What to Expect for Orientation

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Expect nothing, my friends. Expect nothing, except craziness. Almost everything will be new to you. Unless you went to a boarding school. A lot of you are going to be living on your own for the very first time. Here are a few things different from home:

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Summer: Outdoor Activities

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Summer’s coming up. There’s a lot of cool things to do! Here are some options

Hiking
There’s tons of cool places to go hiking in and around LA. From anywhere as close as Griffith Park or all the way into Malibu, there’s places to explore. But what’s really cool is hiking where the waterfalls are. Click on the link for a list of really cool places to hike this summer.

Rentals
Bikes and segways and tricycles, oh my. And that’s not all. Roller skates, scooters, and skateboards too! There’s multiple rental places lining the beaches of LA. They’re great for a date or just to go spend some time with friends on the beach. The best part is that it’s pretty cheap too!

Beach Yoga
Beach yoga is a really great way to spend a few hours on the beach while also getting a little exercise in. With classes every week, you can pick and choose when you want to go. Just bring a yoga mat (or towel), make a donation, and spend a couple hours basking in yoga glory.

Parks
This one is obvious, but definitely not taken advantage of as much as it should. Parks are great! You can go on a run or a bike ride, do your daily workout, walk your cat, read a book, have a picnic, toss a frisbee, and so much more. It’s great for a change of scenery or just to get a few breaths of fresh air every once in a while. Parks are free, so really, why the heck not?

Parasailing
One really close place to go parasailing is right in our very own Marina Del Rey. It’s a lot of fun and fairly inexpensive for such a luxurious activity. If you’re not feeling the marina, try heading out to Malibu or Palm Springs.

Surfing
Surf lessons are ALL over the beaches of LA. You can get a beginner class, intermediate, advanced, and there’s even classes that aren’t classes at all, but just large groups of people who wanna catch some waves together. You don’t even need your own surfboard in this area, because there’s rentals everywhere!

See a movie in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
It’s like a drive in, but better and you can’t bring your car in. Bring blankets, low lying chairs, snacks, even alcohol (IF YOU’RE 21). There’s different showings every couple of weeks and tickets sell out fast, so plan in advance!

Free Outdoor Workouts
If you like to work out, take the sweat out of the gym and into the great outdoors. Venice and Santa Monica have great outdoor workout complexes. Complete with gymnastics rings, vaults, low bars, and more. You can even just bring a mat to do your abs, leg, and arm workouts too.

Father’s Day

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Father’s Day. June 21, 2015. You got something for pops yet? If you haven’t, we suggest you get on it soon. Maybe get the guy a gift. Take him out for dinner. Who knows? This isn’t really a post about getting you to know what to get your dad. You know your dad better than we do. This is a reminder. This is a reminder that today is a day to celebrate the work he has done to raise you. Make it special.

Summer: Free Food Events

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What makes food better, oh yeah if it’s free. Luckily various establishments have days in which they give out free tasty treats as a promotion, here’s a list of a few of these delicious days.

1.) Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme National Donut Day (June 5)

National Donut Day is probably as important as a holiday in America, so there are multiple donut-eries that give out great deals, namely free donuts. Only Krispy Kreme used to be available in SoCal, but with Dunkin’ Donuts opening franchises, grab a breakfast there too.

2.) Free Denny’s Grand Slam (Your Birthday)

This American classic has locations across all 50 states, but if you want to come in for your birthday breakfast, they’ll serve you up a free Grand Slam, their famous breakfast spread.

3.) 7/11 Slurpee Day (July 11)

This convenience store is known for a few things, including the oily spinning hot dogs in their counter-top display. But what it’s most famous for is the Slurpee the chilly iced sweet drink that is perfect for a summer day.

Places to Cool Off for Free in: Westwood

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If one thing is always certain for summer in Los Angeles, it’s that it’s hot. So what do you do if you’re in Westwood in three-digit temperature weather and need to cool off? On The Hill has got you covered for all the places in village to chill on a scorching summer day.

1.) Chilly Ribbons

Westwood’s own iteration of the popular Sawtelle shaved snow shop “Blockheads” Chilly Ribbons shaves off slices of delicious flavors into a cup from large blocks of flavored ice. Topped with fruit or other tasty treats, ordering a cup is quite the cool experience.

2.) Hammer Museum

The Hammer Museum is a perfect way to cool off while also taking in some art, best of all admission is free. The galleries provide a nice oasis away from the summer heat and if looking at paintings get boring then you can hang out in the nice shady courtyard with a icy, tangy lemonade.

3.) Movie Theaters

Catch a movie in one of Westwood’s famous theaters for a nice break from the summer heat. With a student discount, for around ten dollars you can see the latest blockbuster which will keep you cool and entertained for a few hours.

4.) Sunset Recreation

Sunset Recreation is an old favorite and for a good reason. With its shady grassy areas, sand volleyball courts and nice shimmering pool, it’s a classic to cool down. So show your bruincard, put on your swimsuit and prepare to dip in.

