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.