Student Life: Student Stories

Spelman Spring

Student Stories

Naomie Delva - University of California at San Diego

November 2015

naomidelva I have arrived at USCD! I decided to travel to another time zone  - Pacific Standard Time -- in order to have a new undergraduate experience. The University of California is a public institution established only 55 years ago. It is one of the many schools of the University of California Public School System.

There are over 25,000 students who attend school here. The student body is predominately Asian. Since I am an exchange student, I am not accounted for in the less then 3% African-American student population who attend school here. In the few months that I have been here, I have noticed the need for a greater African-American student presence on this campus. 

delva Here at UCSD, the academic environment is  very intense and the class sizes are very large. Every class has an average of 400 students. This is very foreign to me. In high school, my graduating class was comprised of 72 students and at Spelman, the student body is approximately 2000 students. At UCSD, there are labs, which are designed to be a little more intimate, that average approximately 25 students per class. The smaller class sizes in the labs help me to better understand the different concepts discussed in our lecture classes.

During my time here, I have joined two organizations --  The Black Student Union and Model United Nations (Model UN). The Black Student Union is an organization designed to allow students who identify as students of color to have a space to talk freely about issue facing them at UCSD. It also helps students devise solutions that can help them appropriately tackle various issues on campus.
Soon, I will participate in the Student of Color Conference. This conference will be held in Berkeley, California, which is eight hours away from San Diego. This conference encourages students of color throughout California to come together to discuss issues that students of color from across California face in the school system. It also encourages them to find effective ways to challenge these issues. I am so excited to represent UCSD and Spelman College at this all-expense paid conference.

The Model UN is an organization in which students role play and participate in simulation activities that replicate the actions taken by delegates of the United Nations. I have recently developed a passion for international relations and this organization is helping me learn how to effectively communicate and present myself in a public and professional setting.

There are a lot of things that I am enjoying about being here at The University of California San Diego. The weather is absolutely beautiful. The taxes are extremely high, but as they say in California, “You pay for the weather here.” The sun is always shining, but it always accompanied by a cool wind.

The city itself is filled with so many attractions and engaging activities. I visited a few museums, beaches, dealerships, The Qualcomm Stadium, and several popular restaurants here in San Diego. I plan to also visit nearby cities like Tijuana, Los Angeles and Phoenix. While in Arizona, I will also have an opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon National Park.

The students here have wide variety of resources available to them. There are markets on every end of the campus where a large percent of the items sold are healthy and nutritious. There are also dining halls everywhere on campus that boast healthy food options. The size of the campus forces you to exercise everyday in order to get to your classes --  this  helps keep students stay physically active. Another thing that I love about this campus is the independence of the students.

There are so many organizations and resources available to the students. It is just up to them to utilize what is provided. I like the fact that your level of success as a student here depends strictly on the effort you put into your academics. One of the greatest resources available to students is the Geisel Library. The architecture of the library itself is so beautiful. Once you enter the library, you immediately notice that it overlooks a large portion of the city of La Jolla and UCSD -- a perfect environment for studying. The library is also open until midnight on most nights, and there are librarians who are available 24 hours to help students find resources.

delva 3For the most part, I am enjoying my time here. I look forward to building relationships with students and faculty, embarking upon adventures both on and off campus, and traveling along this academic journey at UCSD. The Spelman College Domestic Exchange Program has given me the opportunity to experience another academic setting, explore the West Coast, and grow physically, emotionally and academically. This experience will be very beneficial to me as I embark upon my future professional endeavors. I look forward to my last five weeks here at The University of California San Diego.