5.) Libraries

Libraries are the bane of existence for most students especially during finals week. But in the summer they can be quite the sweet relief. It may seem lame, but relax in one of comfortable chairs in the reading with a good book and you’ll start to see the appeal.

SoCal Beach Guide

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If there’s one image that is iconic to Southern California in the summer it is the ocean waves licking the sandy shore of the state’s numerous beaches that line the coast. Here’s a great collection of unique beaches that you can take a sunny sojourn to in this sunny season.

1.) Santa Monica

Santa Monica, the home of the famous pier and brightly lit ferris wheel that spins well into the night also is home to a great beach that is pretty close to campus. Three miles long and very well maintained by the city, the beach is home to numerous shops and restaurants and pressed juice bars that are ubiquitous to Santa Monica.

2.) Point Dume

Point Dume is a beautiful bluff that juts off from the coast into the great big blue of the pacific ocean. Bordered by Zuma Beach to the north, the point offers breathtaking views that have their apex everyday around sunset. Surfing is also a widely practiced activity and tide pools exist for the environmental explorers.

3.) Huntington Beach

The name of the stretch of sand and the city that includes it, Huntington Beach is a journey south into Orange County. Well known for its exciting swells, the beach has been nicknamed Surf City for the waves it has all year long. So zip up your wetsuit, grab your board and paddle out.

4.) Venice Beach

Venice Beach, home to the beachside skaters, performance artists, body builders and malcontents that couldn’t really make it away from the coast. The beach is nice and well maintained, but the real attraction here is the boardwalk and the people watching, so grab a slice and a cone and soak it in.

5.) Corona del Mar

Spanish for “Crown of the Sea” this is a little beach tucked away near Newport Beach, CA. Close to the huge swells of The Wedge, the beach itself is sheltered from the rough waves and has fire pits, nice facilities and clean sands to tuck your toes into.

Apps for Studying

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It’s hard to hunker down and hit the books in our modern day digital age, especially with all the distractions that pop up from our numerous LED screens. But there are actually applications that can help rather than hurt your productivity, here’s a few of the best ones.

1.) Evernote (Free)
Evernote is a great and useful tool that helps sync your work and notes across platforms. Using the app you can write notes and checklists, organize your research and study materials and have them all uploaded and saved across your devices. It’s streamlined and easy to use for the constantly connected student.

2.) Wolfram Alpha ($2.99)
This app is a bit pricy, but it’s also invaluable. Any tired math or engineering student can tell you how important a resource Wolfram Alpha was for them. The list of topics and fields that the application can help you with is immense, running the gamut from the hard sciences to humanities and music all using its cloud based computational system.

3.) RealCalc Scientific Calculator
How many times have you needed to know the logarithm of something, but just didn’t have the means to do so? Well with this scientific calculator app, the answer to your next math problem is just as close as your pants pocket. The layout and design is more akin to physical scientific calculators making it a superior product to the standard calculator app.

4.) Khan Academy
Salman Khan is a former hedge fund manager turned innovator in the field of education and pedagogy. His Khan Academy videos are clear, concise and best of all free. But the site can be a hassle to navigate through on your mobile device, luckily there’s an app for that.

5.) Studious
Studious is a scheduling app that works as a basically acts as a everything in one application for your classes. It allows you to put your schedule in your phone and silence your phone during class times and put in reminders when your test or homework is due. Plus you can save notes and your campus map in the app, just in case you ever get lost.

Campus Celebrities: Franklin Yu ACA Dancer

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Franklin Yu is a second year studying Materials Engineering. He has danced for five years now, and has spent his two years here at UCLA dancing for ACA Hip Hop. We decided to bring him in for an interview a few weeks ago. Here’s the transcript:

How long have you danced for? Did you like it initially?
I’ve danced for about five years now. I started freshman year of high school, and I haven’t been able to stop since (:

How would you describe your learning curve in dance? What are you trying to work on right now?
A goal I have currently set for my dancing is to be more mobile and to implement more grooves into my choreography. I tend to lean toward isolations a lot, so I feel going in this direction will add another dimension to my dancing.

How has dance carried over to other aspects of how you approach things in your life?
To gain mastery over any aspect of dance requires hours of repetition and practice. In the same way, when I study for midterms/finals, I repeat problems and reread chapters. Also, being involved in dance has taught me that nothing worthwhile is achieved easily, and that if you really want to excel in something, you have to sacrifice something for it, whether it be time, sleep, etc.

Do you have any other hobbies besides dance? If so, do you pursue them with the same intensity?
I basically just study and dance! It’s difficult for me to make time to do anything else.

What is something that you have always wanted to learn to do, but have never had time for?
I’ve always wanted to try archery! Precision and athleticism are two things I value a lot, even outside of dance.

What are your goals for dance in these next few years?
In the next few years, I mainly want to continue reinventing my style and pushing my boundaries. I want my choreography to be recognized in the community as my own, and I hope to teach outside of California some day.

Do you plan to pursue dance after college?
I plan to continue dancing after college; I can’t really see myself without it. However, I don’t intend to make a career out of it. I intend for it to be supplementary to my day job.
Here’s a video of Franklin and his team dancing. He is in the center of the last piece: