Since this post is “The Big One” I will be breaking it into sections for easy navigation.
UCLA (in my eyes)
Attending UCLA has been the biggest step in my life so far. I made many new friends including graduates and professors. After attending the Freshman Summer Program, which I highly recommend for those that are eligible, I felt at home. Sure, the campus does not reflect my demographic much, but needless to say I felt at home. From the campus atmosphere to the dining hall food, I could not have picked a more beautiful school to go to. Besides USC fans, the amount of support I get from people is amazing; plus, the shock I see on people’s faces when I tell them I go to UCLA is priceless.
In all honesty, I did not always feel at home. There were times where I felt that there was no trace of “Bruin” in me anywhere and that my blood did not run “Blue and Gold”. Then I realized that was okay. School spirit and pride are not necessary to attend a campus. Every now and then I will 8-Clap when in a crowd of others. I might 8-Clap on the spot if asked. It just takes time and it’s okay if you still bleed red because, before you are anything else, you are human… or a Trojan… I don’t judge. However, this low concentration of school spirit did not stop me from experiencing the True Bruin Traditions
True Bruin Traditions
The True Bruin Traditions are partly why I decided to create this blog. In order to prove that I completed the traditions, I had to have a collection of proof that I did it. After creating this website in a computer class, I decided to turn it into my public portfolio for my Traditions. Then an idea sparked: I could use this blog to talk about my time here at UCLA. And voila! Here we are. But back to the Traditions!
I currently have about 11 Traditions on file but I have more sitting in a folder in my Google Drive waiting to be published. In retrospect, I should have posted those on the days that I logged on only to tell people it was a slow day or that I had no content. No matter! The content is queued and ready to be posted to keep people—and myself—busy over the summer break, but, sadly, it is not much.
I am not sure if I could pinpoint my favorite Tradition so far, but I do have a Top 3. The Freshman Summer Program is definitely the #1 tradition on my list and one of the first Traditions I posted. FSP is the reason why I have the friends I have now and connected with people that are there to help me. #2 is creating my own Tradition. My own tradition, which I am sure that I have not posted yet, is “Visit Rocket Fizz”. Rocket Fizz is a soda and candy shop that is filled with a wide and wacky selection of products all across the globe. I am not sure why this is not a Tradition already. Rocket Fizz has become my favorite place in Westwood. I made regular stops there during FSP and brought along anyone that wanted to come along. If I had the time to go there every week or two, I would, but I guess that is up to me to make the time! Lastly my #3 Tradition had to be the UCLA vs. ASU football game. Not only was it my first football game, but it was also time spent with one of my favorite high school teachers!
While watching UCLA lose, we caught up on how classes were for the both of us. What made it fun was my phone dying before getting to the stadium and using my friends phone to find them while splitting up with my friend. All-in-all it was a great experience for me and I took some more pictures that I forgot to upload…
Anyway, back to the Traditions! If I remember correctly I am around 11 or 12 Traditions down leaving me with about 63 Traditions left to do! If this doesn’t bring out the True Bruin in me, then I do not know what will!
Classes here are tough, but who would expect anything less? As a freshman, I have been forced to know my limits and occasionally break them a few times. For example, I became so accustomed to six page papers, that my most recent eight page paper hovered around six pages for two days. All jokes aside, I had a massive reality check. The first week of my first quarter, I felt horrible. I thought there was no way that I would survive UCLA if I could not get past the intro life science chemistry class. It took me a while to calm down and collect myself before I realized that I was doing fine in the class. After that day, I decided to take a more relaxed and logical approach to not understanding material: tutoring.
Being who I was, I thought that I tutoring was not necessary. I thought that the information would just come to me and that I would understand it right away. I turned out to wrong. I joined an Academic Advancement Program Peer-Learning Facilitation group (AAP PLF for short). PLFs help guide student-led discussions in understanding material. They usually try to hammer in information from previous lectures or weeks to make sure that you understand the information. In all honesty, I would not have survived my science classes without the PLFs. I will continue to use them as long as I can. Even so, they have inspired me to be a PLF for Math 3C, the class I had this last quarter!
Besides getting tutoring and doing well in my courses, I have been cursed. I somehow cannot get over an A in any of my classes. When I think that I am on track to receive an A, I do poorly on something which jeopardizes my grades. I thought that I would get an A in my math class, but the final came and shattered all hopes of that. On the bright side, my GPA is looking okay and I am surprised that I am doing better than I thought in my classes!
Friends are an important part of college life. Some people, like me, need friends to do anything and everything. Friends are the support you need when you are going through something that no one else understands. Be sure to pick wisely, because the wrong friends can get you in all sorts of trouble. I feel that I have a solid group of friends that are all interested in similar things.
Also, because of FSP, I know a lot of people. It’s not by choice, but FSP made many of us feel like a family. Any time that I go out, I see someone I know! It makes me feel secure that I have a support system on campus and can go to other people going through similar successes and struggles. It also helps that most of FSP consisted of campus minorities so I am not alone in my struggles of adjusting to a campus that does not represent me.
Jackie Robinson Foundation
I have talked about the Foundation before, but I never knew how much they set us up for success. Being a scholar has pushed me to achieve a better me. Surrounded by other scholars like me, I can see updates on their activities online and through a group chat. I cannot believe the things my fellow scholars get into. It naturally makes me want to do better, like I said earlier. Plus, I have 40+ friends that I will be in contact with for the next 3 years and hopefully beyond!
Besides having influential colleagues, the Foundation offers us so much to work with. It has so many connections that if anyone needs anything, they can help out with it. They offer jobs, internships, and other opportunities to anyone who asks. It is best to develop a great relationship with them because they could ultimately change my life!
Overall: I love UCLA
So I think this should conclude the post and sorry that it is so long! I will be updating this site more and more over the course of the summer to keep everyone updated. Sorry that it took so long. If I have anything I want to add, I will put it in another post! Thank you to everyone that has been with me this year!