Photo by Ajana Orozco – “Kerckhoff Hall and Bruin Walk”
How has COVID-19 affected being a student at UCLA?
Waiting for the light to change to green at Charles E. Young Drive with your schoolmates so you can all start marching to class no longer exists. The walk down the hill between Drake Stadium and the Los Angeles Tennis Center is quiet.
Walking past Pauley Pavilion brings memories of the fun of sitting in The Den and cheering on our amazing athletes. Gone are the schoolmates playing sports in the intramural field.
Nobody is entering or exiting the gym. Gone is the sound of someone playing the piano at John Wooden Center. The Bruin Bear statue does not have people sitting on the base. The line of people waiting for their turn at taking a picture is no longer there.
Bruin Bear Statue. Photo by Ajana Orozco
When asked how they felt about being a UCLA student during spring 2020, George, a geography major who transferred from East Los Angeles College, said, “It is a traumatic change and feels very isolating. I am taking this time to recharge my batteries and reflect while I prepare for fall quarter.”
Do you take the path to the left of Bruin walk to avoid the clubs passing out information and fundraising? Now, you can walk through the middle without having to “deal with” someone trying to hand you information.
Bruin Walk. Photo by Ajana Orozco
Gone are the people relaxing on the grass near Janss Steps. Taking a left off Bruin Walk and heading towards Royce and Powell and coming around the corner, all you see are open walkways.
Juan Perez, a transfer student from Santiago Canyon College– majoring in sociology and minoring in LGBTQ studies– said, “The liveliness of the school is gone. There is nothing to experience. The human interaction is significantly less and somewhat depressing.”
Walking through the peristyle at Royce, there is nobody sitting between the pillars. There are only a few students taking pictures for their senior photos. The great reading room in Powell Library sits empty, waiting for students to enter and spend hours absorbing information.
Peristyle at Royce Hall. Photo by Ajana Orozco
These are just some experiences of being a UCLA student. It makes us realize that little moments that we take for granted are precious and add to the Bruin experience.