Academic Advisement

Hey readers! I hope all is well with your daily lives and such. For the most part my daily life has been fantastic. Even though I’ve been unusually busy this week, I made a goal to set an appointment with my academic advisor.

An academic advisor is comparable to a counselor; he or she is able to advise you on what classes you should take and which classes fulfill which requirements. Even though you should keep up with this information yourself (its all available online), it doesn’t hurt to see an academic advisor anytime something isn’t clear to you. They are very helpful people, and the best part is they want to assist you! A good thing to do if you haven’t been meeting with an advisor is to meet with a few different ones. Then choose one advisor whom you feel is the most helpful in what you are seeking, whether its help deciding a major, making a strategy in order to graduate within a certain amount of years, or planning to double major.

The most important thing is that you meet with an advisor early during your college career so that you don’t get off-track. Many students believe that academic advisement isn’t necessary until you need it, and this isn’t true. Stay ahead by meeting with an advisor so that you have a plan. This also applies to high school if you’re still in it. Meet with your counselor every now and then. I bugged my high school counselor so much about my schedule and college applications that he knew my first name, which is a big deal when you’re in a graduating class of 650 people. I don’t necessarily recommend bugging your counselor, but definitely visit them. Have a great week!

An Introduction – Princeton Ly

Hello there! My name is Princeton Ly, and I will be posting weekly on the UCLA Life Blog during the 2011 – 2012 academic year.

First, a little bit more about myself and my path to and through UCLA. I was raised in Whittier, a historic little town in East Los Angeles, and attended high school in tree-lined San Marino, just a stone’s throw from our very own Rose Bowl in Pasadena. This year I will be entering my last year at UCLA, so I am most definitely an Angeleno through and through.

As such, I take much pride in supporting Los Angeles’ greatest and most storied athletic teams – the Lakers, the Dodgers, and the Bruins. One thing I hope to do during my time with the UCLA Life Blog, is share a bit more about the school from a sports fan’s perspective. For those of you who are incoming freshman, the Den Sports Pass is available for purchase here right now! For the ridiculously low price of $99, you get a Den tee-shirt and access to all of UCLA’s football and men’s basketball home games. As Pauley Pavilion is currently undergoing renovation, getting to the latter may require some extra effort on your part, but I guarantee – with the squad we are fielding this year – it will be worth it. Lastly, as a shout-out to one of my favorite sites on the interwebs, head on over to Bruins Nation for the best (in my opinion) unofficial, fan-based reporting on UCLA sports.

As for my path through college, I started out as a Chemistry / Materials Science major hoping to craft a career in academic research. As a student from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, I had the honor of taking classes with one of the best professors at the university, Yung-Ya Lin (read the review by Michael Criem), as well as the honor of working with a million-dollar microscope in one of the newest and most advanced facilities anywhere – CNSI.

But my attentions shifted after I went on a life-changing medical missions trip to Kenya, and becoming a physician became my new dream. To allow for the volunteering, MCAT preparation, and applying/interviewing that this dream involved, I switched to a less coursework-heavy major in Marine Biology, a childhood fantasy come true. The rest, they say, is history.

I look forward to sharing my experiences and expertise with you all. As a sneak peek into next week’s post, do some digging here.

Yours truly,


Welcome to Summer Session A!

It’s great to be back!  Although campus seems a little empty for now, I blame it on the early morning and the fact that it’s the first day of summer session so not many people find the need to study in the library before classes have begun.  I got to campus early to meet a friend before our first class of the day; it’s refreshing to see the campus in its pristine quietness after a weeklong break anyway.  Summer session does seem slightly quieter than the usual school year, which may be just what you’re looking for if you’d like to take a class while relaxing and enjoying the slower pace of summertime.

I am excited for the two classes I plan to take during the six-week-long Session A.  The first is Urban Planning 120, Introduction to Cities and Planning, which I’m taking to get a taste of the Urban Planning minor that I’m very interested in picking up.  This class is about cities, the mechanisms that they run on, and the role of urban planners in their operation and maintenance.  Since our world is becoming increasingly urbanized, soon more people will be living in cities than outside, and this is true on a global scale.  I’m interested in this topic because I’ve grown up in megacities in Asia, and I am fascinated by topics such as urban sprawl, traffic congestion, and zoning.

The second course I will take is Urban Planning M150, Transportation Geography (also known in the Geography department as Geog M149).  I’m taking this class to fulfill both major and minor credits, hitting two birds with one stone, which luckily happens a lot in the social sciences! 🙂  The class studies the complexities of intra-urban transport.  The professor for the class has already emailed us the syllabus for the class, and from it I found that there will be a day-long field trip to LAX to see the behind-the-scenes workings of a large international airport.  The trip includes a talk from an airport historian and a bus tour of the tarmac.  This proves to be interesting, and I really can’t wait!

Recapping my Quarter

Wow, Spring Quarter flew by! I can say that I truly enjoyed my personal and educational experiences throughout the quarter. I took classes such as Sociology 133 (Collective Behavior), Soc 185 (American Society) and Soc 174 (Family). All three courses were challenging and enjoyable. I have to say my favorite was Soc 185, not only because it challenged me the most intellectually, but also let me test out real life situations in American society. I was able to complete two different projects: one on American voting patterns during the 2008 election and predicting future challenges and favors for candidates during the 2012 election and the second dealing with choosing a candidate to run for President during the 2012 election and looking at their prospects of winning by establishing three main focuses (I either had to run as Barack Obama, run against him as myself or choose a Republican candidate). I was able to look at past data and current data (news articles, polling questions, etc.) to complete both projects. As a Sociology major, all these classes really reflect why I chose my major–because I love looking at empirical data and critical analysis of society. It is what I love and what I look forward to applying in the future :) .

As I look back at my personal experiences I had a blast! I met so many new people and I was able to get closer to several of my friends. It was such a wild roller coaster that I was sad to leave after finals. But as I sit here in my home I am thankful to be around my family. After all, I am not too far away from LA (I’m just about an hour away). This week, I plan to catch up on rest, visit family, and make two trips back to LA (one to have lunch with my boss and two to visits friends). I am so excited! It’s barely my first week of vacation and I cannot wait for Fall quarter to arrive. Until then, I’m going back to work to my previous summer job (I’m working with Elementary students) and prepare to buy stuff for my apartment. :)