No matter what year you are, college is undoubtedly one of the most exciting – and hardest – times of your life. You are living on your own in a Koreatown off-campus apartment or in UCLA graduate housing, you are surrounded by cool people, and you have the freedom to really explore who you are, perhaps for the first time.
However, while life at UCLA can be a ton of fun, it comes with a few potential hazards to keep in mind. Below, you will find some suggestions for what to avoid doing as you experience life as a Bruin so that you make nothing but awesome memories as a UCLA student.
First, don’t let yourself stay in your apartment the entire time.
True, your home is your castle and can be a real sanctuary when you have a tough day. By all means, decorate your Koreatown studio or off-campus student housing near UCLA and make it your own. Give it your own unique style and let it be a place of refuge and relaxation.
However, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to spend too much time in your apartment, cut off from the campus community (and your interesting neighbors in Koreatown). UCLA has over 40,000 students, which can seem overwhelming to someone who comes from a small town or high school. Yet, if you push yourself a little and just start walking around, you will find that the campus will shrink as you get to know it. That’s when you will feel more confident and carve out your own life at UCLA.
Second, don’t be too flexible or rigid with your roommate.
Now there’s a piece of advice that may sound convoluted, but it’s not. Whether you move into a UCLA student housing off-campus or find a place in Koreatown, your relationship with your roommate is going to be at the center of your life for at least a year. So, one way to sour it very quickly is to lack firm boundaries between the two of you. By all means, be flexible – does it really matter if the toilet paper is up or down? Of course not.
However, if you find yourself doing the dishes for the tenth time in a row even though it was your roommate’s turn (yet again), then you probably have a problem. A lot of people struggle with setting boundaries, especially with people they have just met, but so many conflicts can be avoided or at least deescalated if both sides understand, and respect, each other’s limits.
Third, don’t brag about what you did in high school or about the score you got on the SAT.
High school was important, but let’s face it, it’s over. You may have studied for months or even longer for the ACT and aced it, but that’s done. You are in college now, and all that matters to the people around you is the here and now. It may sound harsh, but no one cares that you were a National Merit Finalist. It’s time for you to branch out and see what you can do at university, which will be amazing.
Fourth, whether you have a test to study for or a paper to write, don’t wait until the night before to get started.
A lot of students were able to coast in high school without doing a lot of work, yet they still got decent grades or even A’s. If that was you, the biggest favor you can do for yourself is to break that bad habit. College is on a completely different level academically, and the smartest students are the ones who make a study schedule and stick to it. Know when your papers are due and when tests will be, then mark it all on your calendar and keep it in front of you every day. It goes without saying that plagiarism is a very bad idea.
Last, don’t forget to have fun during your time at UCLA.
College can feel like it lasts forever, and the time when you walk across the stage to get your diploma can seem very far off. It goes by fast, though, so remember to make every second at UCLA count. You will reminisce on your time as a UCLA student for the rest of your life.
Tripalink creates co-living communities and student housing opportunities across the United States. We simplify the apartment search to reduce the cost of living, create beautiful homes, and help both students and young professionals find a community in their city. For more information about Tripalink and co-living, please see www.tripalink.com.
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