Three IE friends learn of acceptance to UCLA together: Video

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- It's hard enough just trying to get accepted at a top-tier university like UCLA. But when you're trying to gain acceptance along with your two best friends, it's even more difficult.

"UCLA is an amazing school," said student Hector De Leon, 17. "After you really think about it, and the majors, and the amazing area, it really grows on you."

De Leon and Lorie Reyes are seniors at Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley. Their good friend Robert Jimenez goes to Citrus Hills High School in Perris.

"It's a long process, but it's very doable," said Jimenez, who submitted his application to UCLA just before the Nov. 30 deadline.

Like everyone else who applied for college, they had to wait to find out whether they'd be accepted. That date would be March 22; the results would be posted online at 5 p.m.
They all agreed the wait that day was excruciating.

"I tried not to focus too much on it, because we still had school and things to do," said Reyes. "But it's in the back of your mind."

They decided to go to Mountain Mike's Pizza in Moreno Valley, pull out their laptops, and get the news together when the results were posted online.

Even then, they didn't find out right away, because of the large demand of people going online to get the results.

"The clock hit 5, and you know that the servers are probably going to crash," said De Leon. "You just keep refreshing it; your heart races a little bit, and when you see it loading and it's going to open, it's like dang, this is really going to happen."

De Leon found out first. But when the page first appeared on the screen, for a few seconds he thought he didn't make it.

"It normally has confetti and a huge celebration, but I didn't see any of that and my heart dropped," said De Leon. "Then I saw the word CONGRATULATIONS, and I was in disbelief."

Reyes was second.

"I didn't see CONGRATULATIONS at first, so I didn't think I got it," said Reyes. "But then Robert started shaking me because he saw it."

Jimenez was the last to find out. Even though he graduated first in his class at Citrus Hills, he said he was still extremely nervous.

"After I saw both of them get accepted my heart dropped," said Jimenez. "I didn't want to open mine."

But when he did, he was accepted too. They shot video of the themselves obtaining the news online, and posted it on social media. The clip showing the three friends viewing their acceptances has been favorited more than 1,500 times.

Now it's just figuring out how to pay for tuition.

"Especially nowadays, it's really hard to pay for college," said De Leon. "That's a reality we have to think about."

But what's next for the trio? De Leon is interested in environmental sciences, but they're all interested in immigration law.

"If you want to be an immigration lawyer, it makes sense to do that in a place where there's a strong place for the immigrant community," said Reyes. "There are a lot of resources at UCLA, and there's a rich history there."

If all three pursue careers in immigration law, there's sure to be continued competition.

But Reyes promised they would keep their competition a healthy one.

"We all motivate each other through our successes."
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