University of California-Los Angeles Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?


In high school, all of my focus was towards academics and getting really good grades in order to become valedictorian. In doing this, I sacrificed a social life. I know now that in high school hard work is necessary but so is living life. I would tell myself to not take everything so seriously and focus on more opportunities and volunteering rather than academics. I would tell myself to smile and joke around every once in awhile because when it comes down to it high school is probably one of the easiest times in your life and you should enjoy it. You should connect with your friends because that connection could help you later in life. I would remind myself of the basic lesson such as peer pressure as it is a very real thing in college. I would want my younger self to have a strong foundation of beliefs and ideals so that when I got to college I could go back to these beliefs and not fall into peer pressure and "typical" college behavior.


Knowing what I know about college the only advice I would tell my younger self would be to meet as many people as you can, have fun, and stay focused. I would not want to give my younger self too much information because a big part of college is growing as a person and becoming a young adult. A lot of mistakes will be made, but mistakes are a fundamental part in an young adults growth. As long as we learn from our mistakes they will do more good than bad for us in life. It is the journey and not the destination that will have the most impact on our lives.


Don't be worried about being different and changing yourself to fit in. You're going to have the time of your life studying abroad in London and realize that you are happiest when you are true to your desires and wants. The confidence you exude when you embrace all your oddities will make you stand out and distinguish you in a great organization that will change the way you look at leadership. Don't feel broken for not feeling appropriate emotions. You'll speak to a university psychologist for days and realize that you can't tell your heart how to feel. Don't feel guilty for not drinking, you're going to find great friends that share your values and will support you when classes seem like they're getting to be too much for you to handle. Do prepare to be happier than you ever were in high school. Your skills are invaluable and you will find yourself being an integral part of several university organizations. Do remember to be thankful for every minute you have with your family, because you'll miss them once you've moved out. Do enjoy every fleeting minute of your life.


Don't stress so much, you're making the right choice in going to college! College is a great experience, and you will pick the right school. The new adventure will be what you make of it; if you decide to be an active member of the school, you can meet amazing people and have a great journey All of the other college freshmen are just as nervous as you, so pick some good ones and they will help make the transition easier. At times it may get tough and the studying will get hard. However, if you learn to manage your time well, you will have nothing to worry about. Enjoy your time in high school and make lasting memories with your friends, because it will be harder to stay in touch once you all go your seperate ways. But they will be there for you when you're in that new and unknown place and will know how to make you feel better. Don't forget that even though you aren't with your fammily and friends, they are there to help make your transition easy! You will do great things!


I would tell myself to build extensive study habits and to not be afraid to ask for help. Much of what I have learned in college I have remembered thanks to great study partners and techniques. When I was in high school, I crammed for every test, and then afterward, would retain none of the knowledge that I studied. By studying with others, creative solutions were discovered more quickly to problems that we all had with the material. I was able to recall the knowledge and apply it, not just regurgitate it for and exam or quiz. I would tell myself that it would not be easy at first, but in the long term, would pay great dividends through both my GPA and overall knowledge base. Asking for help should have never been a sign of weakness in my mind, as it is one of humankind's greatest strengths! Every human has to learn from another, building upon knowledge and inventing new ways to examine the world around us. We are built to learn from each other and we all need help sometimes. That is exactly what I would tell my high school self.


Rewind one year: I am a high school senior swamped with AP classes and a plethora of homework, multiple quizzes and two tests in the same week, club obligations to meet, and friends to socialize with. My entire life revolves around perpetual work, and I was blissfully ignorant that in only a few short months, I would move to Los Angeles to attend UCLA. What I would tell my high school self is painfully simple: spend more time with your family, because they are your foundation, and you will finally realize the adage that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. My dedication to my academics clouded this vital truth from me. I would do anything to go back and go to that party with my mother’s family and find another time to study for my government test, or randomly go shopping with my sister during one of her impulses. I would put down my book and bother my brothers while they were on their computers or take my dad to Taco Bell on a whim. My family is a major part of my life, and every moment with them is an important one.


I would have told myself to not worry about boys, drama, frenemies, and to focus myself 100%. I was a first generation college student, my parents highest grade level achieved was middle school. I had no role models, so it made it difficult to apply myself academically. I would have told myself that I was worthy of attending any university I set my mind to.


