10 Things I'm Excited To Have Done Before Graduating

10 Things I'm Excited To Have Done Before Graduating

I’m crossing things off my college bucket list, one adventure at a time.

As I’ll be graduating in five months from UCLA, aka my second home, the sentiments have started pouring out - both in the form of Odyssey articles and in my daily activities.

“Oh, I’ve got to go to Wooden Gym every day because I won’t be able to in five months!”

“I’m definitely going to Spring Sing in my final year!”

“Do I need a yearbook? I don’t care. I’m gonna get one!”

And a regular one in my apartment, “Woah...it’s already fourth week of winter qua—” “Nope! Stop it! Don’t you dare finish that sentence!”

Besides the general UCLA traditions I can’t wait to participate in again for another year, there are certain aspects of being a university student I’m glad to have done and to do soon.

1. Doing touristy things in my city

Being in Los Angeles definitely helped in this task, but discovering the city you'll be staying in for one to four years is highly necessary.

I went hiking to the Hollywood sign, went to shows and concerts around the city, and hung out at the beach (whenever I got the time). All those experiences helped me adjust and create some of the most formative memories of the last few years.

2. Staying overnight in the library during finals week

I know this sounds crazy. And possibly, fundamentally unhealthy.

But staying overnight in the library (and ordering pho through Postmates to our research library) is an experience I wouldn't take back now. Even though I hated myself in the moment for keeping my body up that late.

3. Taking fitness classes

Take advantage of this!! Taking cheaper classes and using the free gym were a couple of my most proud decisions as a college student. You'll rarely find the same resources and facilities, for the price, after leaving a college campus.

4. Participating in organizations on campus

Everyone says go join an organization to make friends. And they aren't wrong!

But you can also change career paths because of an amazing opportunity. Or take on leadership roles you wouldn't have otherwise. For example, I am currently the President of a creative writing organization and also teach fifth grade through it.

5. Going to university athletic events

School pride is the best (and frankly easiest, if you go to a college like UCLA) way to get involved on campus. There's a crazy surge of energy one feels when they're at a football or basketball or soccer game, and you feel your whole school surrounding you.

U! C! L! A! Fight! Fight! Fight!

6. Getting to know my professors

I know it used to be embarrassing to have to hang out with your teachers at lunch during school. But we quickly figured out that becoming friends and acquaintances with our professors was the best way to understand our classes.

There are also the opportunities for research and internships professors tend to know about. Especially if it's your professor who's the one doing something really cool that you could have the chance to be a part of.

7. Saying “yes” to meeting new people

Finding an environment I felt comfortable in took a while after starting university. I wasn't sure about large parties and I was nervous about injecting myself into what I assumed were already-determined cliques.

But the thing is, most people are excited to be making new friends. I figured out where I felt best—small kickbacks or parties that my close friends throw or dorm events—and I went there and made new friends!

8. Showing people around campus

I feel pride when I can easily show my friends, family, or tours my campus. I get the feeling that I know my own campus well enough that I can get other people to fall in love with it as well.

9. Reading on the main campus quad

I've always wanted to be part of those establishing shots or scenes in college movies. The ones where there are college students playing guitars on the stairs or playing Frisbee on the grass.

I always feel that moment when I grab the books I need for the week and sit in the columns of Royce Hall or on the rolling Janns lawn.

10. Making lifelong friends

I had always hoped I'd make some of my best friends in college, people who grew with me at the same time of our formative years. And I did!

I love my roommates, the friends I made in my major and even the random people I ended up becoming close to at a random party. Even without the other amazing experiences I will take away from college, I know that the longest-lasting would be the friends I made.

I know graduation is going to be that much sweeter because I will have fulfilled so many college dreams throughout my time here at UCLA!

Cover Image Credit: Jui Sarwate

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.


1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten

Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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To My Little Sister, Don't Wish For Time To Move Faster, Soak Up The Stage Of Life You're In

Live in the moment and you will come out having no regrets.


To my best friend,

Time goes by quickly, do not wish it away. Enjoy living in the moment you are in right now because you will never get it back. Stop wishing you were in college already because you have so much to live for right now.

I know all you want to do is get away from home and start over, which is normal because I wanted to do the same thing at your age. But as your older sister, and as someone who has gone through that stage already, I am here to tell you that it is not all rainbows and sunshine 24/7.

With the time you have left in high school, enjoy every second of it because eventually, you will come to miss it.

Graduation is just around the corner for you and it honestly freaks me out how fast time is going. And it only goes faster in college. As kids, all we wanted was to be in high school and be able to drive on our own and once we hit high school, all we want is to be in college. With almost being in college for two years, I can easily say that all I want is to be a kid again. We have been wishing our whole lives away since we can remember. Enjoy today.

I see so much potential in you and I am beyond excited for what the future has in store for you.

Many times, you have been the one to give me advice even though I'm the older sister and this shows how caring and loving you are. Life is going to treat you so well and it already has.

There is one piece of advice I must give to you though. Make sure to thank mom and dad and tell them you love them as often as possible. I know they can get on your nerves and may make you angry at times, but they have given us the best life. You will learn in college just how much they love us and how much they have given up just to make us happy.

You have a good head on your shoulders and I know life is going to turn out to be exactly what you wanted. Just don't wish it all away. Some of my favorite times were when I was a senior in high school.

I'm always looking out for you so don't ever think you are alone in this crazy world. Remember, I am just one phone call away.

I love you so much sis, you got this.

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