Ultimate De-Stresser: Wooden Center


There is no doubt that the academic aspects of college can be tough at times. No matter what school you attend Midterm and Final season brings out the stress monster in us all. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to deal with this stress, my personal favorite being Wooden Gym. Wooden is a place where Bruins can let their minds step away from the books and sweat it out. Wooden has a huge variety of fitness resources to choose from. My personal favorite is the different group classes that are offered. Students get free admission to Wooden through there tuition and for only 25$ you can purchase a group pass for the quarter!

Group passes get into any class on the list. The classes range from cardio kickboxing to total body workouts. There are even classes that take place in the pool. A lot of students come to college worrying about the curse of the freshman fifteen but UCLA has a huge amount of fitness opportunities that allow students to workout regularly. The classes are also offered at all different times of they day so students can really meld it into their own schedules.

One extremely popular part of Wooden is the open basketball courts and volleyball nights. These allow students who are not necessarily on the NCAA team to participate in the sports they love whenever there is a pick up game. I think every Bruin has tried Badminton at UCLA at least once. The front desk gives lends you a racquet and ball for no charge. Yet another awesome fitness option is Wooden Center’s rock wall. The rock wall is really popular among bruins because it is something many of us have not tried before.

The reason I am so happy being a Bruin is because I feel that every aspect of my student life is fulfilled. I wanted a college where I knew I would have incredible academic classes, but also social, active, and engaging activities outside of class. Wooden Center has become my de-stress zone, but even if the gym isn’t your thing, there are endless opportunities to find places to relax!

Weather Confusion

It’s been awhile since my last blog about the weather so here we go again. I walked to the gym and it was slightly raining. I left the gym and the rain had stopped. I walked to class and needed to take my sweatshirt off because it was sunny! (note: It was 8:30 am). After finishing my classes at 2, I was a bit bothered by wind, but regardless it was typical LA sunshine. I began driving on the freeway with my sunglasses on. All the sudden it starts raining with the sun still going. I get out of the car a few minutes later and it was completely dry at my new location. In my effort to think positively, my fear of additional rainfall wet kept me inside studying…

On a separate note, I took a weekend trip to Arkansas, yes you read that right, Arkansas, and now have a new found appreciation for the state. It was green and beautiful. I enjoyed wonderful morning jogs with some fellow Bruins, passing by open fields with horses grazing. However, I certainly enjoyed returning to the high speed nature of LA after a few days! Successful trip: Bruins qualified to Nationals.

Happy Bruin Day– Here is to a day of sunshine for all you future Bruins!

Go Bruins!    

Working Off Finals Stress

This is my favorite time of the quarter for working out. Unlike most of my fellow bruins who hunker down and study only, I still enjoy a nice workout at the end of the quarter. Plus, we are coming off Thanksgiving and going into Christmas! I view working out as a “vacation” away from studying. A nice couple mile run or some laps not only provides a nice study break, but also burns off some nervous energy! The best part about being inLos Angeles, it’s still a beautiful seventy-five degrees outside. Meaning I can easily go for a run or swim outside, in addition to working on my tan. FYI, UCLA has four pools all students can access in addition to a track.

At UCLA, we also have a fantastic workout facility, the John Wooden Center. Tons of equipment, fitness classes, weight room etc. Pretty much anything you could ask for. Unlike in September, when it seemed like every possible machine was filled during the day, there are now countless machines open during the day. So when I still fill the need to study, it’s easy to go through some flashcards on the bike, or look at diagrams for anatomy on the elliptical. I always envy those who can actually do readings while on the elliptical. And the treadmill? How do people manage to multitask on that trap? I can barely manage to stay on the thing, much less flip through a magazine.


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.

My Visit to the Lovely Ashe Center

Once upon a time, I woke up to the worst sore throat I’ve ever had. It was extremely painful and on top of that I had a discussion and a lecture to attend. Eeeek. In high school, one could easily just tell mom and dad that you weren’t feeling too well so they could call the attendance office and you could spend a couple days resting and getting better. In college, things work a little differently. Most students have very busy schedules and commitments that can not be broken. I didn’t really know what to do so I thought I would sleep it off and hoped I would feel better when I woke up. I definitely slept but I didn’t feel any better when I woke up. I actually felt worse.

I finally broke down and made an appointment at the lovely Ashe Center. The Arthur Ashe Center Student Health and Wellness Center is located in Bruin Plaza and is right next to the John Wooden Center. It was very convenient since they take same day appointments and I was able to get in and out before I had to go to class. Thank goodness I live on The Hill.

If you’ve never been inside the Ashe Center it’s actually an amazing facility (like many other UCLA buildings) and has a welcoming non-intimidating atmosphere. After completing a quick health survey and spending a few moments in the waiting room, I was up for my appointment. Once the doctor arrived, everything was pretty quick. I answered some health questions and took a strep throat test. (Thankfully I did not have strep throat!) I was out within 45 minutes. The great thing is that the Ashe Center is available to UCLA students. Even if it’s just a cold or sore throat, it’s comforting to know that there is a place to go (conveniently located in bruin plaza) if you ever get sick or feel a little under the weather.

