23 & A Quarter

Who knew UCLA would kick my ass to the point where I would be off the grid for so long. However, the work was all so worth it. Did I have a handful of panic attacks? Of course, it’s a given at this school. Do I love it? ABSOLUTELY.

Although so many things have happened, I sometimes forget to acknowledge how mentally challenging its been. My first quarter at UCLA. Seeing kids mentally breakdown publicly with no shame. Losing my ID card and wallet multiple times, then bolting back  to find them. Thinking somehow being late to class would get me pushed out of my spot. Having no clue what a course reader was, and having to figure out where they were sold (there’s this sketchy shop in Westwood that sells them and I have no clue how it’s even part of the school). Figuring out what a Discussion was, and they’re essential to your already long lectures. Filling out a bunch of random forms so you don’t get frozen from enrollment on certain dates, on top of your schoolwork. Discovering that athletic events are hard to attend when you’re trying to get good grades. Discovering living life in general is hard when you’re trying to get good grades. I remember, there were so many points I actually felt trapped. Even thinking about UCLA made me sick to my stomach.

I know what you’re thinking, “You’re being over dramatic, Kat.” That’s the thing ain’t it? Nobody really knows until they experience it themselves. I attend one of the best schools in the world. I should be grateful, and obviously I am, but there’s a huge difference between admiring the school from afar, and being a student there. It’s tough. Then, add the pressure of the prestige and high expectations. It can be suffocating.

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So, what happened? Well, I made the best of my situation. UCLA is beautiful. Even when there were days where I wanted to punch the school’s face (if it had one), it was beautiful inside and out. I remember when I was walking out of class after a tense conversation with my professor (he wouldn’t let me retake a quiz and I was pissed) and I was thinking the most negative things about the university. Then, the sun started to set near the Powell library. Guys. It’s like cotton candy and fluffy Dole whip decided to magically float and dance together in the sky. And the fountain in front of the stairs, where that view of the sunset was the best, began to glisten with pinks and blues from lights installed. The buildings and halls looked more like beautiful castles than classrooms for students. No matter what mood I was in, I couldn’t help but think how beautiful and lucky I am to be here. Or the sculpture garden. Nothing beats listening to music through your headphones, strolling within this sanctuary of unique pieces, and finding a spot in the grass to lie on. Time moves so slowly, and your troubles melt away.

Until, you get up and grind again. Midterms, finals, and projects are hard but not impossible. If there’s any transfers reading this, it’s hard to be a freshman trapped in a junior’s body. Make your life easier your first quarter. Take easier classes because it’s gonna be hard still. It’s ok to only focus on school your first quarter. If you have to work though, less school work is essential (bruinwalk.com is your best friend, it’s the same thing as ratemyprofessor.com so find those nice professors). Having trouble making friends? Go to the Bruin Transfer Center or even Holly (on-campus housing for transfers). They’ll have events where you can mingle with your fellow transfers (trust me, my solid group of friends happened because I did this). You will get through it, and you will make friends soon.

Finish one quarter, and you’ll feel so much better as a student. Also, you’ll know what you can and can’t handle (adding more classes, starting an internship, volunteering, going to sporting events, etc.). You know how much you should read, you know how you should study, and everything starts to fall into place like it did in community college (or at least that’s what my case was, every transfer has their own background).

So guys, I am 23 as of last week and have finished my first quarter at UCLA. I’ll share more stories soon, until then, talk to you later.

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Community College is Over, and Summer is Here!

I officially finished Orange Coast Community College. This place has taught me so much about my major, general education, and myself. I remember the first time I ever set foot on the campus, I was given a tour led by a former OCC Women’s Tennis player. My high school tennis partner and I were recruited to play for the team. I joined community college because it was the best option I had for an education at the time, and I wanted a second chance at my college education. I got accepted to a few good universities, but none that really peaked my interest. Furthermore, I gained so much more from going to a community college than I ever thought was possible. Without OCC, I would never have been able to get into UCLA. Especially in their Communication department.

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If you are in high school, in a university that you hate, a single parent who wants a different career path, a veteran who wants to return to school, or anybody who wants to just find what they want out of life, GO TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE. It will hopefully change your life for the better, like it did for me. The best part, you can be involved as little or as much as possible there. For those who are in community college and are having trouble making friends, join a program or club. While I was at OCC I was part of the Women’s Tennis Team, the Honors Program, DSPS, Sigma Chi Eta Communication Honors Society, Honors Student Council, Speech and Debate Team, and Green Coast Day Committee. I met so many people and made great connections that I know will have for the rest of my life. Those people have inspired and motivated me to become a better student and better individual. You want to plan a community wide event? You are totally capable of doing that with lots of help if you have a club or student government backing you! For example, I was able to host campus wide events such as Why We Love OCC and Green Coast Expo, which I will always proudly boast about due to their successes. Financially struggling? Community colleges are known for offering financial aid and even handing out their own scholarships that you can look into! Have kids? Community college will probably have resources where you can drop off your kids until you’re done with classes. It’s pretty amazing.

