the case! We are transfers, and what we do is make, what was once perceivably out of reach, our next accomplishment. Be a part of UCLA, don’t just go there!
Remember that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, and I have every confidence that UCLA is better with you in it!