Students share what they love about UCI and offer words of wisdom for future Anteaters.

  • *Proud Anteater? Share your UCI story & photos! Tag us with #IAmUCI on Instagram & Twitter.

Aditi Mayer

Aditi Mayer is a senior majoring in literary journalism. Her interest in ethical fashion led her to create, which explores style, sustainability and social politics in the fashion industry. Her Instagram account boasts more than 15K followers. On campus, she serves as a student ambassador at the UCI Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation. She is part of a team that recently launched the center’s print and digital publication, InSight Magazine.

Why did you choose UCI?

As a freshman, I was quite undecided about my career path. Nevertheless, I was drawn to UC Irvine because of the campus’ physical beauty, and I liked the challenge of attending a school that was relatively young and therefore had the opportunity to grow, expand, and challenge itself in its endeavors. Now, as a fourth year, I can’t believe all the opportunities I’ve been granted.

What are your favorite things about UCI?

At UCI, there are a plethora of new initiatives and opportunities to get involved in. Not only that, but there are also so many opportunities to start your own projects — whether that’s a student organization or research. This past year, I founded InSight Magazine, a new student-run digital and print publication exploring poverty and inequality in Southern California. I was able to have amazing support from UC Irvine’s Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation and funding from the UCI Barnes and Noble College Scholarship. I was able to mobilize a driven, passionate group of 35+ students.

Another thing I love about UC Irvine has been all the opportunities I’ve been granted to travel. I’ve participated in lobby conferences in Sacramento to DC, participated in field studies in Nepal and Mexico, as well traveled throughout the South of United States to learn about race relations.

What’s your advice for new/incoming Anteaters?

Really take it upon yourself to foster connections with professors and faculty here. There are so many individuals, organizations, and resources invested in your personal growth and development — it’s just a matter of fostering those connections.

Skyler Phamle

Skyler Phamle is a senior majoring in psychology & social behavior. Her activities on campus include serving as a peer educator at UCI Student Outreach And Retention (SOAR) Center and a coach at the UCI Counseling Center.

Why did you choose UCI?

UCI has been my dream school since the beginning of my college journey starting at Santa Ana College. During one of the field trips, I got to visit the UCI campus and fell in love with it immediately. I enjoy the scenery and Aldrich Park which I still sometimes take naps in during my break time. On top of that, UCI has one of the best and only programs in Psychology and Social Behavior in Southern California.

What are your favorite things about UCI?

My favorite things about UCI are the people that I have met and the opportunities that I have been involved in. All the professional staffs and professors here are more than willing to help students, whether it is revisiting some topics in classes or helping them apply to graduate school. All the friends that I have made here are also a big part of my life now. They have become my life-long friends that I will never forget. Lastly, UCI offers many opportunities for students. All the jobs and internships that I have completed during my time here have helped me to feel ready for the future when I graduate.

What’s your advice for new/incoming Anteaters?

My advice for new/incoming Anteaters is to manage their time wisely and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Having a lot of opportunities thrown at you can be overwhelming, especially during your first year. Carefully managing your time will help you to maximize the experiences and still
keep up with your school stuff. If you have any question or concern, feel free to reach out to anyone, especially to upper-class students who have been through the process. They can help your journey in higher education to be more intentional and meaningful.

Pedro Castillo

Pedro Castillo, fourth-year mechanical engineering major and co-President, MAES: Latinos in Science and Engineering

Why did you choose UCI?

I chose to attend UCI over other schools for many reasons. Academically, UCI is an overall excellent institution. The Henry Samueli School of Engineering is nationally ranked and has a lot of awesome, well-established research and hands-on projects going on. All faculty members are prestigious individuals and seemed to be very approachable. Furthermore, UCI is an institution that supports diversity and makes an effort to include all of us. This is reflected in the many clubs and organizations at everyone’s reach. The location is also amazing! Irvine is such a beautiful city with many awesome spots to hang around, including some of the most beautiful beaches in SoCal. Overall, when deciding what college to attend, I thought of UCI as the most complete option from all the perspectives that were important to me. Today, I can confidently say that I am glad and proud to be an Anteater. ZOT ZOT ZOT!

What are your favorite things about UCI?

There are many things I love about UCI. I find the way campus is constructed very convenient. I like all the nature I get to enjoy when walking on ring road or through Aldrich Park. I love spending time at the Student Center, especially during live events and celebrations. I also enjoy going to the ARC and participating in the intramural sport leagues. Lastly, I find it awesome how many projects and research positions are available to UCI students. It is cool to hear about the different competitions and events UCI students partake in.

What’s your advice for new/incoming Anteaters?

My advice for incoming anteaters is to focus on school but also be active. 4 years may seem like a long time, but it goes by so fast. I encourage you to join a club you find interesting, try new experiences, play sports or do any activity you enjoy doing with others. On a more academic note, I advise you to make a study plan. I know it sounds kind of boring and maybe even unnecessary, but at the end of the day, we are here to receive an education and it is good to stay on top of it. Become involved in research and/or projects, attend the career fairs and professional events. And last but definitely not least, have fun!

**Proud Anteater? Share your UCI story & photos! Message us, or tag us with #IAmUCI on Instagram & Twitter.

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