A Whirlwind of a Quarter

 

This has been a busy couple of weeks!

The end of the quarter is finally in sight and I cannot wait for this marathon to be over!

All that said, it has been a spectacular quarter so far.  I have been taking 4 of the most interesting classes that I have ever taken at UCLA, met some amazing people, started planning for my summer, and have been getting things for Relay for Life in motion.

One of the most rewarding things about UCLA is how diverse and personal it is.  I know that those two things sound like contradictions, but even though my quarter has been busy, I have loved every minute of it.  My classes are specific to what I WANT to take , which is really nice.  Applying for summer shenanigans is always hectic, but really rewarding.  It looks like I will be spending quite a bit of time in the Eastern Hemisphere this summer!  Relay for Life (while so far) is getting closer and closer and it has been cool to see how students from all over campus can come together for a common cause.

Sometimes, however, it is nice to just take a break!  This weekend I got to go to Pacific Palisades.  It was a nice break from school and a time to just hang out with some awesome girls.  We were close enough to school that it didn’t feel too much like a vacation, but it was a different enough environment to not be distracted by school work.  It was a great weekend and a nice change of scenery.

A lot of semester school kids wonder how we do it all in 10 weeks.  It’s all about keeping a level head and keeping focused.  10 weeks can go by really quickly, so it’s important to keep calm and take time to smell the coffee roses.

Goals for Winter ’13

It’s a new quarter, and what better time to set some goals in addition to those New Year’s Resolutions?  After a wonderfully restful two and a half weeks spent in Vancouver with family, it’s time to get back in the groove of things.  I’m particularly excited about a few things coming up this quarter, including performances with my a cappella group YOUTHphonics, a research course with my GIS professor, GRE classes at The Princeton Review, and plenty of job hunting (I might be lying about being excited for that last one). My goals for the quarter include:

  1. Study hard for the GRE and achieve a score I am (and grad schools are) happy with
  2. Enjoy UCLA to the fullest in my second-to-last quarter of undergrad
  3. Find an apartment for next year
  4. Find a job related to my minor (GIS&T)

It’s that time of year when foot traffic around the Westwood apartments increases as students tour open houses and try to settle their living plans for the next year.  Two years ago, I was in the same boat as these prospective Westwood Village North residents, and my roommate and I traversed these streets looking for the perfect place to live.  Needless to say, it was difficult to find exactly that, but what we did find was a pretty nice alternative on Kelton Avenue.  It’s not cheap and it’s not big, but hey it’s Westwood, and it is five minutes from De Neve.  Who can resist the close proximity to the dorms (and dorm food)? 😀

Hakuna Matata

During this three-day weekend I had the pleasure to watch one of my all-time favorite movies ever- The Lion King. I had missed it so much. I couldn’t even remember when was the last time I watched it. The Lions King is such a beautiful movie– if you haven’t seen it I recommend you watch it NOW! I was able to spend this weekend at home enjoying great movies with my family. It was my momma’s 45th birthday this past Friday and we had a small celebration in her honor. I cannot express enough how much my mom means to me. Those who know me closely know how special both of my parents are to me. They mean the world to me. I live to make both of them proud :D.

One of my favorite sayings when I was a child was Hakuna Matata, which is used in The Lion King. The saying Hakuna Matata means “no worries” or “no problem.” It’s one of my favorite mottos ever!!!!! It has carried on with me since then. I enjoy every single day, ignoring the little problems in life and seeing the big picture. A lot of people have recently told me how positive I seem to be- and it’s true. I love the fact that I rather see the beauty of life rather than the little problems. Thinking about how much school work and other work-related stuff lies ahead of me would worry me if I didn’t apply my motto in my everyday life. Yes there is stress in my life. Yes my life is not perfect. But I rather take it one day at a time. I embrace the upcoming weeks of papers due and finals (even though I would rather not but hey- I have no other choice right?). It is my last winter quarter here at UCLA and this upcoming week I will sign up for my last set of classes at UCLA- I CANNOT BELIEVE I JUST WROTE THAT! As exciting that it is, it is also saddening. Before the end of time, I will go ahead and ENJOY IT TO THE FULLEST!!!

My Classes

WOW! I can’t believe I have already taken my first midterm of the quarter, and next week will be the half-way point. Boy, is time flying. And it’s February?? Hard to tell with all this wonderful sunshine!

With that said, I thought I would tell you a little bit about the classes I am taking. First off- Phy Sci 111A, titled “Foundations of Physiology.” Despite having taken a few quizzes and midterms, still can’t really tell you what exactly that means. Mainly we have looked at everything regarding action potentials! The class is a bit different because it is taught by 3 different professors, each with their own module. It is also six units, meaning they expect us to do a lot of studying outside of the class.

Next, I have History 140C. I love this class! It is American History since the 1960s. The professor is hilarious and lectures are never boring. It is different then the other history upper division classes I have taken due to a discussion section. Discussion is actually a discussion for this class! It is really interesting to be able to hear the opinions of other Bruins.

Finally, I have Physiology of Nutrition. We are actually doing something cool in that class in a few weeks so I am going to save the details on that for later!!

GO BRUINS!!

Last Winter Quarter for Undergrad

2012 brings in my last two quarters here at UCLA– Winter and Spring Quarter. The three classes that I am taking this quarter are Introduction to Social Welfare, Sociology of Education and Statistical and Computer Methods for Social Research. I am definitely looking forward to a busy, challenging and rewarding quarter. Last quarter was one of my busiest quarters ever and I expect the same for this quarter. Whatever happened to Senioritis? Yeah, not happening for me…

Besides classes, I look forward to stepping up my exercising routine and get in better shape (I need to lose those extra and delicious Holiday pounds I gained…:P). In addition, I look forward to working my best in my two jobs and continuing to put in those working hours :).

