I’m sure we all know that the University of California, Los Angeles is a fine establishment. They cultivate young minds, athletes, and souls in the heart of Southern California…in Los Angeles (obviously)…in a neighborhood that goes by the name of Westwood.
Now, as a semi-local I would like to introduce this university by talking about it from the perspective of someone who is semi-part of the UCLA culture:
UCLA is a pretty big deal here in Los Angeles. I would say that it’s the most widely-respected university here…and there are many great schools! According to some Los Angelenos, UCLA is the greatest school in the world, according to others, it’s USC. The rivalry is really strong and the blood? Well, it’s bad. Most kids’ loyalty stems from their parents’ and it really does seem as though 25% of kids have a parent who went to one of the two schools. The alumni and fan network for UCLA is really strong. Get on an LA freeway and I promise you’ll see a few UCLA license plates. Go to a crowded area and I guarantee you can spot the UCLA logo on a few sweatshirts. There really are so many people rooting for this school (my dad and brother included) and it’s always fun to see them come face-to-face with USC fans. The point I’m trying to make is that if you go to UCLA there will be many locals cheering on the Bruins with you, there will be a lot of USC fans and students to despise, and there will be many alumni to support you. Those are all wonderful things!
UCLA has never been on my list for two reasons: a) too close, just waaaaay too close and b) I never thought I had much of a chance of acceptance. Regardless, I think that it’s an incredible school and that anyone who gets the chance to go is extremely fortunate. Let me tell you why!
- The culture. I love that UCLA really is part of the community; LA loves UCLA and UCLA loves LA. The USC rivalry is so fun! It’s so spirited and passionate and it just adds so much excitement to the athletics! Also, having a really large and spirited alumni network is not something that should go under-appreciated. I really think it can make a difference in one’s job search.
- The location: Los Angeles. LA has a lot going for it. It’s not really the place I want to be, but I definitely get the appeal. The weather is so easy! Yes, it’s boring and monotonous but you literally never have to think for more than 10 seconds about the weather and how it will affect any given day. It’s kind of ridiculous. Also, there are so many options for recreation such as the beach, the desert, hiking mountains, snow mountains–it’s all close! Also, LA has all the resources of any other big city so whatever you want to do, you can do it! I wouldn’t say that there’s a very cohesive LA culture; it’s just a big place with a lot of stuff and a lot of very diverse people.
- The location: Westwood. I went to this neighborhood (town? area? district?) for the very first time this past weekend and I was shocked. I had no idea that all of that was right there behind the campus! It’s a really nice area and it’s super convenient because you can just walk right off campus and be somewhere. There’s everything a college student would need and want. Including…
Here’s what the area looks like:
Trust me, a lot of Los Angeles is gross. UCLA students are very fortunate to have such a cute, clean, and convenient (Alliteration.BOOM!) surrounding area.
5. The versatility of the experience. Great academics. Great athletics. Great reputation. You have strong school spirit and the resulting community. There’s a very diverse student body and a lot of interesting students go there. So many kids are interested and talented in many different areas, students come from all over the world to go there, and there are so many majors so students are studying varying subjects. When I toured I saw, from a shallow evaluation, all different kinds of people. People looked differently, were dressed differently, and talked differently. I love that strong diversity and I think it’s a great way to learn about people. Athletics are big and fun and important; having fun is a priority for many students; and academics are extremely important and valued highly. Lastly, you have your little UCLA bubble on the campus and in Westwood but you’re also in Los Angeles (Westwood really is a very central location) so you can never run out of things to do and see. It’s the best of every world!
6. The campus. The pictures speak for themselves…
Needless to say, it’s gorgeous! There’s just a really great feeling on campus that’s hard to describe. It is in part due to the beauty of it, but I think the students and their school spirit play the largest role. UCLA is one of those schools that a student seems to always be connected to. ONCE A BRUIN ALWAYS A BRUIN
Facts I Learned on my Tour Led by a Super Adorable Little Man:
- 15% of the student body participates in Greek life
- You can go there without ever taking a math class. I’m not saying it will happen to you, but it’s a possibility.
- 90,000 applicants. Dang.
- 5% of seniors live on campus. More students move off every year because it’s generally cheaper.
On the topic of housing, I didn’t get to see the dorms on the tour. However! I did get to stay a few nights in them one summer. The one that I stayed in was a stereotypical dorm and it was not very pleasant. The rooms were too small and the bathrooms were old and nasty. I’m sure that there are nicer ones though, so don’t fret. Also, there are many places to eat on campus and the food is deeeeelish.
It seems to me like UCLA is a great option for many different types of students and like it would be a really good choice for a lot of kids. I just think that most people would be very happy to call
UCLA their home. But that’s just my take-away! I really think that it would pretty much be my perfect school if it wasn’t in LA…too bad for me.
For those of you interested (or maybe just outright obsessed) with UCLA, I’d like to offer a word of encouragement and say that I know that they accept many different kinds of students, so don’t count yourself out too soon. Seriously, you always hear about students with amazing SAT scores and GPA’s not getting in and other kids with less impressive numbers being accepted for other amazing reasons! It really is not black and white. So good luck!
U-C-L-A FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!
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