Monday, August 20

Mother, daughter share experiences together as UCLA students


Sylvie Vaught is graduating UCLA in June with a master's in cinema and media studies, while her daughter Chloe Vaught attends UCLA's undergraduate program. (Courtesy of Sylvie Vaught)

Sylvie Vaught is graduating UCLA in June with a master's in cinema and media studies, while her daughter Chloe Vaught attends UCLA's undergraduate program. (Courtesy of Sylvie Vaught)


Chloe Vaught and her mother Sylvie Vaught screamed and jumped around the house when they learned they would be attending UCLA at the same time.

When Sylvie Vaught finished her undergraduate degree in 2016, her daughter, Chloe Vaught, was admitted to UCLA. Now a graduate student in cinema and media studies, Sylvie Vaught will graduate this spring after attending school with her daughter for a year.

Chloe Vaught, a second-year music student, said she likes that her mother attends UCLA because her mother is there to comfort her when she faces difficulties.

“I have it pretty lucky. Not everyone is friends with their mom,” Chloe Vaught said. “(It is) next-level comfort because she is always there.”

Chloe and Sylvie Vaught share a strong bond because they are open to each other. Chloe Vaught said she is not afraid to be open and honest with her mother about her mistakes because they respect each other. Their bond strengthened after they went through the university application process together, during which they would have study nights and do their homework together.

Chloe Vaught added that while the two are close, her mother understands her need to be independent and respects her personal space. Chloe Vaught lives separately from her mother and they occasionally meet to catch up.

“She isn’t constantly hovering over me,” Chloe Vaught said. “Every once in a while we will get coffee.”

Chloe Vaught also shares her mother’s interest in gender studies and audited her mom’s lectures before coming to UCLA. She said her mom encouraged her to apply to UCLA.

“We would have a lot of conversation(s) about stuff I was reading,” Sylvie Vaught said. “That became a positive experience for both of us. It actually made us closer.”

Kelly Vaught, Sylvie Vaught’s husband and Chloe Vaught’s father, said the two share a close relationship, and the experience of attending UCLA together has strengthened their bond.

“I think (UCLA) gives them another element of context of something they can relate to,” Kelly Vaught said. “It’s sort of unique to them.”

Sylvie Vaught is a nontraditional university student. She said while she wanted to attend college when she was younger, her parents advised her against it. She decided to go back to school after meeting women who were 10 years older than her and were attending graduate school.

“For a while, I thought I (was) too old. I had missed the boat,” Sylvie Vaught said. “After I met them I felt I was allowing societal norms (to) influence me (and) not doing something I wanted to do.”

Sylvie Vaught transferred from West Los Angeles College and enrolled as a part-time student. She worked as a hairdresser, launched a mobile application and took care of her family while she attended university as an undergraduate student.

“I have a lot of ambition because the world wasn’t really open to me growing up,” Sylvie Vaught said. “Because of that, (I am) super curious about the world.”

Mari Nobre, Sylvie Vaught’s friend, said she is a model student who is passionate about writing and learning.

“We used to make fun of each other because an A- was like a stab in the heart,” Nobre said.

Chloe Vaught said she admires her mother’s hard work and ability to handle many responsibilities.

“She is on her feet all day, has to pick up my brother and write a paper at the end of the day,” Chloe Vaught said. “It inspires me: If she can do that, I cannot complain about anything.”

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