UCLA challenging but rewarding

WESTWOOD - Sometimes a student will have to travel a great distance to completely start fresh and enter into a new world in college, but for some a new beginning and a change of scenery can be found less than an hour from home.At UCLA, students from all walks of life call the Westwood school their fresh start, including many of Downey High School class of 2009 graduates like Vicky Beyrooty. While she understands that there are several other options and alternatives to take when it comes to entering college, she had her heart set on joining the prestigious university. "I don't really know why I was so set on a university. It costs way more money than is necessary and the junior college route gets you to the exact same place a university does. But I wanted to be able to move away and attempt to immerse myself in the atmosphere of living on campus," said Beyrooty. While her first year at UCLA was successful both personally and professionally, it was nevertheless met with several challenges along the way, including a decision that would change her college career for good. "While I don't regret my decision at all [to change my major], it was very difficult to decide to make the switch from Civil Engineering to English. The engineering classes at UCLA take a lot of time and dedication. Much of my work reflects my interest in the subject, and once I realized my heart wasn't in it, I knew my school work and any future jobs I got wouldn't reflect 100% of my effort," said Beyrooty. "Engineering students at UCLA are also in their own school, and while getting out of the engineering school is fairly easy, getting back into it is extremely difficult so I had to be certain that I really wanted to switch." Once Beyrooty had her major set and got into the groove of her freshman routine, she was able to enjoy everything new that college had to offer to her. With her new peers coming from all walks of life and old friends from her past along for the ride, she quickly realized her new world was a far cry from that of a year prior. With her second year at UCLA starting at the end of September, Beyrooty is enjoying every bit of her summer with her friends and family at home. While she is happy to be at home for the summer, she wants future university students to know its OK to be away from home. "Live on campus if you are able to. You will experience things commuting can't provide. After my first year, I regret not having spent more time going to collegiate events and exploring the Westwood area and I plan on trying to get more involved this upcoming year."

********** Published: July 29, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 15