Pranavi Kolla, part of UCLA’s Class of 2023, walks us through all things from segregation to social atmospheres. We sit down to clarify many of the questions that the internet often doesn’t give answers to.
Tell us a bit about your high school.
“I was born and raised in California and went to a high school not like the traditional competitive schools in the Bay. I would say about 40 of us took AP classes and from that most of us applied to UCLA and Berkeley. It seemed like a natural choice for me.”
How did you find the academic pace?
“I would say in general fast-paced but it is dependent on the classes and curriculum that you construct. Most people that transitioned from a completely different academic structure found it hard to adjust initially, particularly with the self-directed learning. Independence is important but you can always get help if you reach out. People definitely will take time out of their own tasks to help you as long as you are open to making connections.”
How is the residential system like?
“UCLA is built on two hills. One of these hills have all the dorms and the environment is a lot less sprawled out than some other campuses like Berkley. I would say residential life was the best way to make friends and it is often really easy to hang out with people from different dorms. You receive 3 years of guaranteed housing and have the requirement to stay on campus for the first year typically in triples. I would say it only takes 10-15 minutes to walk from one residential corner to another but transport in other modes like biking is really tough because of all the ups and downs. In fact, we have something known as the ‘death stairs’ that is a testament to the hilliness of the area.”
Can we hear a bit more about the student life?
“For sure. I would say as a UC it is one of the denser ones because of the smaller area of campus. However, in terms of population we are the biggest both in personality and size. Being in LA, I would definitely say our students are charismatic and enthusiastic. This can definitely be overwhelming initially but if you go in with the intention to meet new people then the experience is super fun.”
Do you have any tips to provide incoming freshman?
“I would say definitely talk to people to get guidance both on clubs and residential choices. Among the plethora of Christian to consulting clubs asking for advice and going to info sessions is a great way to learn. Secondly, not being closed off to introducing yourself and asking for help can take you a long way.”
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