University Times

portrait of a guy wearing his graduation sash

From the verge of flunking to graduating with honors and landing a journalism job

Joshua Letona, Contributing Writer May 12, 2021

It took me five-and-a-half years to finish college. Go ahead. Make fun. I can laugh about it now because I am on the other side. I have a degree that nobody can take away and found a career that...

Commute_TAP Cards Photo Credit Erick Cabrera

Next stop: Back to campus this fall

A personal essay about my grueling commute and learning from home
Erick Cabrera, Community News Reporter May 11, 2021

That annoying ringing. I often asked myself, “Why?” when I heard it. I would stare at the pitch dark ceiling for a few minutes then look to my left.  The time: 4:25 a.m. I’d turn off the alarm,...

a sunset on the beach

A battle with myself

My journey to overcoming an eating disorder
Genesis Gonzalez, Community News Reporter May 11, 2021

It started when I was 10 years old. “You need to start eating less,” my friend told me. That’s when it hit me: My classmates are almost all thin. Over the next few days and weeks, self-doubt...

Illustration of Godzilla fighting King Kong

Big reptile, big monkey: A meditation on “Godzilla vs Kong”

Ethan Axtell, Copy editor April 30, 2021

“Godzilla vs Kong.” I keep wanting to write “King Kong vs Godzilla” since that was the title of the original 1962 showdown between these two nasty heavyweights. A film that I actually owned on...

Stephanie Presz plays at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Alan Snodgrass.

Notes of sexism in the music industry

My journey as a female drummer
Stephanie Presz, Community News Reporter April 19, 2021

“Sweetheart, could you transfer me over to a guy? I’d like to speak to someone who knows what they’re talking about.” I had heard versions of that a number of times before working at the Guitar...

The last birthday party I shared with my sister. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Medina

My ‘forever best friend’: Love lives on after death

A personal essay about losing my sister
Stephanie Medina, Community News Reporter April 17, 2021

In some ways, Oct. 29, 2017, was a typical morning. I woke up early, showered and got ready for work. But something gnawed at me all morning and my anxiety only grew worse when my mom, Susan Raya, called...

A man in a blue suit and a woman in an orange dress pose for a photo

How I ended up living with my best friend for six months during the coronavirus pandemic

Mia Alva, Community News Reporter April 1, 2021

I will never forget the night my dad returned from work to our home in Highland Park. It was March 18, 2020. COVID-19 had done little damage on the United States at that point, so I didn’t expect...

A student at a computer with a child on her lap.

School, work, babysitting, COVID-19: How I learned my limits

A personal essay on conquering the toughest months of my life
Kenya Romero, Community News Reporter January 6, 2021

The past several months have been the most challenging of my entire life, by far. They have been the most rewarding for my work and school career, yet the worst for my mental well-being. The COVID-19...

Photo of Leeward Coastline, Oahu by Krysta Pae

In a small room, an ocean away from family

An out-of-state student’s personal essay about being isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic
Krysta Pae, Community News Reporter December 29, 2020

I grew up in a small town in Hawaii in a household of seven: myself, my three older brothers, my parents, and my grandmother. Grandma was always home, and when she wasn’t, one of my parents was. And...

A mother at the beach with her child.

What do you do when your superhero is down?

Brandon Rodriguez, Community News Reporter December 22, 2020

What started as one of the greatest years of my life, 2016, nearly broke me as a person. I was in my junior year of high school at Luskin Academy in South Central Los Angeles.  I remember receiving...

College student wearing a pink jacket, posing on campus near a tree

Not quite the success story I imagined

A personal essay about the financial and emotional toll the pandemic has taken
Marlene Cordova, Community News Reporter December 22, 2020

My height, at 5-foot-9-inches, and my brown cat-like eyes can come across as striking. My daily balancing act — maintaining mostly A’s and B’s in my classes at Cal State LA while juggling a job...

Woman with black cap working.

Thankful for my job, worried about my family

A personal essay about being an essential worker
Natalie Alcala, Community News Reporter December 22, 2020

Societal burdens that have grown heavier through the pandemic have been carried on the backs of essential workers. I am one of those workers. Soon after COVID-19 began to make its way across the country,...

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