Welcome to Hogwarts

UCLA has been compared to the fictional school of wizardry numerous times. It’s a running joke among all the students, mainly because of its grand architecture (and because we’re so smart, just like Hermione). The original campus once consisted of just four buildings: Royce Hall, the Physics-Biology Building, the College Library (Powell Library), and the Chemistry Building. There are now so many buildings on campus—too many to count—that many students only go into about half of them. This is somewhat because campus is unofficially divided into two portions. Math and Science majors are considered South campus majors because most of their classes are located in buildings on the Southern section of campus. Notable buildings are Franz Hall and Young Hall. Humanities and Liberal arts majors are considered North campus, because the majority of their classes are in the Northern end of campus. The Humanities building, Dodd Hall, and Moore Hall are all North Campus buildings.

Even though this division exists (I am an undeclared humanities major), I am still up to the challenge of going inside every building at UCLA, no matter which half of campus it is dedicated to. Just today, as I walked back to bruin walk from Franz Hall, I approached another building, which I didn’t know the name of, but I walked right inside just out of curiosity. So far, I’ve visited the following buildings on campus:

Ackerman Union

Bunche Hall

Dodd Hall

Franz Hall

Haines Hall

Kerckhoff Hall

Law Building

Murphy Hall

Powell Library

Royce Hall

West Alumni Center

Wooden Recreation Center

I’ve definitely been in more buildings, but these are the ones I actually knew the names of, when I walked through the door. There are many more and thankfully I have four years to complete my challenge. Hopefully I’ll finish before 2015. All of the buildings on campus are beautiful and unique, and each creates an indescribable atmosphere for students. Everyone should spend some time once a day, walking into a new, unfamiliar building.

Aloha, Bruins!

I am very excited because today I leave for the beautiful island of Maui.  This is the family vacation I look forward to all year, especially when I am stressed out at UCLA.  In fact, during the school year, my roommate constantly asked me about my computer’s desktop wallpaper: “Where do you get all these exotic pictures from?”  I always had a picture of Maui or some exotic paradise as my computer background.  I told him, “I always have those pictures there so that, even when I feel like this studying and writing will never end, I can look at these places and think that one day the year will be over and I can escape to this place.”

And now I finally get my escape.  No doubt I love my time at UCLA: classes, Bruin Ambassadors, the John Wooden Center, my friends and professors, and everything else.  However, everyone needs a well-deserved break at some point.  This is mine.  But I will be traveling in one of my favorite UCLA shirts to sport my Bruin spirit even across the Pacific.  My mom and dad are already at the island waiting for my sister and me to arrive.  My dad, who is a Bruin alumnus himself, and I have already discussed doing an 8-clap at the top of one of the mountains.  Probably one of the best ideas I’ve had, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, I’m very excited to make my escape but with every intention of returning to Westwood and the home of the Bruins well rested and ready for another great year.  See you in 10 days and Go Bruins!!

You’re Becoming a Bruin!

This past weekend, one of my best friends came home from a volunteer program in China. I hadn’t seen her in 5 months and it was good to see her face again and hear her voice. We had quite a bit to talk about–mainly her admission to UCLA as a transfer student! We are both very excited about going to school together, but truth be told, she is very nervous about going to “such a big school,” as she puts it. She told me she’s afraid of how overwhelming it could be: “I mean it’s UCLA!”

I told her to trust me; there are many many MANY ways to shrink UCLA and put it in the palm of your hand, which is what it’s there for. UCLA is there for its students and to provide opportunities to grow and develop who we are as students and individuals. I told her that it isn’t just about classes either; there’s so much more to this place. Based on her interests, I told her about Sunset Canyon Recreation Center, one of my favorite places. You can swim, lay out, and relax in a beautiful environment. On a nice California day, it can be an amazing place to spend some time.

She was also worried about getting a job at school too. Once again, no problem. I know she’s very active so I told her about UCLA Rec. UCLA Recreation is in charge of all recreational activities on campus, such as the John Wooden Center, Intramurals, Outdoor adventure classes, etc. One question she asked me was, “It seems like you conquered UCLA with all your classes, your jobs, and clubs and programs and stuff. How do I find out about that stuff?” I told her that it isn’t difficult to find these opportunities–-the campus is thriving with many programs to be part of outside of the classroom. There’s advertisements everywhere, even on your white-board in the classroom!

At the root of it, I told her, you’re not just a student at UCLA because UCLA is not just a school. It’s a community and you’re becoming a member of this community. You’re becoming a Bruin.  Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July Holiday and Go Bruins!!

Missing the Perks

Traveling and being home is a lot of fun for me. I adore visiting tourist attractions, relaxing, and spending time with family, but I miss the perks UCLA has to offer. When I am in Westwood I spend a lot of my time at the John Wooden Center, which is our on campus gym. All a student has to do to get in the gym is swipe their bruin card (student ID) and they can spend as much time as they want lifting weights or burning calories on the cardio machines.  Another benefit to being a full-time student is the Powell library that is open till the wee hours of the morning, which is known as “Night Powell“. This allows students to get in those study hours and stay in the library for as long as they wish. I am also a green advocate and that’s why I also miss the close proximity to everything on campus and in Westwood. Students are able to walk to class, grocery shopping, the gym, the off campus apartments, etc. If a student ever needs to get off campus though, you can always take the Big Blue Bus. Students are able to take this mode of public transportation for only 50 cents! These are just some of the perks that UCLA offers their students.