Fall means New Friends

This weekend I had the opportunity to say at a beach house in Sunset Beach with 25 people I did not know.  Needless to say I was a little bit nervous, but I walked away with 25 new friends!  What was I doing that put me in that situation? I was on a retreat with the Academic Affairs Commission (part of USAC- our student government)!

The first couple weekends in every quarter is always really fun because there is still minimal homework and no tests to study for.  Because of this unique situation, I could go on the AAC Retreat with no worries! I brought my kindle along to do some reading for a class, but other than that I was able to focus my energy on meeting new people and getting to learn all about the purpose and structure of AAC and USAC.

The retreat was so much fun!  Sure we had to learn about logistics and details, but I also got to begin planning some of my events for the year.  My committee and I brainstormed all kinds of fun activities for Stress Free Days and created puns for fall themed festivities.  If that was not enough, we got to go to the beach on Saturday afternoon!

What started out as a weekend of planning, turned into a weekend of fun, friends, and games!  I definitely recommend checking out some clubs early on and having your own retreat experience!

Back in time for Senior Year

 

Well, its’s that time of year again….students have already started moving in, band camp has started, RAs are here, and the apartments are surrounded by furniture being moved in and out.

I love Fall- as a season and as a quarter.  I love that the weather starts too cool off (theoretically) and all of my friends start returning.  LA is still hot right now, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will cool down soon.  Fall is also great because, like an elementary school student, I love the start of school….but up until Saturday I didn’t know if I would make it back in time to start Fall quarter of my senior year.

If you have been watching the news, you may have heard of the flooding in Colorado.  I, along with six other Bruins, were trapped in the middle of it.  We were at my grandparents’ cabin for a fun week of hiking and exploring, but the day before we were supposed to leave a dam broke leaving us stranded without electricity, water, and phones.  We were told we could be there for 3 days.  Then a week.  Then months.  Everyone who heard we were students said we would probably be late for classes.

After three days of rationed food and low water, the US Army showed up to lift us out.  It was nothing short of a miracle.  We were such a low priority area compared to the destruction in the rest of the state that we should not have been the ones to get out.  The elderly and sick got one of the first three chinooks that came, all the while being told that everything was weather dependent.  Finally, after a few claps of thunder and some light rain a fourth helicopter came to get the 7 of us who were left.  We were airlifted to a red cross shelter in Fort Collins.

By late Saturday night, I was back in LA and in my apartment.  I was so incredibly thankful to get back for the school year.  We had expected to hike the 30 miles down the mountain in a week or wait months to be evacuated.  I’m coming into this year with a new perspective and hoping I can use this experience in someway this year.

First Week

Can you all believe that we just finished first week?! Even though I’ve gone through Fall quarter already, I have to say the busyness with classes, assignments, work,  and (now) research still has me in shock.

So last week, I realized how important Google Calendar is for me. It is SUPER important. I started panicking last week when my Google calendar did not work on my phone. I felt  lost and was not sure if I had missed anything that I was supposed to do. Because of that experience, I would like to share it with all of you guys how important it is to have some sort of planner. If you are the type that love to have it written on a book and actually carrying it around, then I would suggest to get a planner. If you are the type that love to have it on the phone like me, then please do yourself a favor and download some sort of calendar app.

It really is does not matter which brand or which app you use, but you will save yourself a lot of trouble by having it handy anytime and anywhere you go. You don’t have to worry about memorizing your whole agenda  while still trying to keep up with classes and other stuff. You also won’t worry about missing any deadlines  important meetings. Most importantly, it will help you to keep track of those homework, assignments, and midterms, and of course  finals eventually!!

I know it’s only week 1, so things might not be too crazy for you now. But don’t wait until week 5 or 6, when midterms and assignments are already in front of you, to keep track of when they are due! Have fun at week 2 Bruins! 🙂

Moving in

You know you’re in LA when you feel the surge of warm heat right when you open the car door. I finally arrived at UCLA last Saturday for move-in. It took nearly 6 hours from my hometown, Monterey, to get to Los Angeles by car. Before going to the campus my family stopped by Koreatown, where we had some incredibly refreshing shaved ice, so called potbingsoo, to fight off the heat . Going from a 60 degrees weather to an 80 degrees weather was a big jump for me, but I kind of liked the heat. Although it is pretty warm in LA, it’s never humid, always dry.

Moving in was very fast and easy. The system was set that every family had a space to park their car, so none of them had to wait under the scorching sun. Wheeled carts were provided for us to carry all the stuff to the dorm. My dorm was waiting for me with free ice cream, brownies, and other sweet treats.

The room was not as small as I had imagined. I was horrified at the thought of living with two other people in a tight humid room, but it actually isn’t that bad. Not bad at all! I am living in a triple at Hedrick Hall and there is enough space for all three people to store their stuff. And there is a huge window in every room, so the rooms never really get hot or stuffy. Also, my roommates were nice enough to let me use the bottom bunk, so I really can’t ask for a better place to live. I was nervous about meeting my roommates for the first time, especially since I hadn’t talked to them beforehand, but I found out that they were just normal people who were excited to move in to a new environment, just like me.