Dear High School Seniors: Every college has its own distinct advantages and faults. One thing for sure is that if you properly use the resources and keep your eyes on positive goals, you can be "successful" in any university. Yes, any university. So, instead of stressing out and blindly applying to the most prestigious universities in the United States, find the school that you think you'd be passionate about and one that fits you. Don't be discouraged if you don't get your first choice or less. Successful people aren't made by schools; they are who they are because of their experiences and the people around them. Think of school as a tool or stepping stone in your life, nothing more. Other people believe in you, so, have some faith for yourself. Cherish the last moments in high school and best of luck in life!


I would tell myself to be less stressed out. I always knew that UCLA was my dream school and worked toward admission with every late night review session and AP test. But the application process to college is so stressful, and it always works out. People end up where they are meant to be. And more importantly, if you approach college with a desire to succeed and a passion for what you are learning, you can do well on any campus. My biggest advice to myself would be to take it one step at a time and not worry about what will happen way down the line. All you can do is your absolute best in that moment and hope for the best. I could not be more happy about where I am now, but if I could've known that I would end up at UCLA as a high school senior, I would have eliminated many worried-filled nights!


I would make sure that I had more scholarships lined up for me. With that I would have put forth more effort to get better grades. I would have researched more colleges and made sure I was better prepared for the college life.


People are too busy worrying about themselves to worry about you. It may seem like what you wear, say, and do is being intensely judged by everyone around you, but that's simply not the case. Everyone is trying their best to define themselves in a new environment and in a new world. Factoring in the opinions you assume the people around you have is not only inaccurate but it is an incredible waste of time. Use your power of will and thought to decide that you are good enough simply because you exist. Base your idea of who you are not on the ideas or thoughts of others, but on the ideas and thoughts of you. Life is too short to wrap yourself in a blanket of worry that does no good for anyone, and in all honesty doesn't have to exist. College is a time where you can define yourself based upon what you want, what you desire, and what you feel you should contribute to the world. Don't miss out on the beauty of yourself because you're worried about what other people think. You are special. You are worthy. You are you.


I have two pieces of advice to make the best out of college: try new things and budget your time wisely. Check out clubs or groups on campus, either centered on things you know you like to meet new people with the same interest, or on things that you have vaguely heard of to learn more about them. Rush a sorority or a fraternity to see what it's like. Take classes in subjects you may have never known you loved or known you were good at. Be social and reach out to other students in your classes or in your dorm. Do all of this to make sure you haven't pidgeon-holed yourself into whatever college experience you think you're supposed to have. But, just as importantly, make sure that you are still alotting the appropriate amount of time for your studies. The focus of your studies may change a few times throughout your college career, but there should still be goals in mind at the end. Whether it's learning more about or mastering a certain field, or building a foundation for post-college life; actively work toward that goal. Balance is the key.


Follow your passion and absolutely, irrevocably do not let anyone or anything stand in your way. This is your life, your major, and your career choices. Don’t be afraid to fight for what you value and know is right. If you feel you don’t fit in, start your own movement. Hold your head up no matter what, but also don’t be afraid to seek help, advice, or just someone to lean on. Never be apologetic about what you staunchly believe in. It is 100% okay to not have a life plan set out, but take advantage of your time in college to try new hobbies, discover interests, and explore your own individuality. Time will fly before you know it so do not let opportunities run away, but at the same time, realize that not every opportunity may be right for you. Be sure to carve time for volunteering, exercising, and meditating. Mental health, including reflection and sleep, is essential to growth and success. Amidst working hard academically, never forget personal time is crucial to happiness and what more to define success than the state of happiness?


Although the transition between high school and college seems scary, you are on the right track at making the transition smoother. Doing the summer program will help you prepare for fall quarter and adjust to your new home. Do not worry about not fitting in or meeting someone else that is a mother. You will meet a couple of moms and find the support that you need from the school and your new community. Academically you will excel, but emotionally it will be challenging and yes you will cry at times. However, you will have child care, an apartment, school supplies, and food. Like always you found a way to make it happen not only for yourself, but for your children as well. The last thing I will advise you is to continue to push forward, no matter how tough it gets, and it feels impossible. Remember that you can and will accomplish your goals.


