Fall-time fun is slowly coming to an end, but not all is lost. The Winter quarter 2024 approaches and with it comes University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA) famous Week 0. Week 0 is an event for students coming with move-in week. Before classes start, students have a week with events and activities to introduce themselves to campus, Westwood and their fellow Bruins. Week 0, one of the most fun times a Bruin can experience at UCLA, but many might find it overwhelming at times, especially new students.
Read on for the ultimate guide to UCLA’s Week 0.
1. Meet Your Roommates
Whether students live in one of the many dorms that cover The Hill, living in on-campus apartments through UCLA or live around Westwood, you need to get to know the people you will livie with. Meeting and living with new people for the first time might seem a bit intimidating, and they may not turn into your best friends like the movies make them out to be, but you will still live with your roommates for at least a semester. You definitely will need to get to know them. Start off with some basic questions and see where the conversation leads. For example, where are you from? What’s your major? Do you like sports (so maybe you can all go to a game together)? You should ask these important questions and know about one another, beyond information they included in the roommate sheet.
2. Introduce Yourself on Your Floor
Once you’ve introduced yourselves behind doors, you should also meet the people who will live around you. My best advice: while you’re moving in keep the door open with something and let people come and introduce themselves. When you finish getting all settled in, go around knocking on doors and introduce yourself to the floor. It might seem a bit awkward at first, but it’s better to meet some people at the beginning of the year rather than meeting them at random times throughout the year (especially if you live in the classics, better to meet in the halls than in the showers). Maybe get together with a few people from your floor and check out one of the dining halls or make a group to go to the Block Party!
3. Acquaint Yourself with Campus and What UCLA Offers
UCLA is a massive campus, despite how it may look in photos compared to other campuses like Texas A&M. It’s a great idea to orient yourself with the campus you will call home for the next three quarters. I recommend checking out the dining halls first. Start off with The Drey at the top of The Hill in Olympic Hall then make your way down to The Study in Hedrick. From there, keep going down the hill to Rendezvous East / West, face the Death Stairs and make it down to Epicuria and Bruin Café. Finally, make your way to the bottom of the hill and check out De Neve and its Plaza. Of course, these don’t include all of UCLA’s many dining halls, but it’s good to be able to orient yourself to understand some Bruin lingo.
Once you understand The Hill, make your way down past Pauley Pavilion and up to Janss Steps where you’ll find the beautiful Royce Hall and Powell Library. From there explore North and South campus to find where your classes are located. Maybe even acquaint yourselves with our two main gyms on campus (more on that later). Now that you’ve done all those boring mandatory things you can move onto the real activities that give Week 0 its reputation!
4. Explore UCLA’s Activity Centers
UCLA offers two main gyms, one located on the Hill and one located on main-campus next to Pauley Pavilion. The bigger of the two is the John Wooden Center (Wooden) named after our famed Basketball coach John Wooden. This gym acts as the main facility on campus (for all students not just athletes) and as such offers the most equipment. Bruin Fitness Center (BFIT) is UCLA’s gym located on The Hill and, while smaller than Wooden, it holds its own unique charm. BFIT is my personal favorite since I don’t like a crowded gym while working out. They have lots of treadmills and exercise bikes. Some even have TV’s built into them so you can watch a baseball game while getting some light exercise in. These gyms are definitely crowded in Week 0 but you should go in and get to know the centers while they offer open houses rather than trying to explore in the middle of the quarter.
“Fitness in LA is a lifestyle for some. If that applies to you then definitely check out the gyms! Sure, they’re crowded during peak hours, but all around they’re pretty chill,” UCLA Junior Emile Park said.
Excluding our gyms, we also have some fun places around campus for physical activity not gym-specific. Hitch Basketball Courts, found by Hitch Suites at the top of The Hill, stays open until 9 p.m. and is a great spot for a small group to play some basketball. Similarly, there’s also the Los Angeles Tennis Center located just before The Hill on Bruin Walk where you can play tennis or just sit and relax in the sun. For freshmen, there’s also a welcome experience that takes place in this facility and often a Bruin Bash event including a full concert! You can enjoy the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center (Sunset Rec) which is a great place to sit out or even have a picnic in. I definitely recommend checking some of these places out during Week 0, so you know what kinds of facilities you have access to. I went almost a full year before I realized some of these things existed!
5. Experience a UCLA Student Event
Week 0 UCLA will offer many events on campus for students to get to meet one another. I still have friends from a game of trivia I played in my first year at UCLA just after I moved into my dorm! Student organizations will often set up tons of games, with one of the most famous being Just Dance. They project against the mail-room in Sunset Village and just let 100 students all play Just Dance in a long line-dance. Check the UCLA New Student website to see what events they have scheduled for when you arrive, but seriously don’t miss out on some of these. It acts as a great way to make new friends for those who are worried about that.
