A University of California, Los Angeles College Experience

Danielle is a Los Angeles tutor specializing in history tutoring. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016. Want to know what she had to say about her college experience? Read on!

Describe the campus setting and transportation options.

Danielle: The setting for UCLA is definitely urban. There are plenty of transportation options, including local Metro, Big Blue Bus, and Expo Lines. There’s also a BruinBus specifically for UCLA students who live a little further from campus. I felt very safe on campus, even walking alone at night or early in the morning. There are buses, but most undergraduates walk to and from campus because they live in the immediate area.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Danielle: Professors, advisers, and teaching assistants, for the most part, make themselves very accessible to students. Particularly teaching assistants, they can really save your lives sometimes! All of my TAs were flexible and willing to help me in my understanding of the material.

How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Danielle: I really enjoyed dorm life! I lived on campus for two years and then off campus for the last two. This is pretty typical for students to do at UCLA. In my freshman year, living in the dorms was a great way to make connections and friendships with other incoming freshman. UCLA dining halls are the best! You always had so many options depending on what you were feeling. “The Hill” as it’s called, was a great place to connect with other students and feel at home away from home.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?

Danielle: UCLA, because of its premier experience in healthcare and medicine, gives the most support to pre-med students, in my opinion. I studied history because I always knew I wanted to become a history teacher. I love how history has multiple perspectives and can empower one who knows their history. I think UCLA did a great job supporting my area of study as well.

How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Danielle: It was pretty easy to meet people and make friends as a freshman, regardless of Greek life. I did not join a sorority and made a lot of my friends in my freshman hall and the places I worked at on campus. It was very easy to make friends with a lot of different people as a freshman because everyone was usually excited to meet new people!

How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services?

Danielle: I did not utilize the campus’ Career Center or other student support services that dealt with career. I used their online job search platform, BruinView, which was useful at times.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?

Danielle: Because UCLA is a big campus with a lot of students, some study spaces can become easily crowded. Especially during midterm and finals season, it can be hard to find a space to study. The best thing to do is to reserve a study room at the libraries; I did this many times and it made studying so much less stressful!

Describe the surrounding town.

Danielle: Westwood Village is a comfortable college town. There are lots of restaurants and shops. However, I think that they could be more geared toward students, in terms of price range. I think that now because Uber/Lyft exist it is easier for students to go to Downtown Santa Monica or Downtown LA. During my freshman year, the best thing to do on the weekend was to go to the beach (Santa Monica or Venice) or the fabulous Getty Museum!

How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Danielle: The student body of UCLA is very big. I was not very pleased with typical class sizes because they were so large most of the time. However, by the time I started taking upper division classes, class sizes were 60 or below. I preferred taking seminar-style classes that only had around 20 people.

Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Danielle: My favorite class at UCLA was my first education class which was about race, class, and gender in education. This class helped me decide to become a teacher and instilled in me the value of a quality education that is accessible to all students, regardless of their background. This class really resonated with me and I will still reflect on my learning in this class to this day as I pursue my Masters in Education at UCLA.


Check out Danielle’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.