One of the unique things about the quarter system is that right off the bat, you feel as if you are behind. You need to settle in, finalize your schedule, buy your books (which takes a few days to get to you if you are ordering them online), and start your readings for Week 1 and Week 2 (since typically during your Discussion sections for each class you need to participate by discussing the week’s readings).

I am totally excited for another fun quarter!!! 1 week done, 9 more to go before Finals once again! Time flies when you are having so much fun :)…

Beginning of the Quarter Checklist

Contrary to popular belief, the beginning of the quarter isn’t exactly peaceful! For me, things tend to be hectic, but I know eventually it will all settle down and I will settle into my usual routine.

Things to do:

1) Finalize class schedule. Hopefully everything has worked out like I hoped, but sometimes once syllabi come out, plans need to change. Examples… conflicting midterms, more papers then expected etc.

2) Buy textbooks. At the beginning of my college career, I was always prepared and bought books for all my classes before the quarter began. Nowadays, I like to wait to see if I need them and of course, wait to make sure I am actually in the class. Tip: If you need the textbook to write one paper, chances are it’s available in library reserve. Then comes trying to find the best prices on books. Usually I look on Amazon, UCLA textbook store, and of course, buy from previous students.

3) Join new activities. Beginning of the quarter most clubs have recruitment meetings and application processes. If there is something that I want to start doing, chances are I will need to pay attention to dates and times now!

Of course, this is just a short list which doesn’t include catching up with friends you haven’t seen in over a month!

GO BRUINS!!

Back to the Beginning

 

Hello all! It’s the beginning of the quarter again and Week 1 is in full swing. I want to start by saying I hope everyone had a great break. It was much needed and greatly appreciated, but now its time to get back to work. Over the next week, I’ll be focusing on my studies first and foremost, but I am also looking forward to joining some student groups. Fall quarter was more of a transitional phase for me; I had to get used to my new schedule and being away from my family. Now that the homesickness has just about worn off, I’m ready to join some new clubs. There’s something for everyone and if you’re looking to attend UCLA, it doesn’t hurt to do your research before hand. So here is a list of clubs and organizations that I’m sure would love to have every one of you readers! (This is only a short list. For a complete list of UCLA student organizations, please visit www.studentgroups.ucla.edu)

If you’re interested in community service:

  • Bruin Initiative—aims to lesson educational disparities through tutoring and advising students from elementary to high school grade levels.
  • Project Literacy at UCLA—aims to improve literacy rates in the Los Angeles region through one-on-one tutoring
  • USAC Community Service Commission—aims to create social change, understanding needs of the Los Angeles area, and promote campus wide service programming

If you’re interested in Health & Wellness:

If you’re interested in Recreation:

Again these are just a few organizations that I found interesting. There’s a huge variety that includes hundreds of clubs ranging from culture to politics to religion. When people say there’s something for everyone at UCLA, they mean it!

Princeton Ly – New Beginnings

Happy New Year, dear reader. I hope you had a refreshing break (if you were indeed lucky enough to have one at all!) full of family and friends.

One of the benefits of being in college is that the quarter ends before Christmas vacation, meaning that there is not much bothering you once school lets out. As previously mentioned, I spent a few weeks traveling in Asia, and plan to dedicate a post or two to my experiences there.

Besides that, I plan to use this quarter’s posts to: 1) expand a bit on my experiences as a pre-medical student at UCLA, 2) keep you all updated with Bruin Athletics, and 3) show you how interesting classes (even/especially for a South Campus / science major!) can be.

Please let me know in the comments if there are any additional topics you would like to see addressed!

In the meantime, here are some UCLA holiday highlights from around the interwebs:

-Congratulations to the women’s volleyball team, which captured UCLA’s 108th NCAA Championship with a win over Illinois!

-The outstanding UCLA Health System recently reported its first double-lung and liver transplant, this coming after completing the West Coast’s first hand transplant earlier last year. Ridiculously impressive.

-As it turns out, Angelina Jolie consulted with retired four-star general Wesley Clark, a senior fellow with the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, in preparation for her new movie, “In the Land of Blood and Honey” – the full story is here. Man, Bruins are everywhere!

-And if you haven’t already, check out “missed connection” site spottedatbruinwalk.com. Be careful though, it’s addictive!

Schedule Planning

Decisions. Decisions. As soon as the schedule for winter quarter classes comes out, deciding what to take and when to take a class becomes a seemingly cumbersome process. I thought, this shouldn’t take me long, I’m a third year now, shouldn’t I have limited options of what classes to take? Wrong. In fact, even now after my enrollment periods have passed, I am still debating what classes to take.

One of my majors, physiological science, is much more mapped out. There are several classes which have to be taken, and some are offered only one quarter of the year. Meaning I don’t really have an option, I need to take it. One lecture, solves the problem of when to take it. Still there’s a choice involved, which discussion should I be in?

History is much more open. The requirement is 10 upper division classes, of which I still have six to do. There are about 40 options per quarter! I love how many classes there are but it sure makes making a choice hard. Do I take one that I know I will love the subject material? Or do I need to pick one that fits better with my schedule? Good professor reviews? Final times? As you can see, lots of factors to consider. This quarter was further complicated because I plan on preparing for the MCAT. I decided to try to have my class load be a bit lighter to give myself ample time to prepare, and perhaps take an MCAT class.

Now, just to address a big UCLA myth… It is possible to get your classes! If you can’t tell from all my inner rambling, not only do you get your classes, but probably the ones with the professor and times you desire.

Go Bruins!