GUYS I DID IT! Well technically I have one more paper to write but the sentiment remains. I finished UCLA! For y'all who don't know, my college experience has been a complicated one. I started at UC Santa Cruz, which I loved a lot but it wasn't the right place for me. I took some time off, met my love at a study abroad trip in London, then went back to school at Chapman University. That really wasn't the right place for me either, so I left that too. Finally I found a home at UCLA and finished my undergrad work in a year. I took a lot of classes (like a lot) and really stressed myself out like crazy. But I'm so glad I did it and I'm so proud of everything I've done. Now you will never have to listen to me complain about school again! (Until grad school, whoops hahahah).
I got A's in every single one of my classes. I wrote an Honors Thesis of 35 pages on Hieronymus Bosch, an artist I have loved since I was 18 and first found Art History. I joined an on-campus magazine and had so much fun taking photos and writing stories. I was one of two people in my major to present at Undergraduate Research Week. I successfully figured out the Los Angeles bus system!!! Even if I don't continue on in my Art History education (although I am pretty sure I will) I feel so proud and so comfortable with the skills in writing and critical thinking that I have acquired from my major. I feel that I understand the world and its visual culture so much more than I could have as just a Studio Art major or even as an Art History major at another school. UCLA was so good to me.
Of course now I'm left with "What do I do now?" I think I will buy myself a new camera (possibly tonight; I want it baaaad) because mine can't even focus let alone take a high-quality image. I'm excited to have a camera capable of the kind of work I want to do. All I really plan to do this summer is work a little bit, take photos, write, make some stuff, and adventure. I'm so ready for a break.
Of course, I would not be where I am without the amazing people in the HILARIOUS photo below and everyone I have met on my journey. I have the most wonderful friends and family who support me in my weird and complicated ways of doing things. Oh also one more thank you is to my friend Alyssa who managed to snag me the last dress of my size in this style by Keepsake from Revolve. I need to take real pictures of it soon. It made my Beyonce Lemonade dreams come true and it deserves some pretty pics.
Just one more note: unfortunately the last few weeks of school were touched by some sadness. During one of my finals, the entire school went into lockdown because of a shooting on campus. An engineering professor was killed by a former student. The UCLA community is very strong and we have dealt with the tragedy together but it is a very scary and awful thing. On Saturday night the unthinkably horrific shooting in Orlando happened. It's been an incredibly scary few weeks. I live two blocks from where LA Pride was held and I was so scared I would get news of hate crimes there. To think of any of the people who were in a space they thought was safe for them only to be met by events I can't even think of without feeling sick is so...I mean it's beyond words. I know I have a lot of followers that don't live in the US and I'm not sure what me saying anything on here will do, but we just need to make a change. It is absurd that people can purchase the weapons they can and it is absurd that these things keep happening. I feel sad that these events happened at a very happy time in my life, and quite guilty that I can continue to celebrate with my friends and family while so many are suffering. But I guess all we can do is start conversation and put out positive vibes to enact some change while remembering those who lost their lives and sending good thoughts to their family. We need to love each other.