Columbia Heights, Minnesota
By Zamzam Ahmed, iLander Staff Reporter
Sunny beaches, palm trees and a great education: These are all factors that drew CHHS senior Dia Moua to apply to the University of California in Los Angeles. Although born and raised in Minnesota, the Golden State has always been Moua’s dream location.
“I’ve always loved California,” Moua said. “When I was applying to college I knew it was an opportunity to travel to new places.”
According to the College Board's website, collegeboard.com, UCLA is a Division 1 school in several sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, golf, and rowing. With a 25 percent acceptance rate, UCLA is one of the more difficult universities to attend in the United States and offers its students plenty of perks for being accepted.
“The location wasn’t the only thing that drew me to UCLA. Its rigorous curriculum and great faculty was a big part of why I’m enrolling,” Moua said.
Los Angeles proper has 3.8 million people, with about 11 million more in the metro area. LA is actually the second-largest city in the United States after New York City. UCLA’s urban setting makes for a great college town. Filled with affordable eateries, great hang out places and an enriching art scene, the University and the city certainly has a lot to offer. The city’s diversity offers students a chance to explore and be a part of a vibrant community.
“High school in Minnesota was great,” Moua said, “and although I enjoy my home state I want to mature and challenge myself in a new environment. I’m excited to make California my new home.”
Moua plans a campus visit in late April with her older sister.
“I’ve only been on the UCLA campus once, and I’m excited to be there for a few days and meet students,” Moua said. “I also want to learn specifically about the architecture program, which I hope to be enrolled in soon.”
Although hesitant about Moua moving so far away, her family is supportive and excited for her years in college. A bit nervous herself about moving, Moua is excited at a chance to attend a college on the West Coast: This time next year, Moua will be in a California library studying architecture.
(Photo: Dia Moua is heading out to LA this fall. Photo by Zamzam Ahmed.)