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UCLA students reflect on meaningful mementos during dorm move-out process

Students are pictured moving out of their dorms with the assistance of carts. Students had until June 16 to move out of their on-campus housing. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Katelyn Loh

June 27, 2023 9:26 p.m.

This post was updated July 2 at 7:44 p.m.

The object that defined Kendra Christian’s academic year was one she barely used.

Christian, a first-year English student, said that although she initially brought a ball of yarn because she planned on knitting in her dorm, she ended up knitting less and socializing more than anticipated this year.

“I have a ball of yarn that I thought I was going to be staying at home and knitting,” she said. “I surprised myself and actually made friends and went out. … That barely touched ball of yarn shows that I defied my introverted tendencies and pushed back.”

As they moved out, students living on the Hill reflected on the decorations and living essentials unique to underclassmen’s experience with this school year.

Residents of UCLA dorms were required to move out by June 16, according to a May email sent to all students living on the Hill. Students were encouraged to begin the process of moving out prior to finals week, especially those going home over the Memorial Day weekend.

Ashley Ewalu, a first-year microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics student, said moving out of her room was challenging as an out-of-state student without a car. She added that she had to look for a storage company to hold possessions over the summer that she could not take on a plane.

“Without that, I wouldn’t really have anywhere to put my stuff,” Ewalu said. “I don’t have a car. I don’t really have family out here.”

Some students such as Jamilex Soto found moving out to be an easier process. Soto, a first-year civil engineering student, said her family helped her take things home gradually when they picked her up on weekends.

After the move-out period concluded on the Hill, some students reflected on objects they cherished throughout this year.

Ewalu said her speaker was important to her because she felt that it helped foster a good environment for the whole room.

“Your phone isn’t enough to bring out the music, so putting on a speaker really just helps bring the environment to the room,” she said. “Everyone can just chill, going off and vibe a little bit.”

Eddie Nash, a second-year human biology and society student, said his walls were decorated with music posters and past study sheets. He added that the posters were gifts from his family, making his room feel more homey in the absence of any roommates.

“A lot of my past study sheets are on the walls, which is a little nerdy, but it gets the job done when I’m studying,” Nash said.

Soto also said decorations in her room were an important part of staying connected to her family. She added that while she transported many of the items in her room home for the summer in advance of the end of the school year, a picture of her family and her dog remained.

“I have a lot of pictures that I hang up like family and friends,” Soto said. “That kind of makes me feel a little bit more like home.”

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