Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Home Features SPOP-Stop into College Expectations: What's on Their UCI Bucket List?

SPOP-Stop into College Expectations: What’s on Their UCI Bucket List?

Incoming SPOPers share with us their incoming college expectations
Incoming SPOPers share with us their incoming college expectations (Photo Courtesy of UCI Student Affairs)

Written  by Jessica Resendez

Each year, thousands of incoming freshman and transfer students come to UCI bright-eyed and ready to begin new chapters in their young adult lives. From mid June to August we typically see them at the corner of West Peltason and Pereira Drive clustered in groups, all standing behind a student-mentor who confidently holds up a sign reading “SPOP,” for UCI’s Student Parent Orientation Program. Anteaters-to-be chit-chat amongst themselves while they wait for the street light to turn green, at which time their SPOP leader will take them on a guided tour of the 1,474 acre campus. Some of them are already making new friends, giggling and exchanging contact info with one another; others mindfully take in their surroundings as if they’ve just entered some sort of surreal snapshot into their futures.

So what’s next for these fellow Anteaters? Do they expect a stereotypical college experience complete with toga parties, keggers, and frat houses? Or are they looking to connect more with their inner selves, experience new things, and gain some independence from their families? Here’s what some of them had to say at a recent SPOP event held on campus:

“I hope to make a lot of new friends who don’t necessarily [share] my point of view because I want to learn new things from people, learn new perspectives, and I also want to try a lot of the new activities so that I can broaden my skills and my interests.”

– Min Yu (Biological Science major)

Min Yu
Min Yu

“At UCI, I want to try all the new foods here. I come from [San Francisco] so it’s much colder up there. [Coming] down here is a big adjustment. It’s very hot. I’m sweating every day, so I’m probably going to shower often, but I like the weather here. It’s very different. I like it.”

– Anderson Nguyen (Computer Engineering major)

“I think what I want from UCI is obviously like the cheesy stuff. Like life-long friends and all that, but also the opportunities they have here [with] research and everything. I want to take advantage of everything they have, so I’m really excited to have this opportunity open to me…which I’ve never had before.”

– Abby Mendoza (Biological Science major)

“I think I want to experience the freedom that college gives people here and just meet new people in general. Maybe I might want to join a frat, but I’m not sure about it yet.”

– Kyle Bautista (Computer Engineering major)

Anderson Nguyen, Abby Mendoza, Kyle Bautista
Anderson Nguyen, Abby Mendoza, Kyle Bautista


“I’m really looking [forward] to taking advantage of the study abroad program that UCI has to offer. I want to go all over Europe, but probably mostly London.

-Desiree Garcia (History major)

“I’m looking forward to being able to take classes in different areas of study and not just having to take specific classes. That way, maybe I’ll be able to figure out what I really want to do.”

-Emma Danhash (Biological Science major)

“I’m definitely excited to go to a lot of sporting events and have the college experience with a bunch of different clubs and I think even though I’m commuting, UCI has a lot of opportunities for me to get involved. I kind of want to go to the basketball games and the tennis games because [UCI] is better at those sports.”

-Alexandria Rauda (Math major)

Desiree Garcia, Emma Danhash, Alexandria Rauda
Desiree Garcia, Emma Danhash, Alexandria Rauda

“I wasn’t part of a lot of clubs in high school so I’m interested in expanding my horizons [and] involving myself in more activities that I wouldn’t have thought of beforehand. I want to join the newspaper, which I didn’t do in high school, but I really like writing so I think that’d be fun.”

-Grace Wood (English major)

“I just want to make new friends and have new experiences and get close to a lot of new different types of people and join a lot of organizations – get really involved. Some things I’m interested in are like mock trial. Does UCI have a mock trial? [Also], musical theater…like if they have musicals, I’d like to audition for them.”

-Jacqueline Lee (Film Studies major)

“Right now I can’t really expect anything, but I just want to meet a lot of new people…experience new things. I’ve been very restrained in high school, very disciplined, so I want to try something new…like the typical party.  No frats! I told these girls no Greek life for me!”

-Kobe Almoite (Biological Science major)

Grace Wood, Jaqueline Lee, Kobe Almoite
Grace Wood, Jaqueline Lee, Kobe Almoite

“I hope to make as much friends as I can and have a lot of connections with my friends and be able to experience this huge new college life and be able to be more independent from my family. My bucket list is probably like doing some crazy or weird stuff. Like, I don’t know, [maybe] we decide to go bungee jumping one day or go to a fair all together and just have the teenage/college kind of life.”

-Sharon Gil (Public Health major)

“I just kind of want to get out there more because usually I’m kind of socially awkward and I’m scared to go out and do events, but I’m trying to get the mindset of like, ‘Oh…what’s the worst that can happen?’”

-Chelsea Hendargo (Undeclared)

Sharon Gil, Chelsea Hendargo
Sharon Gil, Chelsea Hendargo