This one goes out to my OG 1023 dawgs and the honorary dawgs that came afterwards.
My first year at UCLA has been far from easy.
I struggled a lot in various aspects of my life and it was very hard for me to deal with them as I was away from my family and my friends from back home. I cried a lot and I coped with things in the worst ways possible. I recognize that I did have some unhealthy coping mechanisms and if it wasn't for my friends I made in college, I feel like I would have been more lost in life and end up making the same mistakes rather than learn from them.
Even through all the tears I shed and struggles I faced, I was still able to experience and enjoy many great laughs and genuinely happy moments thanks to the friends I met here at UCLA.
These friends have held my hair up if I needed to puke after I had a little too much to drink, helped carry me when I twisted my ankle on uneven pavement, comfort me when my mental health took a toll, gave me advice whenever I felt conflicted, and always been there for me when I felt alone.
Although I have only known these amazing people for a very short amount of time, they have changed my life in the most positive way. They have given me their unconditional love and support that there are not enough words I could use to describe how unbelievably thankful I am for that.
Finding a group of best friends like mine in college is crucial as these people contribute to the great experiences that come with college even throughout the ups and the downs. They become your family away from home as you grow closer to them. They shape you into becoming a better version of yourself. Not only do they teach you new values but to enforce the ones you already have.
I hope that others are just as lucky to find their family away from home just like I did. I don't know what I did to deserve these great people but they came into my life for a damn good reason.