Choosing UCLA

Hi! My name is Natalie Ceceña and I am a first year transfer student at UCLA studying Communications and working towards a minor in Entrepreneurship. I transferred from a community college in North County San Diego, Mira Costa College, where I earned an A.A. in Communications and an A.A. in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Arts and Humanities. Since transferring to UCLA, some organizations I have been involved in include being a UCLA Campus Tour Guide, where I give tours to prospective students, families, and alumni. I am a member of UCLA LASO club, which is our Latin American Student Organization. I am also a member of UCLA’s REACH club, which is a social media marketing club that aims to connect individuals who are interested in content creation, social media, and marketing. Aside from what I am involved in, some of my interests include attending UCLA basketball, football, and baseball games, as well as enjoying the John Wooden Center, participating in philanthropic events such as our PAC 24 hour dance marathon, and exploring areas in LA such as Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Malibu!

For me, when it came to choosing UCLA, it came down to the fact that I knew UCLA was going to challenge me in ways I needed in order to grow. As the daughter of two educators, and always having a passion for learning. Going to an accredited four year university was always a goal of mine, but choosing the correct one felt daunting. It wasn’t until I was able to sit down, write out a pros and cons list of UCLA, speak with transfers to hear about their experience, and seek guidance from UCLA alumni, that I knew UCLA was the place for me. I also believe that once you choose UCLA, you find reasons to continue choosing UCLA everyday. I chose UCLA because of the thrill of the challenge, and I continue to choose UCLA because of the education I gained, the community I have become a member of, the professors I have met, and the experiences I have had that are unique to UCLA. To be more specific, never in a million years did I think I would be attending the nation’s #1 public university, but it is because of this school that I know I have a stronger, brighter future. Some opportunities I have had from UCLA include attending private movie screenings, discussing my post-graduate endeavors with some of the nation’s most successful professors, exploring L.A.’s rich history and cultural scenes, and becoming more attached to my Chicana identity as I have found community here. I have a new definition of happiness, home, and community, and that definition starts with UCLA.

To leave you with a story that encompasses why I love UCLA so much, I will never forget the first moment I fell in love with UCLA. It was my Transfer Bruin Day in May of 2022. I have never gone to see UCLA, and I went with my dad and little brother. We were given a tour of this beautiful campus by a guide that we now regularly refer to as “Mr. Sunshine” because our guide just beamed like sunshine, and I always say there had to be something in the air that day because not only I fell in love with UCLA, but my family did as well. We saw UCLA for the first time, and didn’t just know it was the place for me, we felt it was through the energy that UCLA exudes. I walked around campus, just as so many of your admitted Bruins will, and was in awe of the beautiful campus, the vibrant and lively student body, and I just knew this school was the place I wanted to call home. I hope that you too are able to find that space here on the special grounds of UCLA. Welcome to a campus full of endless possibilities, a strong community, and the #1 public university in the nation! Congratulations future Bruins! You got here, you belong here!

Photo of Natalie wearing a grey UCLA sweater, blue UCLA hat, and holding a UCLA banner.

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