After four years (at least) of hard work, graduation finally arrives. The week leading up to graduation is known as senior week at UCLA, and it's a time for fourth-year students to celebrate their achievements and enjoy socializing with each other and with friends and family. Senior week consists of events where students reconnect, get recognized and let loose, with it all culminating in graduation on Friday.
Senior week events
The Medical Student Council puts on a range of social events throughout the week. One highlight is the Fourth-Year Banquet. Year 4 class officers choose a theme and host the event. Seniors and significant others are invited to dine, dance and socialize.
The banquet also includes an awards ceremony where seniors recognize two teachers and present them with Golden Apple Awards for excellence in teaching. They also choose one staff member to receive the Staff Recognition Award.
During this week, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society also hosts a banquet and induction ceremony for students.
To give seniors one more chance to relax and hang out before everyone moves on to residency, the Medical Student Council also hosts one big event. Last year, they were planning a beach day.
"We plan to rent out a beach house for a full day of beach activities and barbecue," said Abraar Karan, class of 2016 president of the Medical Student Council.
A final farewell
In the last year of medical school, classmates tend to scatter as they go on rotations, explore their residency locations, find new housing and engage in other activities. Abraar explained that one of the best things about senior week at UCLA is that it gives the class the chance to reconnect.
"I'm looking forward to spending time with my classmates," he says. "The last few months, we've all been all over the place, and it will be nice to have the whole class together and to spend time with family and friends."
After graduation last year, Abraar headed to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to complete a master's in health policy and management before applying to residency.
Senior week ends with graduation Friday which, as Abraar said, is a "spectacular" affair. With beautiful weather and no restrictions on the amount of family members who can attend, graduation is a fitting commemoration of all the hard work everyone has put in through the years.
By Patricia Chaney