On Wednesday, Aug. 3, Carol Zhou hastened past Bruin Walk on her way to class like any usual day. But she halted as she heard someone say, “Want free Coldplay tickets?!” Just like that, right in the middle of Bruin Walk, Carol received four free Coldplay tickets to watch the concert that occurred that night. Around 7 p.m., Carol and a few friends headed to the UCLA Tennis Center to watch Coldplay perform. The concert was sponsored by Samsung and AT&T Summer Krush 2011 to benefit the Grammy Foundation whose mission is to create and improve music education for high schools. Coldplay performed many of their new songs and even one of their older songs, “Fix You.” Additionally, vocalist Chris Martin honored the late Amy Winehouse by singing a bit of her song “Rehab.”

The overall mood of the concert was very inspiring. To top it all off, those lucky Bruins who attended gathered glimpses of numerous celebrities who showed up to see Coldplay such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Bosworth, Heidi Klum, Channing Tatum and Lindsay Lohan.

Carol says the Coldplay concert is one of the many exciting and fun perks of attending a world-class university. UCLA offers so much to its students, but Carol says, “YOU have to reach for the opportunities and take advantage of everything out here!” So, Campus Circle sat down with her to ask for a few words on her experience as a Bruin and the transition from freshman to sophomore.

What is something you learned about yourself while living in the UCLA dorms?

I should really work on my organization skills. Being neat and on schedule is so useful for accomplishing my goals. I need to keep my room clean. But what is most amazing to me is that I know now that I can live on my own. I am capable of surviving without my parents and befriending others to create my own little family at UCLA.

What was one challenge you had to endure?

Taking my first midterm was the biggest challenge for me. It was such a scary few hours because I was not familiar with courses where only two tests determined my entire grade. I did not know how much I had to study, and I was very sad because I did not do as well as I hoped. But now, I am smarter and learned how to study. Sometimes I even over-study to make sure I am prepared. For my math classes, I stay up and study until I really cannot open my eyes any longer!

What activity do you enjoy the most at UCLA?

The dance practices I had for my sorority were so much fun because I love dancing, and I got the chance to bond with my pledge sisters. The countless nights of no sleep were worth it due to the bonding and dancing experience.

What is your advice for incoming freshmen?

Study hard because you should never underestimate the difficulty of your exams. Make sure you try your best during your first year. Try to get rid of the mentality that it is only your first year and you can always improve during your later years. Bad habits will continually develop, and it will only get harder for you to get back on track the following years. But there are so many wonderful things to help you along as you keep studying such as the quiet libraries, the gym to wake you up and even food deals all around Westwood that only Bruins get. For example, frozen yogurt is only 30-cents an ounce for those who present their Bruincard to the cashiers at Red Mango. Denny’s also has a discount for UCLA students.

What are three words you would use to describe yourself last summer and which words for this summer?

Last summer I was intimidated, lonely and foreign at the thought of attending UCLA. But now, I am content, loving-life and even studious. I love being a part of my sorority and taking interesting classes. I’m grateful I have a good work-study job at David Geffen School.

How do you feel as you are about to start fall quarter?

I have a good sense of what I am aiming for in the next few years, so I am going to try my best to follow the guidelines I have set up for myself!

Good luck, Carol!