“Hibernate throughout the insanely long summer vacation. You have to listen to me. You are going to need all of that sleep for your first year alone. Who cares about hanging out with your friends and doing things you have not been able to do, you need your sleep. Yeah, I know you will most likely not see your friends throughout the year and you will have to wait until the next summer to see them, but you need your sleep. Sleep is sleep. In fact, tell them too to hibernate. They are going to need their sleep as well. They will thank you a million times after their first year ends. I can assure you that.” That is the advice I would give myself. It honestly would have been the greatest advice I have ever received if someone would have advised me that as I was awaiting to commence my first year at a university. So many nights spent up late at night studying, finishing up that six-page essay, or even just talking to my floor mates. “Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention. Sometimes just say no... Do not question it. You will find out later. Good luck.”


Expect the worst, then anything that comes in your experience will not be as much of a negative experience. Don't be a pessimist, but be aware that you will struggle more than others because of your background.


Recently, I was reminiscing about my high school experience a bit of euphoria and comical sentiments aroused in my soul and psyche. I thought I knew who I was. I thought what I was taught was true at face value. I now know that’s a fallacy at all levels. Not to cast any culpability on teachers, but to earnestly question the K-12 education system. I would have told the younger me of approximately one hundred fifty days ago to find out who I am. The more one knows, the more one tries and advances. I am Moorish the decedents of Moorish people who were notable in science. I believe if I knew the entirety of my ancestry I would be more motivated. Subsequently, I would have done more research on scholarship and sponsorship options, because I would have understood the key to education. The power that is generated is incomparably; not only to aspire to be an employee one day but to be an employer and an entrepreneur. Once you know your history, you will not act wayward in college like most students because you know who you are. You're not lost anymore, you’re found.


I would tell myself to give everybody a chance – including myself. Everybody deserves to be listened to, because it is impossible to understand anybody fully, and all too often we rob those around us of the chance to be heard. Obviously, some (including my high school self) would ask the skeptical question: "if it is impossible to understand others, why try?" I believe that without knowing others we cannot know ourselves. The man who lives in a red house never truly knows his house is red until he meets the man from the blue house. Imagine how much his worldview might change, and that's just based on learning of the outsider's house color, let alone his life story. We have so much to learn from others, so listen up. Knowing my high school self though, I would be sure to tell him not to get absorbed in the lives of others. As a third-culture kid I would frequently assume the personas of my friends. In reality, I always knew that I could truly be me, but never quite gave myself the chance. Listen to others, and listen to your real self, kid.


Do not worry about transitioning into collage. It does not matter what expectations you believe are put on you, both socially and academiclly. You do not need to fit in right away. The social aspects of univerity life will begin to work out the moment you stop trying to force them. There are so many people and clubs, that even though some groups may not seem to fit with who you see yourself as, that is ok. Keep an open mind, however if you find yourself unhappy in a situation move away from it and find something that makes you feel comfortable. As far as grades are concerned, you know you are one of the worst test takers in existance. Although it is critical that you study as hard as you always have, you should immidiatly stop focusing on test scores and gpa and shift your attention to learning and enjoying the material. The less stressed you are and the less anxiety you have over the upcomming test, the better you will do.


It isn't going to be easy, but you will get through it. Work hard and you will develop the best study habits you have ever had. Don't worry so much about your friends from home, the ones that matter much will always be there for you. Don't worry so much about making others proud, do what is best for you. Stand up for yourself, don't let your roommates walk all over you or they will steal $300 worth of your belongings. Gain some confidence, it will help you in a lot more aspects than you think. Get involved, it's the only way to meet people in this big of a school. Sit in the front row, professors wil notice you and it will improve your grades. Go to Office for Students With Disabilities, you don't know it yet, but you have ADHD. Getting this hep and receiving the accomodations will raise your grades by 20%. You aren't stupid, you just needed a little extra help. Get involved in research early, by your junior year it is too late. They want people who can dedicate 2 years. Good luck, you will do it kid.


to work hard and pass your dreams


I would talk to myself about the importance of being less influenced by my peers and more on finding my sense of direction. Follow the rules. I should have concentrated on getting more out of school rather than getting out of school.


Oftentimes in high school, girls are dramatic. Okay, that is an understatement... Girls are almost always dramatic. I learned the hard way that something that may seem like the worst thing in the world is rarely as important or detritimental as it appears to be in the moment. If I could talk to my high school self, I would remind myself that not everything is the end of the world. When your boyfriend breaks up with you or you don't get an A on the test that you were hoping for, it is unlikely to torment you the rest of your life. Life keeps going. I would also tell my younger self that stress and anxiety are the enemy; they will in no way help you do better on a test or get back together with your boyfriend. Letting yourself be anxious about anything is not beneficial and will likely hinder you from reaching your full potential.


Don't go further than you're willing to go in the future. Project the self you want to be and trust that the right admissions office will want that person. Don't mold yourself for a school, let the right school identify you as someone they can see as a part of their student body. College admissions offices know best. If their eyes are clouded by prejudice or bias, then it's their loss, not yours. You do not want to go to a school where you do not belong, where you are constantly trying to prove something that's not true. You do not want to be there to solely fill a quota or because of one false trait you exaggerated in your application. Stay true to who you want to be, not who you think you should be. Numbers don't mean a thing. You and what you can do with your resources are the only thing you need to showcase and the right resources will present themselves to you.


There are two things you cannot take back once done- the word after it is said and time after it has passed. All the things I have been through have lead me to be where I am today; happy. Too often we strive for the wrong form of gratification- a new car, a passing grade, or reserving a spot in our hearts for someone temporary. Pain and suffering is short-lived in comparison for what is to come. I have yet to experience some of the greatest days of my life, and everything that leads up to that moment of complete satisfaction and bliss is going to be worth it because once I am there, everything I went through will feel worthwhile. So I would just watch that girl and let her experience life from the heartaches to the happiness, and I would let just look at her and tell her "there is so much to look forward to."


I’ve completed my first year of college with new friends, memories, and ambitions. While a psychic reading would’ve been helpful during my senior year of high school, I shouldn’t have worried excessively. Embrace the present to ensure a better future. If procrastination were a deadly sin, I would’ve gone to hell long ago. All-nighters won’t disappear until you modify your habits. I’ve sprinted—up stairs and hills, through major crowds—to English classes on essay due dates. If I allotted myself more study time, I could’ve spent less time in the floor lounge at 4am, eyes glazed over my computer screen. Prioritize academics without sinking. Now and then, explore the local beach or museum. These are incentives for hard work. Study to understand: not just to reach a benchmark. B+ instead of an A-? Oh, well. It’s more remarkable to discuss class material and apply it to daily conversation. Sometimes, embarrassment is essential for progression. Enjoy college life while you can. Even when facing homesickness or academic, health, and personal issues. Difficult times are temporary; your harnessed mental strength is an everlasting asset. Above all, amazing college memories outweigh unpleasant ones.


Be open to participating in different acadmeic and social experiences and becoming active in organizations that may interest you early on. Create a few plans for your desired college path and discuss obstacles you may potentially face that way you have alternative plans. Become aquainted with financial terms, create a financial plan early on, and try to minimize the debt and loans you will take on. Try to establish a group of friends in every class, organization, or activity you participate in that way you have great networking potential and at the same time new friends to ask questions if you forgot something or to just socialize with. Try to figure out the right balance between your academic and social life, if you are looking for a more competitive career you will naturally have to work harder on the academic side. Analyze the habits you previously had and ask yourself if you are spending your time in the best way. Most importantly enjoy what you are learning in class and outside of class and to appreciate the opportunity to participate in the transition state from high school student to college student, an opportunity not everyone is lucky enough to experience.


When you set up your first email account, rethink choosing the username, glitterglamgirl, to submit to college applications. Always assume the test will be hard. Intelligence might have made you stand out in high school, but your work ethic is what matters in college. But, if you feel like what you are doing is not right for you, stop. You choose your life path, not your parents. Quit having that attitude with them and they may actually understand. Expand your horizons. You are never going to have more freedom and opportunities to try out new interests as you do now. Not everything is for resume-boosting and how else will you figure out where your passions lie. Be frugal but not too cheap that you miss out on experiences you only have available now. From LGBTQ*, adoption, depression, suicide, poverty, and rape victims, you will meet a diverse range of friends in college from all walks of life. Don’t judge or assume. Everyone has a story, a struggle, a reason behind their actions. So, never be too busy to be a good friend, sister, and daughter. You don't want to lose your heart in pursuit of your brain.

