The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Congratulations on becoming a Bruin! The transfer community at UCLA is something I personally hold very close to my heart and hope that you will too during the remainder of your time at UCLA. Although it may not always feel like it, transfers are everywhere, with about 40% of enrolled students every year entering campus as first-year transfers! Here are some pieces of advice I would recommend to any newly-admitted transfer students:
- Settle in the Right Way
As with any big move, settling in is crucial. Whether you are an LA native or traveled from the other side of the world, the move to Westwood is a daunting one. For a lot of students, this may be their first time living away from home. Personally, my experience as a transfer began with a move to De Neve Holly on the Hill with two girls that I had only texted a handful of times about what kind of fridge to get. I remember being really overwhelmed by the amount of people I was meeting and was riddled with anxiety about what I was getting myself into. From this experience, I really urge you to learn to become comfortable in your new environment. Find your private places around your neighborhood, keep in touch with your friends and family and truly learn to call Westwood your home. For me, decorating my desk and bed wall with familiar photos and art are really what helped me settle in. Overall, becoming familiar and comfortable in your new space can help significantly ease the transition into the quick-paced quarter system.
- Commit to Welcome Week
UCLA is an incredibly spirited school. That being said, Welcome Week is there to ignite that spirit inside new students. I remember rolling my eyes at some of the events that were being held during Week Zero, and I really regret my attitude going into Welcome Week like that. Welcome Week is a great way to meet other new admits at UCLA. It is when people meet their lifelong friends and finally start enjoying the social aspect of college, especially for transfers that maybe aren’t living in the transfer dorms. Not only that, but Welcome Week gives you a look into what kind of communities you can immerse yourself in. The Enormous Activities Fair occurs every fall quarter and includes tabling from nearly every club on campus.
- Imposter Syndrome Can be Daunting
I struggled immensely with imposter syndrome when I first started classes at UCLA. Fast-paced classes and an unfamiliar environment combined to make me incredibly insecure in my academic and social abilities. I often asked myself if my application was accidentally accepted, assuming that there had to be some mistake in order for me to have gotten accepted. Transfers especially can be hit pretty hard with imposter syndrome, as we are thrown right into upperclassmen classes, and some people will often misjudge transfers as students that have “taken the easy route.” However, it is important to recognize that your application warranted you a spot at this institution. Whoever read your application saw your potential and knew that UCLA would help you grow into the individual you are meant to be. In short, you are meant to be here. Imposter syndrome sucks, it really does, but it doesn’t define you. You will find during your time that a lot of students struggle with validating themselves academically here, not just transfers. Resources, such as CAPS or Wazo Connect, are great resources if you ever need to talk to someone about this topic or anything else at UCLA! I really felt more at ease about this subject when I opened up to my friends at UCLA about how I was feeling, and seeing them relate in different ways made me feel a little less alone and a lot more confident.
- Involve Yourself in Clubs
Clubs are a great way to get involved on campus, as well as gain insight into prospective career paths. The UCLA website lists a bunch of different organizations that you can apply to become a part of, usually at the start of every quarter. I recommend looking into the social media pages of any clubs that you are interested in and reaching out to them or active members if you have any questions. As students with limited time at UCLA, fully delving into the college experience is an excellent way of making the best use of your time on campus. I also recommend reaching out to the people you meet that are involved in organizations that you might be interested in. This way, people can directly tell you about their experiences in these clubs, and you can get a more personal viewpoint about what the organization is all about and what kind of events they hold. In general, there are a bunch of great organizations that can help you look into a career you might be interested in, allow you to volunteer around campus and Los Angeles and overall immerse yourself into college.
I hope you really enjoy your time at UCLA! I’m so glad I get to someday call this school my alma mater, and I am immensely proud to be a Bruin. Despite any hardships I may have faced as a UCLA transfer, I am glad to call Westwood my home, and I hope you can too. Here starts another chapter of your life, take it in stride and make the most of it!