UCLA is 419 acres of academics, professors, advisors, students, sports, creativity, and innovation. Life here can be overwhelming at first, but once you figure out the ins and outs of UCLA, what used to be a challenge becomes a piece of cake. Here are 11 hacks every UCLA student should know.
1. Use the BruinBus.
It’s free to UCLA students with your Bruin card. Since they have less stops than LA’s public buses, they are a super quick and easy way to travel around Westwood, head to Santa Monica, or get around Los Angeles in general. Schedules and stops can be found online.
2. Don’t buy textbooks at full price.
Search online or check out the Textbooks page or Free & For Sale page for UCLA on Facebook, and see if other students are selling the textbooks you need. There are thousands of people here; people that have taken the class you’re going into are around, so there’s no need to spend a fortune on textbooks.
3. Follow the academic calendar.
This is one of those organization hacks every UCLA student should know. Here you can find important dates and plan out your quarter accordingly. Being organized and knowing when different deadlines are is essential to functioning in college.
4. Download the UCLA apps.
Go to a lot of sporting events? BruWin Rewards lets you rack up points for each game you attend and check in at. You can save up points to get a ton of cool prizes – free to you! BruinLife is how you will navigate dining here. Keep track of how many swipes you should have, which meals are happening where and when, and be notified when your favorite foods are coming to a dining hall soon! StudentHealth for UCLA will keep track of your health plan if you have insurance through the school. When I’ve needed to have access to my insurance card, this app was the only way how.
5. Check out Powell.
They have free GoPros, computer labs, people that can help you write papers and find sources, and very knowledgeable librarians. They’re here for you.
6. Visit where your classes are located before they begin for the semester.
The campus map online will easily and accurately show you where different buildings are. Go before the day classes start, and check out where you’ll be going. It’ll save you some stress and give you some exercise.
7. Take a trip to the Test Bank.
Heard of the Test Bank? They give you real past exams for the classes you’re taking. Located in SAC, this place has helped me study numerous times for my midterms and tests.
8. Take food home from the dining halls.
You’re allowed to take one piece of fruit or a dessert from the dining halls. You’ve got an early class and can’t grab breakfast? Get an apple from the dining hall the night before. Want cereal but don’t feel like buying milk? Get milk as your drink at Bcaf, 1919, or Rendez, and store it in your fridge for your breakfast.
9. Find better ways to get to class.
There are more places to walk on UCLA than Bruin Walk. Bikes can quickly get to South Campus by going under the bridge on Strathmore and Gayley. Get to North Campus quickly by going down Charles E. Young Drive N. It’ll save you time and energy.
10. Look out for freebies.
As broke college students, this is one of the key hacks every UCLA student should know. The LGBT center offers free printing for up to five pages, charging only 10 to 15 cents a page after. Mindful Music has free live concerts every Wednesday outside of Covel at 6 p.m. A variety of sponsors will hand out soda, discount cards, and more on Bruin Walk and in Carnesale Commons. Keep an eye out.
11. Consider getting a scooter or Penny skateboard.
My scooter is my fifth limb. I always use it to go to class, and it cuts my time in half (not to mention how much easier it is to explore Westwood).