Alex Edward

Like the ancient inscription on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, I would say, "Know thy self". In high school I was less assured than I am now and would constantly change my opinion based on the whims of others, never quite feeling confident in my choices about college and my education. I would say to myself--don't worry. Don't put such an emphasis on making sure everything followed this preplanned script you had written in your head and realize that chance is the spice of life. I would tell myself to seek adventure and to follow it wherever it may lead. To enjoy the moments of being young and carefree, knowing you might never have the opportunity of reliving it again if you are too focused on becoming an adult. Everything has its time and place. Trust that the universe has a plan for you if you allow it to guide and show you as Paulo Coelho might say, "your personal legend". The transition like all transitions in life will be difficult and may seem overwhelming but with conviction and a willingness to take advantage of any chance that comes your way; success will naturally follow.


My first year at college took hard work, perseverance, and all the other inspriring catchphrase words that go along with success. More than anything else, though, my time at UCLA took patience. I was in a long-distance relationship for most of the year, and for several months, I was helping a friend through depression. A girl I know, who suffered from drug-induced psychosis, developd an inexplicable attachment to me, and one of my closest friends had an emotional breakdown and channeled her emotion entirely toward me. Although the year ended well with everyone safe and content, I would have appreciated a pep talk. I don't know whether anything anyone said to me my senior year of high school would have truly prepared me for the trying times to come, but I am choosing to believe that, in a world in which I could travel through time to casually give myself a few words of wisdom, I would also have the power to say the words my high-school self needed to hear: "Joshua, college will be different than anything you have ever done, and it will be challenging in unique ways; be patient" (or something like that).




You are loved. Love yourself, allow yourself to be loved, and love others. Always believe in yourself and go after your passions. Be creative and follow your inner desire to help people. You can do it. Highschool is a creative world so expolore all the options. Do not rush because what is most important is feeling confident in yourself. The world loves people who know themselves. Take care of your beauty because it is your passion and purpose. Also keep your finances in mind. Consider building you service and income.


College is not necessarily about solely the education, it's about placing yourself in an environment where you can grow in self awareness, identity, and education. It is a place where you are surrounded with people similar to you in ambition and interests. It is definitely possible that some colleges are NOT for you- but it is YOUR choice to decide which direction you choose to take in life (keep in mind your academic goals, personal goals, and financial goals). It is YOUR choice to decide what you'd like to study and spend your time doing. Time will go by fast and doubt will always fan the flames of your fears but as you challenge yourself and grow, note that every decision/path has a lesson to gain. Especially, those moments that don't go 'as planned'. So do your best to prepare yourself for the worst scenerios but embrace the moments when things are great and even when things are terrible- because being in college is a privelege and although some things in life are out of our control- it's all still a gift.


Stick it out, the 4 years spent at UCLA is tough but it's also some of the best years in your life. Don't squander it and work hard. You'll make it.


Life is a learning process. I don't have to know the answers to everything. It is OK to make mistakes. Stop being a perfectionist. Learn to accept rejection. Accept people for who they are. Never judge any one on appearances. Study hard. Love life. Be kind. Help those in need. If you fall, get back up and keep going. Don't worry what others think about you. Keep your head up. Stay strong. Have fun but be responsible. Knowledge is power. Accept help from others. Be cautious. Careful who you fall in love with. Laugh more. Hug your parents more. Be there for your friends more. Drive slow. Don't drink so much. Breathe.


Calling something a “good” versus a “bad” experience is merely an arbitrary label, since every experience “good” and “bad” in life vitally contributes to your wealth of knowledge. However, this perception that certain things were “bad” and that “grades were everything” caused me to sabotage my happiness in college. Therefore, I would encourage my high school self to realize that grades merely one ingredient of the cake of life. It is far better to spend the energy that would have been used worrying about the grades on working towards achieving balance and joy in life. As a student with a 3.971 GPA from UCLA, I always defined myself by grades, but now I realize that they are merely one minor reflection of ability. This false perception often drove me past the point of balance to the extremes of chronic stress, causing me to push away all opportunities beyond the classroom. Now I realize that I cannot forsake cultivating the other ingredients for this one. As I enter law school, I know that I will heed this advice so that my cake of life will be infinitely more delicious as I mix together the full spectrum of ingredients.


