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7 Things I Would Tell My College Self

September 9, 2018
Royce Hall College UCLA

Encore to College

I loved college.  When I look back, I really don’t have any regrets because I made certain that I fulfilled the list of goals I was determined to accomplish before I graduated.  Regardless of no regrets, there are still plenty of things I would tell my college self now that 5+ years have passed.  So, when Buick reached out and asked if I would be interested in working with them on a campaign for the Buick Encore by doing my very own “Encore to College”, I thought that it was a perfect fit for me to share my experiences and thoughts on college with you.  Quite frankly, I was surprised that I had not even thought about doing so before. 


Buick Encore to College


So I took my Buick Encore and drove to UCLA for a full day of nostalgia.  My first impressions of the Encore were that it was a cute, compact and an SUV, which are the three things I am looking for when deciding on a car.   I always feel much safer driving on LA freeways in an SUV but you also need to be able to park in the city — and that is much more difficult to do with a larger vehicle.  Luckily, Buick also nailed the compact but cute look because some of these small cars on the market ain’t so pretty.  On this “Encore to College” day, I finally picked up my diploma, did my own campus tour, and reflected on many wonderful memories.  The best part was picking up two of my best friends/college roommates and going to the dining hall to feast on a ridiculous amount of food.  UCLA has the best dorm food in the country so it is a serious treat to be able to eat there.  We ran around campus laughing at ourselves and how much fun we had during those college days and capped off the night with a Westwood classic, Diddy Riese, which features incredibly delicious $2.50 cookie ice cream sandwiches. Looking back now and reflecting on everything I have learned, I decided to make a list of some important tips to keep in mind as you navigate college living.    


Royce Hall UCLA college



1. Freshman 15? Ha, that’s a joke.  Try Freshman 30! No matter how many floors you climb on the Stairmaster to get those lbs off, you will not succeed until you stop consuming beverages on a regular basis.  To be in the best health that you can be, you still should be going to the gym as much as you have been, but don’t be discouraged when you don’t see results.  That will come later when you graduate and lead a more adult (ish?) lifestyle.    



Diddy Riese


2. Being late to the 21 game is okay.  You were obnoxiously moaning about missing all of those 21st birthday parties because your birthday wasn’t until August.  You would go feast on Diddy Riese cookies or In N Out burger (hence the freshman 30) while your friends went out to the bars at night to celebrate.  Well, that was eight months of your life and you still had plentyyyy of time for all those Vegas trips.  Now as you approach 30, you’ll be counting down the days for a different reason.  You will be wanting to stay at the lower number and bragging to your friends that you’re still a “year younger” for the rest of your life. 


3. Don’t worry about studying abroad for ONE quarter because you might miss out on part of college.  Boo freakin hoo!  Yes, you will love every minute of college, but studying abroad was the RIGHT choice.  Not only did that time out of the country manifest an independence and confidence in yourself, but you learned to live for adventure and be much more knowledgeable about the world and its peoples.  Eventually, you will be so passionate about travel, that you will take a risk to make it your career and that will all be due to your decision to live abroad during college. 


UCLA college diploma


4.  Grades do matter, especially in terms of graduate school.  However, this is your time to learn with world class professors so take classes that you care about with teachers that have the potential to inspire you.  It’s not just about the professor that is known for always giving out “A+” grades to her students.  You can offset a “B” grade with those classes as it is important to set yourself up for success if you do decide to go to grad school, but this is your time to have the freedom to learn about a plethora of different subjects.  So go out and LEARN. 


5. It is absolutely worth it to get up at 4 am and get in line for a UCLA basketball game ticket or 6 am to prep for tailgating for a football game at the Rose Bowl. College sports are way more fun than professional sports so make sure you go to as many football and basketball games as you possibly can.  


UCLA college


6. Although high school was not great, it was so worth the blood, sweat, and tears you put into your schoolwork, extracurriculars, and community service endeavors to get into college.  You had the most fun at UCLA and you won’t ever forget that. Every day, you will look back so fondly on all those memories and you will forever be proud of where you went to school and the fact that you were a Bruin.  Those 4 grueling high school years led to 4 unforgettable ones which in turn shaped who you are for the rest of your life. 


7.  You made the right choice going to a school close to home. Yes, you didn’t get to go out at 18 years old and explore a brand-new city.  However, it was almost like you were far away because you fully embraced the college lifestyle —you survived without a car (or Uber for that matter) and you lived in the dorms, a sorority house, and an apartment with five of your very best friends.  You will have plenty of time after college to live in new cities which, by the way, is absolutely a worthwhile thing to do.  Now that you are old (ahem…28 with about 6 grey hairs), you will be grateful that your base will always be in Los Angeles. While some friends are off in grad school or living elsewhere,  you will always have a large contingent of friends in your hometown to celebrate major life events and milestones. 

And most importantly, those best friends of yours may just be able to join you on your very own Encore to College.

UCLA college

Do you have any tips you would tell your college self?  I’d love to know your thoughts! And, a big thank you to Buick for partnering with me on this post.


Watch my day at UCLA!


Check out some of my other posts for more of that California lifestyle!

Laguna Beach: Let’s Day Trip From LA

Downtown LA: Best Places to Eat

Los Angeles Coastal Cities: Perfect Day Trips to Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu

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