6. Attend a UCLA Football Game at The Rose Bowl / On Campus
This will depend on the year of attendance, but when available Week 0 / the first football game during the school year is one of the greatest moments of UCLA attendance. Riding the Bruin shuttle to Pasadena to go see The Mighty Bruins play in a football game is possibly my favorite feeling about moving back onto UCLA’s campus every year. Whether you watch the game solo or go with a group of friends rooting for UCLA in The Den (UCLA’s Student Section in Football and Basketball), a game is one of the best ways to start your experience at UCLA. Just remember your 8-Clap!
However, if a game is not at the Rose Bowl during Week 0 students will often host their own game watch parties. They often hold these in student lounges on the floors of dorms or at Barney’s Beanery. Personally, I recommend you get together with your roommates or invite some people from the floor to watch the game on your own television or laptop if you have one. It’s a great way to find a group you can watch games at The Rose Bowl with or you can make some friends in the process.
7. Experience a CineSomnia at The Landmark
Westwood has three main theatres, one of which being The Landmark. Though not as big as Bruin Theater or The Fox Theater (now known as Regency Village Theater), The Landmark serves as a great little spot to check out movie premieres or even see showings with the director. CineSomnia is an event that The Landmark puts on every Saturday where they play a movie, usually fitting some theme for the month, starting at 10:30 p.m. Landmark doesn’t show many films during the day so students will most likely experience The Landmark during these CineSomnia showings. It’s especially fun for those who don’t enjoy the party scene and gives students a fun plan for Saturday nights away from the dorm rooms.
Some popular showings they’ve done in the past include Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, Scream during Halloween weekend and the cult classic Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. During the showing of The Room, Tommy Wiseau (the director) came to participate in interviews for his movie.
This is a treat for film students or wanna be film-buffs like myself. Premieres at The Landmark shows premiers often, but they limit themselves to smaller films in comparison to the other Westwood theatres. Every Bruin should definitely check out The Landmark at some point in their academic careers and Week 0 is a perfect time where its more Bruins than Los Angeles residents.
8. Club Rush
An extremely important experience in Week 0 is Club Rush which takes place both in Wilson Plaza and outside of Royce Hall. Hundreds of booths will set up with club representatives for students to come and sign up for anything that may align with their interests. I can’t emphasize the importance of clubs when shaping one’s experience at UCLA. Without clubs, some students can find it incredibly hard to make friends during the school year. Especially if a student is not interested in Greek life, they might find it hard meet people outside of classes. Clubs fill in this aspect of campus life and Club Rush serves as the best time to just sign up for whatever interests you. Some clubs have strict guidelines about who they admit so they may include application processes.
“My biggest regret from freshman year is not taking club recruitment seriously, and suffering for it for the rest of the year,” UCLA Sophomore Tahsanal Faruque said.
The clubs at UCLA don’t limit themselves to just the traditional fun offerings. For example, many focus around professional fields such as medicine or law. There are also some super fun offerings like UCLA’s Mario Kart Club, Bruin Fighting Club (a fighting game focused club) or The Anime Fan Club. Personally I recommend getting involved with Los Angeles Ski and Board Club (LASBC) as paying the small fee for a membership gets you a fun shirt and priority access to their parties. LASBC throws some of the biggest parties in Westwood, surpassing even fraternity parties. Also, students who want to experience great off-campus activities should join The Disney Club and Bruin Film Society. Disney Club often organizes Disney trips and speaker events and Bruin Film Society organizes giveaways for film premieres often. I’ve personally used this to see the Premier of Top Gun Maverick over a month before it premiered in The U.S.
9. Explore Westwood
Ah Westwood, the beautiful little town that UCLA connects to. No matter which part of campus find yourself on, simply walk south and you’ll hit some part of Westwood. Westwood acts less like a traditional college town compared to others like Tuscaloosa, Alabama or Eugene, Oregon. Instead, many view it like miniature Los Angeles. Some of the most important locations to know about as a Bruin are: Barney’s Beanery, In-N-Out, Fat Sal’s, Rocco’s, Diddy Riese Cookies.
“Dude, there’s nothing like capping off an epic football game with a victory lap to In-N-Out. It’s like a post-game ritual, double-doubles, some fries, etc.,” UCLA Senior Broderick Foster said.
You will always find one or more UCLA students at these locations throughout Westwood. In-N-Out is one of the go-to locations for post-game sessions and especially popular at midnight to 1 a.m. where there’s almost always an hour-long line. Barney’s and Rocco’s are the two main bars in Westwood, Barney’s holds a mix between a sports and dive bar whereas Rocco’s is more of a night spot. Diddy Reise cookies is also extremely popular, but is only open for a few days a week. There’s so much to explore in Westwood. Week 0 is a student’s best opportunity to check out some places with friends or meet new people in Westwood as that’s what everyone else does.
10. The Block Party
UCLA’s Block Party is a huge event in Westwood that block is off the main street and turns the city into a giant fairground exclusively for Bruins. This party is one of the best ways to truly get the Bruin spirit pumping and get students ready for their classes. Often times they have a large ferris wheel in the middle of the Block Party. They also have DJs, T-Shirt making and tons of booths from local vendors like Duffl (a delivery service famous for their scooter riders wearing bright orange). The Bruin Party is the true end of Week 0 and is one of the highlights of any student’s career at UCLA so make sure you don’t miss it!