I wouldn't give my high school self any advice. Such a huge part of my education at UCLA was being suddenly dropped into this new community of 30,000 students and having to keep myself afloat. The failures and successes of the first years of college hold equal stake in making me the person I am today. It may seem like giving yourself advice that may help you avoid life's challenges or difficulties is a no brainer, yet I can't help but think that without some of that struggle I may not be the person I am today. I learned so much in college in the classroom, but also by being thrust into new life situations, both helping to mold my mind and personality to make me the person I am today. For as many mistakes as some well placed hind sight advice may be able to help me avoid, I would miss out on so many valuable lessons. So I guess if I had to go back and tell my high school senior self something about life and making transitions into college it would just be relax and have fun with whatever life tosses your way.


I would advice myself to take more AP classes to help me get accustomed to the pace of college and to focus on writing skills, because writing is extremely important in college. I would tell myself that grades are not everything and that actually learning the material and subject is better becuase it makes you a well-rounded person that knows a bit about everything. And to get used to the heavy workload that I always complained about in school. But to not stress myself too much because college is not that bad and it is fun because you get to explore different boundaries and many things you had never even thought about. I would finally tell my old self that it does not matter what college you go to but how you take that opportunity to make something great out of your education, and use that education to help others.


Your life is what you make of it. Grades aren't what define you, despite how stressed you've been about getting the top grades so you could get into the top colleges. Sleep is important, but you don't have to oversleep; there's still so much out there for you to experience and explore. There will be days when everything seems pointless. Why go to lecture? Your professor won't even notice you're not there anyway. You could just get the notes from a friend or from the textbook, if you're lucky enough. But why sleep in when there's still so much to learn. There are so many people to meet, so many connections to make and so many people to touch with your personality. Sure, in the end those grades will get you steering straight on your career path, but will you be happy? Will you be satisfied with all that you've experienced and learned in high school and beyond when you really are in control of your life? You don't have to do everything those college movies highlight, just what makes you smile at the end of the day.


Thank your parents. Even if you don't understand why, just do it. You are in college and for that reason alone, be grateful to them. You have never been to jail; you have a strong head on your shoulders; and you are in art school, thank them. You might not realize the part your parents have played in keeping you grounded and motivated, encouraging your talents, showing up to your performances; in college you will. When you really are in charge of yourself, your parents' constant advice will help you make the best choice. Even if you don't "listen" to them, listen to what they have to say and store it in the back of your mind. It will come handy at a time you most need it. Say thank you because they have given you all the tools to make it into college, and now you are boundless. The paths you can take, lessons you can learn, friendships you can make will be greater than most other experience you will have in your life. And the best part is: they are still secretly supporting you so you can experience college without the burden of post-college reality.


I can still recall stepping into my college on the first day. None of my friends went to my college, and I was petrified by the enormous campus with thousands of strange new students. I did not want to risk starting a conversation with any of them, because I was afraid that they would not be friendly to me. Despite sitting in class with an auditorium full of students like me, I felt incredibly lonely. This would last for a semester. After a dull winter break, I decided to start making friends on day one of second semester. I talked to anyone I could see – roommates, classmates, even someone I met in the elevator; most of them were incredibly amiable, and many became my friends. A month later, I had already made several best friends. I talked to them when I was upset, they trusted me with their secrets, and we enjoyed spending time together. If I could travel back in time, I would advise my high-school-senior self to talk to everyone starting on the first day of college. Most people are welcoming and affable, and the benefit of having friends is critical to have stellar college experience.


Assuming I could go back in time as a high school senior and give myself advice, I would have so much to say to myself. First off, I would definitely start by saying to try my best and get the best grades I possibly could. Secondly, get involved as much as possible. Whether it is in the community or in my high school. Doing community service hours, joing a sports team, or a club. I would tell myself that in order to get into the University of my dreams, I would have to work hard for it if I really wanted to get in. Lastly, I would not leave wihtout making the best of my last year in high school. Everyone always said that high school is one of the best times of your life. That could not be any truer now looking back. I would tell myself to participate in every single activity I had that year because later on I will either reminisce about it or regret not doing so. High school is your last chance of really being a kid and enjoying life because once you get into the college world you are basically an adult.


