One of the biggest fears I had before coming to college was whether I would ever make new friends after having been surrounded by the same group of people for seven years. I was concerned I would never form the tight relationships that I had grown used to being involved in.

Four years later, I only wish I could assuage freshman me’s mind. I find myself saying hello to an acquaintance daily on campus, and meet with my closest friends at least once a week. I have movie marathons, museum trips, and amazing opportunities lined up through this final quarter. The idea of “circles” has heavy resonance in my life, as almost all my friends know at least one other friend in some degree of connection.

Although my academic life has been fueled by my own interest, ambition, and passion, I still believe the other aspects of my college life have been substantially made better by the people I met here. If anything, the fear that consumed me before college encouraged me to leave my comfort zones and say hi to the new face that became my roommate this year. That fear contributed to my current position as a club president and fifth-grade creative writing teacher.

Here's to my UCLA family!

Shout out to my roommates!

I’ve already dedicated articles to my roommates (pictured above), but that’s because I’m so grateful that I have been able to live with these three women for the last academic year. Through all our dramatic, finals week breakdowns and our late-night, trashy movie marathons, I gained the three sisters my only-child self always wanted. You’re my ride-or-die second family and I love you so dearly.

Shout out to my incredible UCLA English department support system!

I felt welcomed by my department and the individuals that make up the department from the first day I visited on Bruin Day. After I started my classes, I made friends in every class. Not only was the department welcoming, but somehow the entire English major contingency followed suit. I met one of my best friends and roommates in my first quarter of English classes, and it was in that first month that we decided we would live together. I made friends in that class that decided to hang out even after our study sessions.

Shout out to my lit(erary) travel study crew!

Hanging out with the group of people that made up our travel study crew was what made traveling through the UK and wandering for hours through London so much sweeter. When I say that was an adventure of a lifetime, I mean I’m going to remember our late-night shawarma runs, high-tea times, and garden photoshoots forever. My heart ballooned to its greatest size when we finished our trip with a traditional Bruin 8-clap! If I get to, I’d love to travel with any one of you again.

Shout out to my dedicated organization leadership boards!

The pleasure has been all mine to work with my Writer’s Den board this last year and to participate as a member the year before. I can’t forget our inside jokes (especially the goats and white-snow ghost tigers) and will always remember how you all had my back especially during the hardest weeks of the last two years. We have accomplished the most amazing things as leadership and taught the most creative students I’ve ever come across. Thank you for all the opportunities and for the experiences that I’ll always hold onto.

Shout out to the friends of my friends who have now become my closest friends!

That seems like an unnecessarily complex title for y’all, but it is the most accurate. I would have never been so close to most of you if we had not been introduced by our mutual. And am I thankful for that introduction! Other people wouldn’t have ever guessed that we never knew each other before a couple months or years ago because of the state of our friendships. I am so glad we got to know each other and have grown much closer through the ups and downs of college life.

I’m writing here to acknowledge the different groups and individuals that have contributed to my college experience. With this shout-out, hopefully, if you’re also finding yourself with similar fears as mine, you can be reassured that you will find your people.