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!!

Family Get Together

One of the most important things to me is my family being together and improving our relationship day by day. One of the biggest factors contributing to where I chose to go to college was that I could remain close to my family. UCLA was the perfect choice because I get the best of both worlds–family and college. 🙂 This weekend, one of my cousins had a baptism for both of his baby boys–Matthew and Lucas. It had been a really long time since I had seen my extended family members so going to the celebration was a big deal for me. Seeing and catching up with family members (about where I am right now in school, work, relationships, etc.) was amazing. One of the best things I love about getting together is that we get to reminisce about family memories. My cousin brought up the fact that I used to be so outgoing and demanding as a little kid–boy did that make me laugh. I can just imagine myself as a little kid doing all those things. Sharing laughs and stories with one another was relieving and made me cherish those memories even more.

Talking to my family about college is also one of the best aspects of getting together for me. I’m a first-generation college student so it’s a pleasure for me to share my stories with my brothers, sister, and everyone else in my family. I’m the third child in my family but unfortunately my older brother and sister did not have the chance to go to a four year university. So learning all about the university system was all new for me. I had to do my research and seek out help. And now, two years later, I’m on my way to graduating from one of the best universities out there! It gives me goosebumps to think that this upcoming year will be my last year as an undergrad student and will soon be an ALUMNUS of UCLA. I’m almost there!!! Sharing my experiences and triumphs about college gives me great pride. After all, what isn’t there to brag about being a Bruin?! It gives me more motivation to finish off my last year as a UCLA student stronger than ever. I want to prove to my family (but most of all to myself) that you can come from anywhere in life and still succeed. Hard work, dedication, and good will are some of the important factors that I remain true to as I continue my road in college.

Missing the Bruins

This week I resumed my old job of working in a law office for a family law attorney.  I did this job for almost 4 years before leaving for UCLA and I was able to come back in the summer to do more work.  The attorney I work for is a Bruin Alumni, both Undergrad and Law School.  This past week, she told me, “I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to breathe and ask you how school was.  How did you like UCLA?  Was it great?”  We spent the next 20 minutes talking about how much we loved UCLA and everything that comes along with being a Bruin.  We talked about the football games and the atmosphere of a UCLA sporting event.  We gushed about the amazing architecture of the buildings including my absolute favorite, Royce Hall.  We also talked about the great opportunities there are at UCLA, especially for prospective law students; having the Law School right on campus is perfect for consulting counselors or current law students.  We talked about the Travel Study program and how it’s not uncommon to find great prospects like this at UCLA.  We both miss Westwood and the campus dearly and will probably make a trip up there in the summer to rekindle our love with the Bruin nation.  Go Bruins!!

UCLA Alumni Day!

On May 21, 2011, me and my coworker/amazing friend Matt worked as part of Bruin Ambassadors UCLA Alumni Day on behalf of the Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools office. We were assigned to discuss UCLA majors and minors as well as freshman admission requirements with students who came with their Bruin family. It was such an amazing day. Reconnecting with people who were former students here at UCLA was truly an amazing experience. I met people who graduated in1981 and, most recently, 2008. It was wonderful to hear their stories about how much UCLA has changed since they graduated. Next year I will be able to call myself a UCLA Alumnus (as well as get my Bank of America UCLA Alumni Debit card that I am stoked about getting, haha!). It made me think about how many memories former and current Bruins can bond about.

At the event, surprisingly enough, I was able to meet Ami, a UCLA Alumnus and former ASK Peer Counselor. As a current ASK Peer Counselor myself, it was shocking to meet and reconnect with someone who did what I did years ago. It just goes to show how small this world is; it also shows how Bruins are everywhere. Meeting Ami and her family was a pleasure–she was so lively and welcoming. Once she introduced herself as a former ASK Peer Counselor we immediately bonded and shared an instant connection. Meeting Ami, along with other Bruins and their families, is what made Alumni day for me that much more special. It motivates me even more to enjoy my Bruin experience and take advantages of all the opportunities provided here at UCLA.

Alumni day represents something to me that is instilled in every Bruin– Once a Bruin, always a Bruin. 🙂