A love letter to UCLA


Me beaming in front of the iconic Royce Hall. (Photo Credit: Madola Nassar)

Mary Nassar, News Editor, Creative Writing Editor

As I gazed onto the beauty that is Royce Hall, I felt a stirring in my bones, the softest whisper in my heart: this is where I want to spend the next four years of my life. This is home.

But I’m getting too ahead of myself. Let’s backtrack a bit, shall we?

Now, during the start of Thanksgiving break, my family and I were talking about where we wanted to go and the activities we wanted to do during the week. When I suggested that we visit UCLA, everyone in my family readily agreed and set the date of our visit on Saturday, Nov. 27.

UCLA had been my top school for a while now, but I’m not really sure how it started. All I know is that I felt a certain pull to UCLA, even though I didn’t know too many specifics about the school. With all this in mind, I wanted to go on a college visit because I wanted to get a feel of the campus and see firsthand if it would be the right “fit” for me.

And I wasn’t disappointed.

Rebecca Nassar ’22 and I posing in front of the many “Go Bruins!” flags hanging around campus.
(Photo Credit: Madola Nassar)

As soon as we got there, I was taken aback at how breathtaking the campus was. People had told me before how beautiful the campus was, but seeing that beauty in person was a whole different story. Walking around campus, past buildings that looked like mini renditions of Hogwarts, it felt like its own secret city tucked into the deep crevices of LA.

Me posing in front of the UCLA mascot: the Bruins bear.
(Photo Credit: Madola Nassar)

First, my family and I took some pictures next to the statue of UCLA’s mascot, the Bruins bear. Next, we spent a good half hour or so browsing through the campus store and buying UCLA merch (because college merch is a necessity in life, of course). Then, stomachs growling, we made the trek to Westwood Village, which is exactly how it sounds: a small village near the entrance of UCLA where there’s restaurants and shops available to students and visitors. We had a satisfying lunch at Chick-fil-A and set out back to campus, so we could start exploring.

As I’m currently planning on double majoring in English and Political Science, we walked around the North Campus, which is home to the humanities, social sciences, and arts department. We saw Kaplan Hall (home to the English department) and Powell Library (the primary undergraduate library), and I could’ve sworn I was walking around Hogwarts. I was ecstatic to see Royce Hall, the iconic building that always comes to mind when I think of UCLA, so we were strolling around trying to find it near the humanities department, when peeking behind Kaplan Hall, I saw it.

Peace signs on the steps of Royce Hall.
(Photo Credit: Madola Nassar)

And I very audibly gasped out loud.

I always thought it looked pretty in the pictures.

But in person? And while the sun was slowly making its descent over campus, covering everything in sight with a soft, warm glow?

Royce Hall in all of its magnificent glory.
(Photo Credit: Rebecca Nassar ’22)

Let’s just say the pictures don’t even come close to encapsulating the absolute magnificence of Royce Hall.

After a lengthy photoshoot in front of Royce Hall, my family and I sat by the steps overlooking the whole campus and appreciated the view before us, talking about our favorite parts of the day and what we loved most about the campus.

Rebecca Nassar ’22 and I standing on the stairs that overlooks the whole campus.
(Photo Credit: Madola Nassar)

As we drove out of Westwood Village and onto the freeway to head home, the pull toward UCLA was much stronger, and I truly felt at home on arguably the most beautiful college campus in all of earthly existence.

Whether it’s a student giving you a tour or a self-guided tour (which is what my family and I did), visiting a college campus is crucial to seeing how you fit in that college’s environment and culture. Visiting UCLA was an incredible experience, and I hope I can be back on the campus soon, hopefully as a Bruin myself (and I’m not just saying that because I want to live inside their store, although their store was most definitely my favorite part of the campus).

Me standing behind Kaplan Hall.
(Photo Credit: Madola Nassar)
Me standing in front of Kaplan Hall, home of the English department.
(Photo Credit: Madola Nassar)
The beautiful Powell Library in all of its Hogwarts glory.
(Photo Credit: Madola Nassar)
Me basking in the glow and beauty of all the lush vegetation on campus.
(Photo Credit: Madola Nassar)