Student Spotlight: Kyle @ University of California, Los Angeles
The myOptions Team
Meet Kyle, a senior at the University of California, Los Angeles majoring in Economics and Psychology. He previously attended Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, California.
What factors were most important when deciding which college to attend? I really wanted to go to a school that I felt would give me the full college experience. I obviously wanted good academics, but I also wanted a school that had strong school spirit, competitive sports teams, and lots of things to do in the area. I also wanted to pick a school that had some national name recognition- I think choosing a college is the biggest decision you make in your life with regard to how you brand yourself, and I wanted to pick a school that offered me a lot in terms of networking and recognizability.
In high school, I wish I would have tried... I did a little bit of everything in high school, so I actually wish I would have tried taking it a little bit easier on myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do a lot of different things and do everything well, and while that obviously helped me get into UCLA, I wish I had given myself a little more time to relax and get to know myself a little bit better.
How would you characterize your school? Activist, Sporty, Mainstream, and Liberal.
What types of clubs, activities, sports, jobs, etc. are you involved with on campus? I do a TON on campus.My biggest involvement is with UCLA Athletics- I'm a huge sports fan, and I was lucky enough to get a job as a Marketing Intern in the UCLA Athletics Department. I'm also the Vice President of the UCLA Student Section ("The Den"), and with that I get to help run a group of students focused on growing school spirit and athletic attendance known as the "Den Operations Club." I also am a part of something called the "Alumni Scholars Club," which is a group of about 1000 students who received a partial scholarship to UCLA that was funded by alumni. I served as the Outreach Director for that club and have also served on the Outreach and Scholar Relations committees. My sophomore year, I served as a Resident Assistant (RA), working in the dorms to help foster community and build connections with people. My junior year, I served on the Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) Election Board. Essentially, USAC is our student government; I was a member of the investigations committee in the spring USAC election, looking into potential election code violations made by candidates.
Three things you won't read in your school's brochure:
- You won't read about how academically intense the school really is. Classes are very, very difficult, and it does take a lot of effort to succeed academically. However, a good thing with this is that the students aren't overly competitive with one another- people generally want to help each other succeed.
- You won't read about how easy it actually is to get involved and make friends. UCLA is a very big school, but the people are what make the school feel small. It's actually really easy to find new people and get involved on campus.
- You won't read about how difficult it can be to navigate the administrative side of the school. The UC system as a whole has several issues, and as just one student at a huge school, it can be very very difficult to feel as though you matter to the administration as an undergraduate.
Best on-campus event: Basketball games really bring the whole school together, especially when we're playing a rival like USC or Arizona.
Favorite Class: I took a one-unit seminar my freshman year called "Teaching as Coaching, Coaching as Teaching" that looked at sports as a medium for mentoring and found it extremely interesting.
Favorite Dining Hall Meal: We have the #2-ranked dining halls in the country and that's one spot too low. I can't pick one meal, it's all too good.
On weekends, students: Weekends are very laid back on campus. Most people are just hanging out, sleeping in, catching up on work, and so on. Weekends are also a great time to go explore LA- you can head into Hollywood, go to the beach at Santa Monica or Venice, or pretty much anything else.
It's 1AM on Saturday. Where are you? Thursday is really the "party night" at UCLA, so late on a Saturday night, most people are probably just kicking back with some friends and having a good time.
It's finals week and the libraries are packed. Where do you go study? There are a million different study places on our campus, indoors and outdoors. For me personally, I'm using my UCLA Athletics connections to slide into our Athletics building and study in there, where it's nice and quiet.
Before I graduate, I want to... Before I graduate, I really want to share my UCLA story with others! My school has given me so many opportunities that go so far beyond what I ever could have possibly imagined. I want to make sure I'm able to convey to people that after you choose a school like UCLA, you never look back.