UCLA New Student Guide

As a student attending a new college, it can be difficult to adjust to the college setting coming straight from high school, or even from a junior college. With a mass of new faces and a heavy load of work from classes, how is it that anyone can make friends and adjust to the new surroundings? I asked this question when I first transferred to UCLA from my community college in Orange County and after a year of living on campus, I have come up with a few tips for new students.

1) Live on campus: The first mistake I made was living off campus my first year. If you can avoid this, by all means, do! People don’t just knock on your apartment door to say “Hello! Let’s be best friends!” You have to actually pursue people (which may sound creepy, but it’s true!). By living on campus, there are plenty of activities that the school puts on just for students living in student housing. 2) Find a student club to join: Yes, I know that you are busy with your homework and classes, and maybe even a job too! But, honestly, if you join a student club on campus, you will thank me later! Clubs make the campus smaller and more personal. If you are looking for a community of best friends with similar interests, you can find them without much searching! College is probably one of the best places to find good friends that share a common interest since there is a group for almost every interest that is already formed. 3) Get to know the town: Westwood is a great little town for college students. They have EVERYTHING you will ever need (minus a Target). Do you want cheap cookie sandwiches? Diddy Riese! Are you looking for groceries? I’m pretty sure Ralphs and Trader Joes will have everything you are looking for. If not, maybe you should just shuffle your way over to Chipotle or BJ’s Brewery. Want to see a movie? We have FOUR movie theatres in Westwood! And these aren’t just any movie theatres, they are the ones that Hollywood uses to premiere big box-office films! What does that mean for you? That means you can see a movie AND meet someone famous while only having to walk 5 minutes from the campus. What about clothes you say? Helllllloooo, we have an Urban Outfitters within three minutes of the campus (10 minutes if you are walking). Not to mention about 10 boutiques and a Buffalo Exchange! I think you will survive! 4) Get out of Westwood if possible: Westwood is amazing, and honestly, between the UCLA Store and the stores/entertainment options in Westwood, there is probably no reason to leave. However, if possible, try to get out and see the town! Go see Santa Monica-ride a roller coaster on the pier! Go to Hollywood and stalk celebrities! Or go to LACMA to see amazing art. 5) Talk to the people sitting next to you in class: Now I know other students can be intimidating, especially in south campus, but they are in the same situation as you! Everyone wants to feel accepted, so trust me, they will be more than happy to have a conversation with you (and maybe even get coffee) if you simply initiate one. Who knows, they might even become your best friend on campus!

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