Dear Reina, It is your senior year of high school and you are about to enter college. Just some words of advice. Be sure to get involved in some activities. Keeping up your studies is great, but you want to enjoy college as well. Another thing I need to tell you is do not stress too much. Things will work out. I know that perfectionist attitude can get the best of you, but just try to enjoy your classes for the sake of learning first. Definitely do not procratinate. I know this is the first time that you will be sharing a room, but it is not so bad. Make sure to respect everyone and their space. You shouldn't have any issues. Also, eat healthy foods and get plenty of exercise and sleep. It's good for your health. I know you are going to do well in college, Reina. Take care of yourself and be safe. Love your older, wiser college freshman self, Reina


There will always be mistakes, that I can promise. Learn from those mistakes; let them foster your growth into an independent being. Never forget the people that have helped you. Know that college is worth it, I know you’re worried and you might be on the verge of thinking about not even attending but the opportunities you will have in college are worth the sacrifice. The quarter system is grueling and you might just find yourself studying into the morning hours but you’ll get through it alive, I promise. There are so many programs that are here to help you throughout the way such as AAP, don’t let your pride get to you because you will need the additional help so apply from the beginning. As a part of the curriculum, there is service learning components that go out to volunteer with the old and children. Volunteering will make you realize that you want to be a Geriatrician. There might be moments in which the world might start coming to a halt because everything that could go wrong starts going wrong but remember that you need to be the change you want to see in the world.


“Buy a new pack of socks and briefs because they empty fast once you understand laundry’s low priority in college,” is about all I have to tell my younger self, “I know you’re expecting more but my lips are sealed. You’re probably wondering what college life is like. The ‘college’ part is an accumulation of choices offered by your school, friends, family, and even yourself in this time. The ‘life’ part, however, constitutes the decisions you make on these choices. Since I’m you, you’ll listen to my advice, but doing so undermines your free will. Giving you hints detracts from your college life because it robs you of the opportunity to make certain decisions for yourself. You must experience college in its entirety, including stressful coursework, raging parties, mistakes and victories, loneliness and friendship. My advice may spoon-feed you a tested and tried path of least resistance that denies you invaluable learning experiences. As much as I want to advise a streamlined, error-free, and successful time in college, I won’t. It’s the mistakes and self doubt, the searching and the struggle for the right answers that makes you grow.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to stay physically fit in college and avoid gaining the ‘freshman fifteen’ at all cost. Many of the insecurities that haunted me during college stemmed from being insecure with my weight. If I did not gain weight freshman year, I would have been able to focus more on important things such as studying and networking instead of worrying about my weight. I would have been confident in my appearance. I truly believe that my significant weight gain placed a damper on my college experience. I experienced drastic weight gain and loss throughout college because I could not get my eating habits under control. Although I exercised regularly, it could not combat my eating habits. Fortunately I was able to gain control over my food consumption during my senior year of college and have an amazing year. I wish that all of my college years had mirrored my senior year. I credit my overall happiness and confidence to being secure in my physical appearance.


I would advise myself to have greater forknowledge on dealing with the financial and administrative processes in order to understand the system. I would also advise on joining more extracurricular groups to branch out to different people and learn new experiences that will enrich my character. More importantly, I would tell myself to have greater self-confidence about going oout on my own and making critical decisions. This I believe is the most significant advice because it is vital on the path to adulthood to make your own decisions, take care of yourself, and learning to stand on your own bootstraps. Therefore, I would tell myself to be resolute in entering a new world and not to be afraid of meeting new people. My experiences at UCLA have given me new friendships, hindsight, and understanding about the world around me.


I would tell myself to study theatre and not wait.


I would have said to apply for more scholarships and be more organized about the whole process. Funding school almost entirely on student loans is mentally, physically, and emotionally stressful, so I could've potentially saved myself a lot of health related trauma. Also, I would have said to use what knowledge of statistics I had from pre-AP chem as a sophomore in the team science fair project I did as a junior. If we had used statistics and proven our data mathematically, we would've had a stronger argument to an already creative, innovative, and interesting project. Lastly, I would've said to study more seriously. I studied, but I was one of those students who was usually pretty well off even without studying (I still made good grades!). If I had established some good study habits back then, there would've been less of a "self-crash course" once college classes began.


I would advise me to just be comfortable with who I am. There is so much pressure to fit in, and to become one of the crowd, and tob e considered en essential part of a larger whole. But there is nothing wrong with being an individual or standing out.