So here I am. At UCLA. Ready to start my first quarter in college. I will have many ups and downs, but I will never look back and endure through this challenge.

GO BRUINS!!

A quick weekend trip before Fall kicks in

Hey all, can you believe it that Fall quarter is about to start in 1 week???? Summer does go super fast!! I took the chance to get a quick weekend trip to San Francisco to avoid LA heat and to avoid the idea of thinking back to homework and midterms in about 1 week, haha..

Anyway, so I made a few stops before finally reached San Francisco. For you who’s not from California, I would definitely highly recommend to visit these places if you haven’t got a chance.

First stop, Solvang 🙂 It is a small cute town where you can get one of the best Danish bakery! Not to mention, they also have one of the best pancake I’ve ever tried. Their pancake is thin and crispy and all the right amount of deliciousness 😉 They were having a Danish Day celebration when I went there. It is a cute small parade where everyone dressed up in Danish traditional attire and they have lots of dancing and traditional food across the stress!

Next stop, Monterey! What a lovely city by the beach Monterey is! 🙂 The weather is so much cooler, and I immediately fall in love with the atmosphere of the town. They have a lot of unique local store. They also have Monterey Bay Aquarium there (I would recommend to visit it if you haven’t done so) where they have the cutest sea otter I’ve ever seen!!! They are super adorable and will show you tricks during feeding time! I also went to visit a small attraction store where they have mirror maze and laser challenge. I tried the laser challenge and it was so much fun! You will enter a dark room and then they will turn on the laser all across the room (imagine a James Bond movie where he tried to cross the room without touching the laser detector). The goal is to reach the end of the room with the shortest amount of time needed. SUPER FUN!!! 😉

Last stop, San Fransisco! Perfect place to avoid the LA heat, haha.. I even had to wear 2 jackets!! I visited the Union Square and I also went to get the best fried oreos on the Fisherman Wharf! The lady is really nice and she gave us 2 extra fried oreo when she found out that I drove from LA to get her fried oreos. I’m talking about the best from the best of the fried oreo that you might have tried in LA fair or OC fair 😉

It was so much fun to have a quick get away trip from LA traffic and LA heat!!

First Year, Transfer, and Continuing Students

Can you guys believe that there is less than 1 month before school starts again and we’ll kick off Fall quarter???? This summer  has been going super fast!!

Soon enough, we will meet a lot of new Bruins joining our big family whether they are first year or transfer students. It is always an exciting thing, at least for me, to get to meet new people. Not only will I meet new Bruins in our big family, I will also get to meet new Bruin Ambassadors in less than one month!! 🙂 This program has taught me a lot and definitely make me love UCLA even more and appreciate what I have been able to achieve here in UCLA.

One cool thing that I found is this page on Facebook that is dedicated to all the Bruins, whether you are first year, transfer, or continuing students: https://www.facebook.com/UCLAStudentExperience . If you haven’t been to this page, check it out and like it!! 🙂 You’ll find tons of fun activities and events going on throughout the campus as soon as school starts! It is one of the best way to keep yourself updated about what is going on in the campus!!

Anyway, let me know what’s your favorite summer fun you’ve had so far before we start Fall in a flash 😉

Winter Break / Bye Bye School!

Ahh, the end of fall quarter and the beginning of break. This is a goodbye to some of the things I have or do at UCLA and a hello to the wonderful world of time off:

  • Goodbye (required) reading. I have liked some of you, but some of you have been not so nice. I suppose I have been not so nice to you, too. After all, I did fall asleep reading my anthropology articles about once a week. But for now, goodbye to you all, even the fun ones!
  • Goodbye procrastination. I can’t procrastinate if I have nothing to do!
  • Goodbye my beautiful dorm. Goodbye decently comfortable bed. Tah tah to my huge mini-fridge. See ya later porcelain cat statue. Just bye to everything in here.
  • Also, goodbye to my clothes. You guys are in my room, but you deserve your own goodbye.
  • Goodbye to daily hygiene. You can think I am gross, but what’s the point in showering when you do not have to? Well, the point is to sing, but I can do that whenever I want once I am home.
  • Goodbye dining hall food. You are semi-tasty and if you are from Feast then you are semi-really-tasty.
  • Goodbye to my favorite walk on campus. In fact, goodbye to all of UCLA’s beautiful places. The Skylark balcony at Kaufman. The desert part of the botanical garden. The bridge between Fowler and Royce. The courtyard in Anderson. The second-floor view in the molecular sciences building. And many more. You are all so pretty, and I can’t wait to see you in the new year.
  • Goodbye to most of my UCLA friends, although I am going to try to visit some of you over the break.
  • Goodbye to walking everywhere. And with that, goodbye to all aerobic activity in general.
  • Goodbye Los Angeles. You are a pretty big place. And a big pretty place.
  • And finally, I would like to say goodbye to my French teacher. You rock. I know you probably do not read the UCLA Life Blog but just in case you do, know that I will miss your class over break.

