<p>I have lived here without a car so far. It sucks if you want to go job hunting or if you really really like to go out each weekend. You can certainly do without a car, but it's nice to have. </p>
<p>If I want to go back home each weekend, I take the redline bus back home. It drops me off close to home and I have my parents pick me up. On some rare occasions, my parents will pick me up and drop me off if they are feeling okay.</p>
<p>Coming from a total commuter area, I thought the same, but it's really okay. You can take the bus (loads of people do it here) to nearby shopping areas, places to hang out, or even home if you live near. If not, you can take it to the train and get home that way. There's a Ralphs within walking distance. You'll definitely meet people with cars, whom you can probably bum rides with when you need to. I haven't been on the vanpool, but I think that's what most people do, unless you wanna take the bus.</p>
<p>you really DON'T need a car here.
sure, it's nice to have, and yah public transportation isn't exactly... wonderful... but it does exist and gets you from A to B.
my roomie goes home on some weekends (she lives a couple hours away). since we're freshman, parking = basically impossible... so she parks her car on gayley where there's no meters. you have to move your car every week to avoid streetcleaning tickets, and, if you ever want to USE your car during the day... good luck finding another spot!!!
so, she has a car, but only uses it every other weekend to go home. for everything else she mooches rides from ppl with parking spots xD</p>
<p>let's say you wanna go to the beach.
step 1: walk to ackerman bus terminal
step 2: swipe your bruincard on the big blue bus and pay a quarter
step 3: get off the bus in santa monica...</p>
<p>buses will get you anywhere. ask your RA to tell you how much different ones cost, how transfers work, and what's the best way to get places.
or travel with experienced friends and you'll learn your way around.</p>
<p>now, let's say you want to go to san diego, santa barbara, or even san luis obispo to visit your friends there. normally you would drive. however, these are within easy reach of amtrak.</p>
<p>step 1: take bus to union station (or get friend to drive you)
step 2: take amtrak to your destination for $30 (cal poly) or less</p>
<p>option 2: hitch a ride with someone who's going there every weekend to visit their significant other ;)</p>
<p>so as you can hopefully see, going places (santa monica, hollywood, downtown LA) is within reach of the bus. and unless people are requesting every stop, the bus is not gonna be much slower than a car in all the everyday traffic anyway!
and for longer distances, amtrak is a perfectly viable option. sure, it takes longer than driving. but it beats walking xD</p>
<p>I've lived within half a mile of UCLA my entire life, and I don't know how I survived without my car most of my life. Yeah, Westwood is pretty contained and there's stuff to do here, but if you know there's a whole big city out there, you might as well get out. Parking permits are tough, so most people just find friends in the UCLA residential area (Parking District #11) to score them passes to park in the neighborhood.</p>
<p>that's true... public transportation definitely has its downsides.
but having a car here can be one effing hassle, and really, you can survive without it.
and if going a year without a car is killing someone, then incoming frosh can find ways their second year to get a car here xD</p>
<p>there's lots of stuff to do and there's nothing to do. it can be either way, depending on who you are and what you like to do.</p>
<p>its not strange if your parents pick you up. every friday i walk outside the dorm and the parking lot is packed with parents picking up their kids.</p>
<p>its a pain to get a car here but once you have it its not that bad, besides being expensive. i really wanted a car, i couldnt get one, next year i may get one thru an EC, but its really hard. you can always lie about having a job an hour away, though that's dangerous and could get you in big trouble.</p>
why are you so eager to go home? I bet there is lots of fun stuff to do on weekends..
<p>well family is REALLY important to me. and i feel that i should go home often especially since i actually owe them something. you know, i should let them know often that i really appreciate them and i really want to spend as much time with my parents and sister as possible. i know i wont have time to call on week days and from here it just gets harder. </p>
<p>soon, ill be married, etc, have my own family and rarely see them. might as well make the most of my time with them when its not even a big deal to go home. i prize my family above everything else in this world. they are the reason i am where i am. </p>
<p>haha sorry if it sounds so sentimental. i just never got into that teen rebelliousness and love my family to death. they are working their butts off to help get me through college and the least i can do is commute home on weekends to spend time with them. </p>
<p>yeah i dont want any bashing and people saying that i should grow up, i wont always have support in the future, etc. i just love my parents and siblings sooo much.</p>
<p>i understand that completely, but i think it would be unwise to go home EVERY weekend, especially first year. while it's awesome that you want to show appreciation for your family, i think you also really owe it to yourself to be on your own a little bit. weekends, especially first year, are when you bond with new friends, go out, explore, etc. by skipping weekends at UCLA, you miss out on a really big part of the experience.</p>
<p>i am very close to my family and was homesick for a while, but it gets better. the only way to deal with it and grow is to face it straight up. and while its very sweet that you feel you owe it to your family to go home, i promise that they want you to have a fulfilling experience here and part of that is social. </p>
<p>so yeah. it's not really that you should grow up, because i completely understand where you're coming from and closeness with your family isn't anything you need to grow out of. but i do think you would be robbing yourself of a lot to go home every weekend. as it stands now, i go home around every 3 weeks or as needed for appointments, birthdays, etc. it works really well and allows me to establish my life here while still staying connected to my family. i think once you get here you'll find out what works for you and how regularly you want to go home, but i think you need to give yourself some weekends at school in order to figure that out. </p>
<p>on the other hand, if seeing your family for every weekend is a priority, then do it. many kids, especially asians, go by that. its perfectly okay, and maybe in some ways advantageous. because really, nothing beats a strong family support system, even great friends. friends go, family stays with you.</p>
<p>as for my experience, i was fortunate enough to stay here and go home within a weekend. but for most, you make a choice. and either choice is really fine in the end.</p>
<p>oh no, im totally about going home on weekends. i go home more than any of my friends. i just don't think that you lose any closeness by going home every 2 weeks instead of every week. i think, if anything, it makes you appreciate home all that much more. </p>
many kids, especially asians, go by that.
<p>lol im asian. hahah but yeah i dont really think it will affect my social life at all actually. about 15 of my really close friends are going to UCLA too (the other 15 or so are going to CAL lol) . so all of us are planning to go home every weekend or two. im not much of a big partier anywho :) much rather be home playing WOW in my room. hahaha !!</p>
<p>gogogo, you probably will find that the longer you are away at college, the less you feel the need to go home. As a parent, I have driven up and waited outside the dormitories quite a few times myself, sometimes the trips took several hours, as we live 100 miles away and the freeways were often gridlocked. Not complaining, though, because most parents genuinely do like having their kids come home to visit.</p>
<p>if your family wants you home, which i know they do, then they'll put up with the drive. that may work out best for you, because while it's more time on their part, it's less money/hassle on your end, esp if you're only gonna use a car to visit home and not for much else.</p>
<p>i live in norcal, i'm an only kid, and i'm extremely attached to my parents. if i lived closer, i think i'd go home every other weekend. i really envy those who have that option, but i make do with lots of phone calls/emails/IMs home. my parents are my parents/siblings/friends/mentors rolled into one.
and... home = home cooked meals and my own room xD
but yah. i understand closeness with family. you WILL find ways to get home every weekend, if you want, and having a car here isn't the be-all end-all. your family will find the best solution for all of you :)</p>