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Opinion: UCLA’s many resources enable new students to achieve success

Students gather at the annual Enormous Activities Fair. Hundreds of student organizations showcased their clubs at the event. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Lex Wang

Aug. 15, 2022 11:42 a.m.

A year in at the No. 1 public university in the nation, I still find myself learning more each day about all the student resources UCLA has to offer.

I can only imagine how overwhelming it must be for incoming Bruins to have to learn the same. But discovering essential resources may turn out to be key to your success at UCLA. After all, you never know who or what will shape your experience here.

From the moment you commit to this school and attend New Student Orientation and up until the moment you graduate and receive your diploma, you will be engulfed in resources. Although the vast sea of people, events and offices may seem intimidating at first glance, I assure you: Even if it takes you some time to wade through it all, they are here to help.

Brian Moreno-Alvarez, a rising fourth-year sociology transfer student, said he became a New Student Advisor to help sort out all the information that is usually thrown at incoming students. He added that he wanted to highlight not only all the opportunities that have helped him but also ones he believes could be taken advantage of by other students.

“It’s really my job (at NSO) to make sure that I can best equip my students with the best resources possible, given that UCLA offers so much already,” Moreno-Alvarez said.

I remember my own New Student Orientation online and in the middle of the pandemic, learning from my NSA over the course of several days about enrollment passes and how to navigate the Degree Audit Reporting System.

The first time I used the DARS, I never thought I would have to use it again – and boy, was I wrong. In the past several months, I can’t even count how many times I’ve used the DARS to determine the classes I needed to complete my major, what general education requirements I was still missing or whether I could pick up a second major. DARS has been a lifesaver for me, and it could be for you too.

And the resources being provided to you during NSO are just the beginning. UCLA has a multitude of student services – everything from the Career Center to Student Legal Services. There’s the newly opened Black Bruin Resource Center, a space to uplift and support the needs of the Black Bruin community, and the Transfer Student Center, UCLA’s central hub to help transfer students make the most of their time at this school.

Moreno-Alvarez also said UCLA supports you academically, adding that he highly encourages everyone to meet with their academic counseling unit – especially those in the Academic Advancement Program. According to Moreno-Alvarez, the Academic Advancement Program provides peer learning facilitators who work with students one-on-one, a resource that he has personally found to be extremely helpful in learning class material.

Last but certainly not least, there’s the annual beginning-of-the-year Enormous Activities Fair – a showcase for hundreds of student organizations – which holds a special place in my heart. It was at the fair, the scorching September sun ruthlessly burning my skin as I walked around Wilson Plaza, where I made my decision to apply to the Daily Bruin.

Take advantage of what UCLA has to offer. Learn to use the tools at your disposal.

That’s what they’re here for.

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Lex Wang | Opinion editor
Wang is the 2022-2023 Opinion editor. She was previously an assistant Opinion editor.
Wang is the 2022-2023 Opinion editor. She was previously an assistant Opinion editor.
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