Dear Student Body

By Anu Shivakumar

Dear student body,

My name is Joseph King. As a decorated alumnus of UCLA’s College of Letters and Numbers (’69), I’ve spent quite some time walking these red brick halls, broken sidewalks, and nearly perpendicular staircases—just like you. I’ve paid my dues waiting in line at The Study, getting kicked out of Powell study rooms, and explaining to LAPD why that’s the fifth noise complaint in two days. I’m in a reflective mood, after all these years, and I’d like to share some of the wisdom I collected over the course of my college experience, in hopes that it inspires the next generation of students to be the Baddest Bruins they can be.

Let me guess… you can’t cook and you missed Feast’s closing time by 8 minutes. You’re in luck. A single vodka shot carries up to 100 calories. Forget about the 30-minute wait for a noodle bowl and open up your Poppin app to see what’s happening on Roebling later. Invite everyone on your floor and make sure they peer pressure you at the drinks table, because it’s bulking season. Trust me when I say that a few dozen splashes of Trader Joe’s Vodka Of The Gods on an empty stomach creates a condition that really, truly… is of the gods.

BFit was too crowded this morning so you didn’t hit the gym? 6 minutes moshing to Sheck Wes at that one rooftop on Landfair will tone your calves better than Chloe Ting’s entire channel. There’s no excuse for falling short of your fitness goals when there’s a mob around every corner. You’ve got to take advantage of the wealth of resources offered in Westwood, although my well-intentioned efforts to install a disco ball in Wooden may have ended in thorough questioning and a minor suspension. Shoutout to the 4 MechE students I hired who took the fall on that one.

Having trouble focusing on school? Your C- in Econ 41 just won’t fix itself? In the face of adversity, a lone voice remains. 

It’s Tyga, through the JBL on the pong table at your local Poppin party of the quarter. What you need is a “Play hard, play hard” balance to cure your personal economic downturn. If you don’t think about it, parties are just extreme networking events. Tell the professor you can’t make the midterm but you’ll see if you can slide them an invite. It’s time to get a Taste of what life is all about.

I remember my days apartment-hunting on the cramped yet beautiful streets of Westwood, negotiating with picky roommates and stingy property managers trying to charge me a grand for a shoebox. A week before school starts and you still haven’t found a place to live? This is where it helps to build your knowledge base; hit every event in the vicinity and when the landlord comes up to crash it, ask them about the rent application. You’ll catch them by surprise and they just might take you seriously enough to give you a good price.

Being a “broke college student” is hilariously #relatable until things get real… $4.50 and a Snickers bar left to get you through the rest of the week? You’ll need an entrepreneurial solution. Swipe yourself some De Neve Late Night as you find your late night destination on Poppin, and go sell those chicken tendies for $5 apiece. There’s nothing a college student tripping down Gayley, hoping to beat In-N-Out’s closing time, wants more than overpriced carbs and a smile. Who knows: maybe you’ll even make enough to Duffl yourself a bag of chips for breakfast the next day.

So I hope you’re catching my drift. People think UCLA’s all about the academic resources, creative outlets, professional guidance, state-of-the-art facilities, and blah blah blah. But it’s about getting lit and staying lit—because the only grind you should be grinding is on the dance floor. Good luck out there.


Joe King

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