University of California - Los Angeles
Read about the student life of Danish-American, Sophia Lykke.
The main reason for UCLA’s popularity is its reputation as a well-balanced school. This simply means that there is both a strong academic tradition and a fun student environment. Therefore, I was ecstatic to be accepted. When I visited the campus after my acceptance, I noticed how the students truly seemed to love and appreciate their school. This sense of school pride really resonated with me. If you are admitted to UCLA, or have the option to study abroad there, you would be a fool not to do so. Between the beautiful climate, the majestic campus, the world-class faculty, the diverse student body, and the endless campus activities, the atmosphere is always positive. As an incoming student, UCLA felt like an entirely new, cool, exciting, and stimulating world. Looking back, the experience was everything I could have hoped for and more. UCLA is a somewhat of a legend in that way. Who would not want to be a part of it?
During my first two years, I lived in a university residence hall with other students of the same age. UCLA has many types of campus accommodations, from a basic dorm hall to a university apartment. Luckily, I met my best friends the day I moved in. I was one of six girls living in a dormitory with two rooms and a shared bathroom. While this might sound like a nightmare, we became best friends throughout the rest of our college years. When you leave your home to live at your university, your friends and roommates become your family. You eat together, study together, and take care of each other. They are the people you see when you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep at night. Living with roommates as a university student, therefore, is the best way to make friends and to have a support system. After two years in the UCLA dorms, I moved into a private rental in Westwood Village, right next to the campus. I shared this apartment with a roommate as well, which was also a great experience. These off-campus neighborhoods are completely dominated by UCLA students, so it is quite fun to live there. Living in Westwood also allows you to be closer to the university’s social scene, as most of the parties, celebrations, and nightlife events happen there, rather than in the university residences.
It is impossible to list all of the activities, organizations, and social clubs that UCLA students can take part in, but that is a positive thing. No matter what kind of person you are, you can find a place at this university. There are hundreds of student organizations, social clubs, leisure clubs, cultural clubs, service groups, intramural sports teams, and student projects to take part in. I recommend that you stay busy and become involved, as this is the best way to meet new people and integrate into the campus community. A good place to start is at one of UCLA’s many athletic events. Showing support for our various sports teams is one activity that seems to unify all students. In fact, our teams have the most NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) championship titles of any other university in the country. I had a lot of fun going to football and basketball games during my years.
My favorite memory from UCLA was during my second year of school, when our football team beat our crosstown rival, the University of Southern California (USC), for the first time in six years. Every year, our football teams meet for one game, which is the biggest athletic event of the year. UCLA and USC are historical rivals, since both universities are located in opposite areas of Los Angeles. I remember watching the game with my friends and running through campus when the final whistle was blown. For the rest of the night, there were huge celebrations all over Westwood. Our players were greeted by cheering crowds and the campus police played the UCLA Fight Song over their loud speakers. Everyone was in a state of celebration unlike anything I had experienced before. The atmosphere around the school was incredible that night and I will never forget it. Since then, we have beat USC for a second and third time, so I hope that our winning streak will continue!