5 Things Learned After 4 Quarters at UCLA

5 Things Learned After 4 Quarters at UCLA

After 14 months, merely going to UCLA has taught me more than going to class has.

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it's been about a week (or two when you read this) since the fall quarter ended at UCLA, and I thought that this was the toughest quarter yet. Yet, I still won't be able to get out of the bad habit of "five-extra minutes" even though all of my classes are in the morning next quarter.

Guess who's going to sell their soul for free Uber rides?

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Honestly, I sometimes think that being a UCLA student can be complicated. We're like -- what? -- the first public school in America? And I believe that no matter how prepared you think you got, UCLA -- or any college in general -- ends up being a greater deal than you anticipated, and many lessons are learned after rough nights of partying while on finals.

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1. Too many alarms is never enough

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Something that I learned is that five alarms aren't nearly enough, especially when you stopped getting up every day at 6 am to go to high school.

Sometimes, getting up for that 8 am can be devastatingly difficult, even for your 11 am. Let's be real, in college nobody likes getting up ready after long nights of staying up and finishing your accruing homework and studying. Sometimes, four hours of sleep isn't enough. Sometimes, fourteen hours of sleep isn't enough. And sometimes, five alarms won't wake you up from the deep slumber you got yourself into.

2. Missing class is an addicting drug

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Once you miss class, you've had a taste of something wild and unholy. Deciding that next time can become a deadly mantra that will last you an entirety of seven weeks, and once you decide to go to class, you decide that dropping it is a better idea.

The more you skip class, the more you want to avoid going to class.

4. Always find alternative routes

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At UCLA, being late to class can be a hassle when you take Bruinwalk; and sometimes, your alternative routes can be even more of a hassle. Take for example Janss steps. Whenever I had to get to north campus but wanted to avoid Bruinwalk, I would take Janss steps.

Most of the time, I wondered why I did it. Step after step I am always met with, and my only exercise was me walking to class. Alternative routes were cutting through buildings to avoid rush hour and the infinite stairs are always best.

4. Climbing stairs and walking hills isn't the only exercise you need

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When I first encountered the challenges of stairs and hills, I thought I was going to grow accustomed to them by the end of my first quarter. I told myself that after my second quarter. I even still told myself this quarter.

My legs would always end up hurting after those long flight of stairs. Sweat would be beading down my back after those steep hills. I never got accustomed, and meandering through campus got worse when I began living outside of it. I lost my stamina, and now they kill me. Even while living on campus, I suffered.

UCLA always finds a way to remind me that I am out of shape and that I can't live off of climbing stairs and hills.

5. The ups and downs of meal plans

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UCLA has a list of different meal plans options that can be quite confusing if you haven't done your thorough research. Some of them limited the amount of food you ate -- others encouraged you to keep eating more.

Imagine this, you have a total of over 200 swipes at the beginning of the school year. Late night and a sandwich from the study or a pastry might sound good -- especially the chicken tenders. Unfortunately, most of the time, you could only attend Late Night if you had a premium plan, or decided to save your dinner swipe if you had a regular meal plan.

A premium meal plan doesn't regulate how much you eat a day. You could go to a dining hall or take-out more than you wanted. You could swipe your friend whenever they wanted. Food was there to be given to you, and that always sounded magnificent.

Hence why Freshmen 15 can't be avoided.


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UCLA turned out to be quite the place, one I would never have been totally prepared for. And, honestly, I still can't believe UCLA is still part of my life despite all the stress and anxiety it causes me.

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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.

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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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The First Black Student at USF: Ernest Boger

The black history of our university paves the path for future students of color

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February is Black History month, which spurred me to research into some of the Black History of my own university. There has been many inspirational students of color at the University of South Florida, and all began with one great man. In 1961, University of South Florida accepted their first black student to the university, Ernest Boger. Like many, Boger worked hard for his eventual acceptance to USF. He graduated valedictorian of his high school class and obtained an almost perfect score on his college entrance exam.

While at USF, Ernest Boger continued to be a great academic, as well as highly involved throughout USF activities, especially in the band. One thing that made me very proud to be a USF student is Boger's comments on his transition to USF. Though he did say it was difficult feeling like an outsider in comparison to everyone else, he felt accepted by many at college. However, the same could not be said about the community. For instance, Boger reflects on a time where his band mates and him went to a local restaurant, but the manager refused to serve Boger. As a reflection of true Bull culture, Boger's band mates along with other USF student protested the restaurant for days, until they were attacked as a result. I am so proud to be at a university that supports people of color, and immediately supported the only African American student at the university when he was confronted with outright discrimination.

Despite the discrimination and racism he faced, Boger continued his education at USF, graduating with a bachelor's degree in psychology. And then went on to get a doctorate! Reading about Ernest Boger makes me proud to continue his legacy as a African American student at USF. Especially in the presence of a racially charged society that still presents many limitations for African Americans in the work force, despite the education they worked hard to acquire.

Ernest Boger did not let discrimination halt his success, and neither will we.

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