And now onto hellos! Because saying goodbye is really sad, I want to say hi hi to all the new (well, kinda new) stuff that will be my life during break:

  • Hello fun reading. I have been meaning to read Bossypants and the Chamber of Secrets. And of course, I am going to read a bunch of TIME magazine articles.
  • Hello glory of sitting around lazily. I have missed you.
  • Hello weird moist room. You are in need of a dehumidifier, but I love you.
  • Hello miscellaneous clothes. I am so excited to wear all of you – including grandpa’s army peacoat.
  • Hello flossing only before my neighbors’ annual Christmas Eve party.
  • Hello homemade food. And lots and lots of chocolate chip cookies.
  • Hello beautiful hometown! You have memories and magic all over you!
  • Hello high school friends! I haven’t seen you all since… Thanksgiving.
  • Hello to my lovely car. You are also very moist.
  • Hello San Jose!!!!!!

Thanks for reading this year and have a wonderful break. :3

~Cheesy Holiday Blog 2011~

Fa la la la la Fall Quarter is over!

Winter quarter is right around the corner, which means that I survived my first quarter at UCLA. Congratulate me because it was a little rocky. New place. New job. New people. I’m definitely looking forward to next quarter. This time I’ll know what’s going on most of the time. The only thing I’m looking forward to more than winter quarter is winter break when I’ll have a month to relax and recover. In the end, Fall quarter really wasn’t that bad, which is why I’ve compiled a list of things I’ve learned and will definitely use for the next four years. So here they are:

Academia-wise

  • Education is your first priority despite your peers. I’ve noticed that many people are extremely concerned with being social and making lots of friends. Its good to make connections, BUT school comes first!
  • Don’t compare your learning abilities to someone else’s. Everyone learns differently and some people can just pick up information quicker and more easily. Just realize that the way you learn is unique and specific to you.

Miscellaneous

  • Don’t expect to be best friends with your roommates. I can’t tell you how many times I ignored this statement and I thought, “It would be so cool to live with your best friend. I hope we become best friends”. If you do become best friends, that is awesome. If not, no worries.
  • Do put money on your bruin card so that you can easily buy things that you need without having to carry your wallet. Trips down to the student store to get cough drops are so much quicker this way.
  • Do try to get a job within your first quarter but don’t worry about working 20 hours a week. On average I worked 7 hours a week and that was somewhat difficult. Definitely keep in mind that besides attending lectures, discussion, and office hours, you must set aside time to study.
  • Do join clubs so that your schedule doesn’t get too boring. Without clubs this quarter my day was usually as follows: class, dorm, lunch, class, dorm, work, dinner, dorm, study, sleep.
  • Do invite friends over to hang out and relax. Many students are into going out and having fun, which is great and necessary, but sometimes its just good to invite friends over to lounge, talk, and read magazines. This is when you get to know your new friends the most.

I have learned so much during the past twelve weeks. It’s seriously unbelievable. I’d say the most important thing I learned was to just relax and take everything in, because I’ll never be in this place in my life ever again. Also, I hope all of you who have recently applied to UCLA are looking forward to your freshman year.

Zero Week: no longer a Fall phenomenon!

Some of you may love the Fall quarter especially for its Week 0 (“zero week”) on top of the football season and great weather (it was 80ºF/26ºC this past weekend!), but luckily for us, this year we will have Week 0’s for all of our quarters. I love Week 0 because that’s when everyone is back in town but classes haven’t begun yet, so there’s not yet any pressure to be studying instead of enjoying the weather, campus events, or your friends’ company.  I have always looked forward to Fall quarter more than any other not because the summer has been long and needs to end already, not because it marks the beginning of a new school year and a new identity for me (junior already?), but because I love Week 0 when there are tons of things going on on campus and around Westwood, and there’s absolutely no excuse to be missing any of it. Hopefully, quarterly Week 0’s are here to stay, because I could certainly use a week of relaxation and readjustment before beginning the next quarter.  Those who want to save more on flight tickets can also stay home a couple more days and fly back later (instead of rush in the few days of expensive tickets right after New Year’s Day). In case you’d like suggestions, or prospective students who want to envision yourselves at UCLA, here are somethings to do during Week 0:

  1. Try a new restaurant in Westwood.
  2. Visit the Wooden gym (if you avoid it based on the excuse that you have to “study”, like me).
  3. Go to a movie showing in Westwood.
  4. Go shopping in the UCLA Store.  A Bruin can never have enough BearWear!
  5. Go shopping in Westwood.
  6. Take the bus somewhere (Santa Monica? Culver City?).
  7. Visit the Getty Museum on a clear day.  Bring a camera!
  8. Try new dining halls (especially the one you’re usually reluctant to visit because it’s too far).
  9. Hang out with your residential community (floor mates, house mates, neighbors) before everyone gets busy with schoolwork and extracurriculars.  Attend community events put on by your RA!
  10. Visit a coffee shop in Westwood just to enjoy a hot drink in the cold weather, or catch up with a friend.