Distance learning, remote learning, whatever you call it, the online format won’t be leaving anytime soon. UCLA predicts that the entire 2020-2021 school year won’t return to in-person. However, the tools us Bruins need to survive appear readily available.
Get ready for your pandemic survival guide for online classes.
Your mental health comes first. Nothing wrong with needing a little therapy to get through distance learning and luckily UCLA still offers appointments via Zoom! CAPS serves as UCLA’s mental health services platform and offers ADHD diagnostic testing, individual therapy as well as group therapy. With UCSHIP, you’ll have about six sessions covered. Students without UCSHIP can access three sessions although post-COVID, these rules have been relaxed until the fall semester.
2. UCLA LGBT CENTER
The LGBT Center fosters a close-knit community through its weekly programs. First, we have Queer Fandom Fanatics where, 3-5pm on Thursdays, you can unlock your dormant obsessions and join the group as they rank ships, shows, and games. And on Tuesdays at noon the QTBIPOC Affinity Space comes to life The goal of this space is to uplift LGBT students of color who need time to relax and express their creativity. Lastly, the Ace Space meets Friday 12 to 1 p.m. Anyone on the ace-spectrum can join this group and talk about issues regarding the asexual community.
The Academic Advancement Program serves as a counseling unit separate from the honors and general counseling units. Although generally geared towards BIPOC and first-generation students, anyone can join AAP after completing an orientation. You can receive help while applying to research programs like McNair, UndocuBruins Research Program and Research Rookies. Many of AAP’s mentors went through these programs as well. “I love the counselors there. And the PLFs. Without my PLF I don’t know what I’d have done especially at the start of distance learning,” UCLA senior Joselyn Paz said. AAP’s PLFs or peer learning facilitators act as tutors to certain classes. Whether you need help with English, economics, psychology or history, at least one PLF will specialize in that subject and can pitch in.
Handshake is especially useful in an age where many of us have lost networking opportunities to COVID. Not only can you access the most up to date internships and jobs, but you can also schedule an appointment with a career counselor or attend a drop-in session as well. Zoom calls not your thing for job hunting prep? No problem. Just use one of the many other tools located in their resource library, such as InterviewStream which allows students to customize their very own interview and view a recording of it afterward. “I like using the mock interviews they have there. I get to actually see what I’m doing,” UCLA senior Marcelo Cong said. Considering the opportunities you get by having a Handshake profile, everyone should get themselves an account!
5. BRUIN OPP
UCLA’s Access and Equity team recently jumpstarted a new website, Bruin Opp. The website mitigates some of the issues with distance learning by offering students an organized directory. A one-size-fits-all resource, the website has a list of scholarships and their application due dates. Not only that, but business, law and pre-med students can also use it to access the constantly updated internships linked here and the many UCLA clubs focused on these specific careers. With the enormous activities fair being solely on Instagram, BruinOpp makes for a good substitute for the real thing especially if you don’t want to be forced to download a social media app.
If you do not have UCSHIP for CAPS, then Wazo proves a wonderful alternative. With student mentors who get matched based on your needs and identities, Wazo also has less of a wait than CAPS since your mentor will have no other mentees other than you. You will work on constructing weekly goals with your mentor over the course of the quarter. Although you obviously can’t walk around the beautiful UCLA campus with a mentor anymore, Wazo still acts as a great choice for people who want to improve their mental health.
7. UCLA CALFRESH
Almost half of UC undergraduates suffer from some level of food insecurity. CalFresh hopes to combat those numbers, functioning as a resource for food-insecure students as it provides its recipients with a maximum of $194 per month. However, there remains the required documentation and an extensive application process. Fear not though, for CalFresh virtual office hours take place on Mondays and Thursdays and a worker will walk you through the process over Zoom. Just make sure you have proof of financial aid and a schedule of your classes beforehand.
8. UCLA LIBRARY CATALOGUE
Alas, we can’t use our favorite study spot anymore or can we? Well, yes and no. PDF accessibility has doubled during the pandemic. Don’t even bother pirating PDFs anymore because UCLA’s digital library probably has it instead. You can also just check out a book for fun while you wait for libraries everywhere to reopen.
Yes, the one-hour restriction on borrowing books may seem like a hindrance but this just means less of a wait for everyone. That way you can eliminate the month-long wait time for certain books. “I was pretty shocked to see that a lot of my books from the syllabus were easily accessible,” senior Michael Caruana said. Don’t waste money on buying books when this alternative exists.
9. The WSP
The Writing Success Program remains an absolute necessity for any writing-heavy major. Attend one of their writing workshops or schedule a one-on-one appointment with a writing peer counselor. You even have peer counselors for ESL students. You can get help with even non-academic writing here. And if you need a perfect cover letter or resume, the WSP tutors will turn your meager first draft into a masterpiece!
10. UCLA ONE
Let your networking issues plague you no more, with UCLAONE. The format bears a striking resemblance to LinkedIn except for the fact that its purpose revolves around pairing you with an alumni mentor in your field. And not just alumni, it even lets you connect with fellow students. Put as much or as little information as you want and filter mentors based on identities you hold (LGBT, first-generation, veteran, etc).