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Now that I have finished singing my praises for community college, specifically Orange Coast College, it is time to move on to bigger and better things. Summer. You are a true blessing in my life. I am finishing this blog post in England. I will get into more details of my trip once it is done, but I hope my readers are enjoying their summer as much as I am already. Just wanted to write this blog post to share my appreciation for my community college since those institutes don’t receive the love they deserve,  and wanted to keep you guys updated that more posts are coming once again 🙂 .

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In the meantime, here’s a photo of a flock of geese that all were eerily staring at something…. We still don’t know what they were looking at.

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Interview #13: Julia Tasedan

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1. When you look back to your childhood, what was your favorite thing to wear and why?

A:  Snake shirt was probably the coolest thing I owned, I was born on the year of the snake, so like, represent. And it was a new piece which was nice because I mainly wore things that were secondhand.

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2. Describe what you’re wearing and what do you think people think of you in this outfit?

A: I would think that people think this girl likes turtle necks *laughs*. I’m definitely more vintage prone. I definitely notice I get more looks when I wear heels so I don’t know what that means.

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3. Imagine your future in a year from now, what would you hope you have accomplished and what would you be wearing?

A: Something sexy but not slutty–I wouldn’t mind being in a relationship in a year from now. I have no plans academically except finishing my 3rd year of college.

Interview #11: Jade Sta Ana

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1. When you look back to your childhood, what was your favorite thing to wear and why?

A: I loved this denim mini skirt with a butterfly on it, I loved to wear heels that didn’t match. They were wedges, and they had blue and white polka dots on it. But I liked that it didn’t match and I killed it anyways. Whenever Britney Spears came on, like Slave 4 You, I’d rock that outfit.

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2. Describe what you’re wearing and what do you think people think of you in this outfit?

A: Homeless, I am wearing a navy blue pull over that I washed too many times, leggings where the elastic doesn’t even work anymore, and really nice nikes. People think that I’m homeless but I’m dope homeless

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3. Imagine your future in a year from now, (somebody from that future visits you in the present) what would you hope you have accomplished and what would you be wearing?
A: A year from now I’d hope to be better at writing, writing more poetry, and doing more things to pursue my career as an elementary school teacher. I’d be wearing apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur.

Interview #10: Sam Isaacs

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1. When you look back to your childhood, what was your favorite thing to wear and why?

A: Dungarees (overalls) because I had a brother who was very similar to age of me and we would dress like twins. I had corduroy Everglades green dungarees, and i looked banging in them.

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2. Describe what you’re wearing and what do you think people think of you in this outfit?

A: I got the pants from America in Boston. I love them because of the color and my bum looks quite nice. The boots are from TkMax, I can just run around them and look posh, and I bought the plaid button up from H&M. I love a good collar. I think people think I’m smart, poncy, and Cambridge.

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3. Imagine your future in a year from now, (somebody from that future visits you in the present) what would you hope you have accomplished and what would you be wearing?

A: A year from now I’ll be doing this program, and hopefully it’ll be bigger and better. But it won’t be you guys, who are my number ones. I’ll be wearing tight pants, boat shoes, a strong collar, and I’m feeling the pinks so a strong salmon collared shirt. Very profesh.

(Sam was my advisor for the study abroad program in Cambridge, simply the best person you’ll be blessed to meet if you get the chance).

Interview #9: Krista Marina

(Krista currently attends Orange Coast College and is a rising singer/songwriter)

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1. When you look back to your childhood, what was your favorite thing to wear and why?

A: Headbands. It helped get my annoying hair out of my face, but it would make an outfit too!

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2. Describe what you’re wearing and what do you think people think of you in this outfit?

A: I’m wearing essentially all black, open toed boot heels, black jeans with holes at the knees, a black blouse with thin white stripes & bell sleeves, and a starry bracelet. I’d like to think people think that I am confident, I am comfortable with myself, and that I’m free spirited thanks to the bell sleeves.

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3. Imagine your future in a year from now, what would you hope you have accomplished and what would you be wearing?

A: I’d hope to progress significantly in my music career. I’d hope to wear black jeans, some type of cute comfy shoes that makes me taller, probably a signature shirt, a piece of clothing that makes a statement, and quaint jewelry.

Interview #8: Zoe Muratalla

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1. When you look back to your childhood, what was your favorite thing to wear and why?

A: I loved wearing Roxy shirts and board shorts because I loved going to the beach ever since I was a baby, I wanted to be like the cool surfer girls I saw in magazines.

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2. Describe what you’re wearing and what do you think people think of you in this outfit?

A: I’m wearing a black denim skirt, white tank top with intricacy, and a Levi denim jacket. I think that people see it as simple style, not super crazy. An easy-going outfit besides leggings.

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3. Imagine your future in a year from now, (somebody from that future visits you in the present) what would you hope you have accomplished and what would you be wearing?

A:  I’d hope I’d be continuing my education at UCSB, and be at the beach wearing comfy beach sundresses that I love. Plus, sunglasses because I love sunnies!