From the moment we are Bruintized in the Inverted Fountain we are Bruins. All of us share the Bruin identity, but our individual identities vary widely. Our communities, cultures, languages, spiritual beliefs, and life experiences all influence the way we self identify. At UCLA we meet people and have experiences that challenge and change the ways we view the world and ourselves.
While this time in our lives can be fun and exciting, it is normal to experience feelings of being lost, isolated, lonely, confused, or alienated. This might be your first time away from home and you’re struggling with the transition. At times you may question whether going to UCLA was the right choice, or if you picked the right major. You may find yourself eating alone in the dining halls, or have a roommate who frequently leaves you alone while they go home for the weekend. You might feel like the only person who hasn’t found a friend group. We have all been there. It’s okay to ask for support.
- Talk. Whether you talk to a family member, friend, or CAPS counselor, reaching out can be the first step to feeling better.
Take an anonymous and confidential screening to see if you or someone you care about might benefit from speaking to a mental health professional.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others.
We compare our insides to other people’s outsides.
At times you might look around and think everyone else is succeeding while you are the only one struggling. This is not true. Looking at what people post on social media can lead to the false assumption that everyone else is having a better time. Remember that all of us face challenges. The more we talk, the more we can help each other.
- Get involved. Attend an on-campus event or join one of the many student groups UCLA has to offer. Take advantage of the opportunities you have to explore your interests.
A note of caution: Some students respond to feeling lonely by overinvesting in a group or activity. Student groups can be a great addition to your college experience, but if you ever feel stressed because an organization is taking up too much of your time remember that you can always leave.
Understanding your sexuality can be challenging especially if your family, friends, or community don’t understand or accept you. Get support for yourself or someone you care about through the UCLA LGBT Resource Center.
The Trevor Project offers a 24/7 hotline where you can have a confidential conversation with a trained counselor. You can call 866-488-7386 or check out options for connecting with help via text or chat.
If your path to UCLA was not the traditional route, you may be experiencing frustration or confusion. Some transfers students feel they are underrepresented, underserved, and that their path is valued less than that of a traditional student. We are all Bruins; it is the quality of our time at UCLA that counts and not the quantity. This 2014-2015 year, the introduction of a Transfer Student Representative to the Undergraduate Students Association Council will expand the resources currently available to you by the UCLA Transfer Program.
The transition from combat to civilian life isn’t always easy. Your experiences may give you a different perspective than the people around you. Visit UCLA Veterans for a comprehensive list of resources. If you need to talk to someone immediately, call the Veterans Crisis Line for a free, confidential conversation. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255. Getting support is an important part of staying strong and feeling better.