There’s something about the light. It seems to stream through the trees like melted butter, gliding through the air and infusing it with a soft, yellow glow. Now, it could just be the romantic in me glorifying my new home.  But, to me, there’s a certain je ne sais qoui in living by the ocean, surrounded by palm trees, brilliant people, and that incandescent glow that adds an element of magic to what is my Hogwarts.

So, yes, it is indeed the East Coaster in me being a dork over her cross-country move. I say it’s much better to be dorkily excited than cool and collected when it comes to starting the next chapter of my life—it’s validation that I’ve made the right decision.

Let me show you that little something extra I’ve been telling you about—it’s truly beautiful. Then again, it doesn’t necessarily hurt when you make friends with a kick-ass photographer, either. Owen’s talented; if you need any further proof, just keep scrolling.


We started out at Royce Hall; it’s an iconic spot on UCLA’s campus, and its architecture is truly beautiful. It makes me want to sit in one of the arches all day, textbook in hand, playing the role of Hermione Granger at my dream school.

Next, we headed to the top of Janss Steps, another hallmark on campus—this is what I meant about the light. It adds an element of life that is all its own.

Now, let me tell you, I am sincerely proud that I am sitting here telling you the story of how I scaled a ladder up the side of a building wearing heels. Just for that, you can call me UCLA’s very own Bond Girl. But look at that sunset—the risk was entirely worth it.

And there’s a quick peep into the magic of my world. As for if I’m pulling off the whole Hermione Granger thing, I’ll let you know after midterms….

Huge shoutout to Owen, guys; I was really lucky to be able to work with him. Check out his Instagram at o.wen—you’ll be glad you did.

Until next time,
Aliana G. (G for Granger)

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