UCLA is an amazing school and I have truly enjoyed my time there thus far. During my first year as a student of UCLA (Univeristy of California, Los Angeles), I was exposed to and participated in a number of activities apart from classes.
As a student you do not have to leave campus to have a nice break from classes. For starters, UCLA is the leading arts and cultural center in the western United States, hosting more than 1,000 visual and performing arts events each year and attracting more than 500,000 patrons. For example, I attended a workshop on Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs and my mother tongue). Further, the campus is so beautiful and filled with wonderful eateries, cool libraries, and amazing places to chill. One of my favorite places to eat is il Tramezzino which has the nicest staff and the best soups and panini. Near this cafe is one of my favorite locations on campus called the sculpture garden (it’s has magnificent pieces of art, shade, and free wifi!).
(Sculpture garden @ UCLA)
Before attending UCLA I had not attended many sports games, but as a UCLA student I have access to free and/or very reduced priced tickets to all home games. Impressively, UCLA has won 112 NCAA team championships, more than any other NCAA division 1 university. Each game I attended was so much fun. I really felt connected with my fellow Bruins (aka UCLA students).
One of the greatest things about UCLA is how important public services is for the university and the students. Through the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (a Chicano student organization), I helped organize the annual Raza Youth Confrence which hosts informational workshops and activities about culture, politics, higher education, health, and financial aid for minority students. I met so many amazing fellow brown Bruins and high school students from various parts of the U.S.
Another of my favorite things about UCLA is its location. The community closest to it is Westwood which has various amazingly delicious eateries (my favorite are Diddy Riese and Yamato sushi). Also, there are always movie premieres at the Movie Theatre.
Furthermore, UCLA is located in one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., Los Angeles! Students can easily go to the beach, Downtown, Pasadena, Hollywood, East Los Angeles, and Echo Park. As students we get a discount off the already cheap costing buses.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles so I had the luxury to spend my free time at home with family and friends. I often volunteer at the charter school my parents founded called Semmilas Community Schools (Xinaxcalmecac and Anahuacalmecac). I love giving back to my community and working with underprivileged youth, most of who are indigenous and of Latin American descent. I enjoy being in a place where youth feel empowered about who they are and where they learn about who they and there People are (like at Semillas Community Schools). http://www.dignidad.org
I love giving back to others. Being a part of the Native Summer Pipeline to College as a mentor has been so wonderful thus far. I can’t wait to see the amazing things these students will do.
– Miahuatl Kuauhtzin