Steve Chang / UC Irvine

No place they’d rather be

Three first-year undergraduates reflect on why they became Anteaters

 

Camila Gelabert: Finding a ‘home away from home’
Camila Gelabert of Virginia values her family and friendships above all else, but her passion for adventure led her to pursue college out of state. After being accepted by every university she applied to, Gelabert chose UCI for its comfortable feel and the impression it left on her after a tour. Today the freshman calls UCI her “home away from home.”

 

Juan Arciniega: Seeking diversity and new experiences
Juan Arciniega didn’t plan to attend college. Instead, the East Los Angeles native set out to get a job after graduating from high school to help support his family. But after a longtime friend encouraged him to consider higher education, Arciniega applied to eight universities in California. He got into every single one, eventually deciding to attend UCI because of its diversity. The first-year student, who intends to major in environmental engineering, now lives in Sierra Hall – known as the “Community in a Diverse Society” dorm in Mesa Court – with the same friend who inspired him to apply.

 

Jordan Bentley: The perfect fit
Jordan Bentley, a freshman planning to major in business information management, had a feeling UCI would be the perfect fit, but the Los Angeles resident held off on making a decision to be sure he wasn’t just caught up in the excitement of being accepted. After attending iRISE, an overnight program in which newly admitted students explore the campus and experience UCI’s strong minority community, he immediately submitted his intent to register. Bentley, an entrepreneur with his own clothing company, says UCI was his first choice because of its respected business school, student diversity, and easily approachable faculty and staff. He’s also a second-generation Anteater – his aunt and uncle are alumni.

 

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