Six Things I Wish I Knew Sooner As a Bruin

1. Test Bank.

If you have a midterm or final coming up, you should definitely visit the Test Bank, which is located at the Student Activities Center in Room 150. At the Test Bank, you can look up a past midterm or final exam for a class you are taking and print it. Be sure to bring cash and change because you can only pay for printing in cash – no virtual money accepted!

As a New Bruin, you can access Test Bank for free during your first quarter here. All you have to do is to state that you are a new Bruin at the front desk and you will receive a sticker on your Bruincard that allows you to access the Test Bank. For the next quarter, however, you will have to trade in an exam you have taken in order to get a sticker for that quarter.

Moreover, you can only make a five minute appointment at the Test Bank in person, on the day of the appointment. Therefore, you should go to the Test Bank early because time slots fill up very quickly, despite the fact that the Test Bank is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. In fact, I once arrived there at 10:24am and appointments for the entire day is filled already.

2. “Swiper no swiping!”

If you want to keep track of your meal swipes, you can check the number of swipes left at any restaurant or dining hall on the hill, by asking the register. However, if you have the 11 meal swipes plan, you can only check your swipes at a dining hall. The registers at take-out restaurants display “zero meal swipes left” for the 11 meal swipes plan, even if there are more left.

3. Free printing.

Don’t have a printer? Don’t know anyone who has a printer? Don’t know anyone who is willing to share their printer? That’s okay! Because truthfully, who needs them when there are free printing options that don’t require sweet talk and coercion?

Free Printing Options:

  • The Community Programs Office Computer Lab offers 300 pages of free printing and is located in the Student Activities Center
  • If you live on the Hill, you can get 100 pages of free printing at either Sunset Village 150B (located outside the mailroom elevator), De Neve Podium 333, or Rieber Hall 145.
  • The LGBT Center located in the Student Activities Center allows 10 pages of free printing per day.
  • There are also limited free printing available for students with certain majors or classes.

And if you want more details on the price for printing, check out an article from Daily Bruin to see  the list.

Lastly, don’t forget to print double sided to save money and trees!

4. What happens at office hours? And do I have to go?

At office hours, the professor or teaching assistant will answer or discuss questions about any confusing concepts you or others may have about the lecture. Prepare questions in advance and have at least some basic understanding about the topic because no one is there to spoon feed you. Also, be prepared to actively participate because you might get called upon to answer a question or share your thoughts. How academically demanding office hours is depends on the professor – sometimes it can just be a chill afternoon and a conversation about life.

In addition, go to office hours with the mindset of expanding your knowledge. Do not go to office hours if your questions and concerns are “Why did I not get an A?” Grade grabbing is a lame high schooler thing.

5. Ways to earn money on campus.

Get a job! You might think “duh,” but this fact still needs to be put out here because there are a variety of jobs available on campus. You probably already know about jobs such as working at the UCLA Stores, UCLA Housing, UCLA Mailing Center, UCLA libraries and so forth. Moreover, if you qualify for work study, a type of financial aid that can be applied for while filling out the FAFSA, you can search for work study jobs easily through MyUCLA by clicking the tab that says “Finances and Jobs” and looking under the subheading “Job and Community,” where you will find “Work Study Job Search” on the bottom of that list.

Another method of earning money is to participate in surveys or research. At UCLA, one of the foremost research institute in the world, there are various projects that look for survey participants and are willing to pay for your participation. You can find these opportunities almost anywhere – from online websites such as UCLA Anderson Behavioral Lab (https://anderson.sona-systems.com) to bulletin boards or walls and even in bathroom stalls.

6. Wait, there are fun books in the library?

Yes! In the libraries here at UCLA, there exist books that you don’t have to read for class. In fact, there are sections in Powell Library dedicated to Graphic Novels (comics and Manga), Recent Fiction, Science Fiction, Cookbooks, and even Travel Guides. You can borrow these books for up to 3 months (90 days) and check out 200 items maximum as long as you have your bruin card with you.  

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