Talking About Transitions

We chatted with Shivani Gakkani, a Business Economics Student at UCLA, to understand about her transition from a non-competitive high school to the fast-paced college environment.

How did you find the transition from high school to college?

“I previously went to a less competitive high school so I would personally say that being on top of the class was not extremely difficult. This gave me the opportunity to do a lot of other activities like being part of a radio station and joining dance teams which was useful when I was writing my college applications. I was one of 5 that applied and 4 of us committed to UCLA when we got accepted. However, because I had the quarter system in high school as well my transition was not as bad since I was used to not slacking off throughout the year and having my own work ethic.”

Do you have any suggestions for students to handle the high school to college transition?

“I would boil it down to 5 main tips: 

1. Utilize UCLA’s resources and use the TA’s and help offered in classes.

2. Get used to managing time in a constrained environment. With the quarter system this can often be overwhelming for students.

3. Learn ways to handle stress during times when things do get high pressure.

4. Develop your own style of learning even if it goes against the ‘norm’ of large group study sessions or small individual working groups.

5. Identify the distinction between sustainable preparation and cramming. Memorising everything the night before might work for some but often isn’t a long term solution.”

How did you approach student involvement, considering you pursued many activities in high school?

“Overall, I was set on doing more outside of classes and knew that clubs were a huge part of UCLA’s culture. There are clubs for every field from premed to business giving you the freedom to pick and choose what suits you best. I would say the best way to know what kinds of clubs offered would be to go to the UCLA student organization website. From my experience, consulting student clubs are definitely competitive so apply for as many as you can and have a solid resume. In saying that, they do understand that you are only a freshman so do not freak out too much :))”

Living on campus is a new experience for many students. What was it like for you?

“In UCLA you can get different types of housing you can choose but most likely you end up with a triple. I would say that the two categories to consider are finance and comfort to determine the residency you select. It was where I found my first friends along with the clubs so I would recommend definitely attending the events they hold to meet other people early into the year!”

Have further questions for Shivani? Ask them below and Iris will get you the specific answers you need.

Iris Education

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