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The best thing about UCSB is all the opportunities available and that are easily accessible. And just about all the professors are great! The academics are challenging and you are never bored! I think the size of UCSB is just right--not too big, not too small. UCSB is definitely located in a "college town," and I think everyone has a lot of school pride, but not so much because of academics or sports, but because of our "party-school" reputation.
The best thing about UCSB would definitely be accessibility. It's convenient location provides for easy access to local beaches, downtown Santa Barbara, or just a quick walk to a friend's house in IV. If you want to meet a lot of new people and dress up for fun-filled events, the greek community could be a great option. If you are a leader and wish to give back to UCSB, there are numerous positions available to represent our campus. In addition, the campus offers a great deal of resources for academic assistance or carreer opportunities if you just keep your eyes open. If you're into the music scene, you can check out live concerts at the hub, or visit the 68 block of dp for some live jamming at sunset on Sunday evenings. If you're into community service, Coal Oil Point Reserve is located just west Isla Vista and only a five minute bike ride from campus. At the reserve, there are many programs available such as plan restoration and snowy plover docenting to assist with the protection of a local endangered shorebird, the snowy plover. If you came to SB for some fun in the sun, you're in luck. DP beach is located all along del playa, but if the tide is high or there's too much tar on the shore, Sand's beach is another option. Sand's is also a popular surfing spot, as the wind is minimal and the waves are plenty. In addition, Goleta beach is located east of campus and is a great picnic spot. However, if you're not into getting your feet dirty and you've got summer money to spend, there are numerous buses for those of us who don't have cars that take you downtown from campus or IV. Downtown Santa Barbara is optimal for shopping and dining out, and of course for half-off drinks on Thursday nights for those of us who are 21. Last but not least, if you are an active person, there are many recreational activities available at the Rec Cen or in the greek community for participating in philanthropies. Any way you look at it, UCSB has a lot to offer.
Hands down the best thing about UCSB is the location. We're right next to the ocean, many students live on the cliffs overlooking the beach. Some dorms even have ocean views. There's also some mountains that are lovely to hike in and plenty of other beautiful sights to see. Campus is located right next to a little square mile town chock full of college students called Isla Vista. This is where it all goes down. House parties, greek houses, tons of burritos, Del Playa Drive, even the bums are known by all. Isla Vista is the ultimate college town. It's nice to be able to party all night and not have to worry about how you're getting home since everything is at most a mile away. Also, its close proximity to campus allows for the most popular mode of transportation: bikes. Everyone has a bike. Cruisers, fixies, mountain bikes, even a few random unicycles, people are biking everywhere and there are special bike paths on campus. Most people have been in a bike accident (I've been in plenty) and a lot of bikes get stolen, but that's all part of the UCSB experience.
You cannot think about UCSB without thinking about Isla Vista (IV). IV is UCSB's immensely populated and condensed college town that is literally across the street from campus. At first glance, it may seem run down, full of homeless people, and a bit crazy. That's because it is. But at the same time, for many UCSB students it's home and we're proud of it. The homeless become your friends, you get used to the "run downness" and paying way too much rent to share a tiny room, IV has some of the best food (including Freebirds and Silvergreens), and everyone you know lives there. Isla Vista intimidated me at first and I was positive going into college at UCSB that I would never life in IV. But its been two years since my habitation in IV and I can condidently say that you WILL feel left out if you never live in IV and trust me, it's worth it. Where is the place to be on campus? The UCEN (university center) and the Arbor. Both of these main spots are filled with students throughout the week. In a school of over 15,000, you're bound to see someone you know at one of these spots during the day. The walkway between Ellison and the library is also a beautiful place to nap, eat lunch, or just take a stroll on. Is there anything unusual about UCSB? While UCSB's campus is on the beach and BEAUTIFUL, there are a lot of awkard looking buildings and mismatched architecture. I guess you chould say that it gives the campus some variety, but I personally think we cannot make up our minds as to what we want the campus to look like. Some are modern, some are very old and out of style, and some are very new and aesthetically appealing (HSSB or Kohn Hall). The library could use a makeover as well. Overall, the trees, grass, and beach make up for any visual/physical flaws the campus may have.
I absolutely love UCSB. One of the things I really like about it is all of the people here--faculty, staff, and students are all very friendly and easy to approach. I like the size of our campus alot we have around 18000 undergrad and 21000 total (so 3000 grad. students) and it always surprises me how many people I recognize or know around campus. One thing I'd change is the grading system. You can get +'s and -'s on your grade (which can definitely work to your advantage sometime), but for example getting 3 A's and 1 A- is not a 4.0 and sometimes it can be disheartening. The food here on campus is great, even in our cafeterias or "dining halls." I do wish there was a little bit more flexibility with the meal plans such as being able to swipe twice during a meal period (especially when only 2 meals are served on weekends & holidays). One of my favorite reactions I got about going to UCSB was at Northstar. I was on a ski lift with my friend who goes to UCLA and a man and his son from Connecticut. He asked us where we went to school and she mentioned first she was in the nursing program and UCLA and then I told him I was a Communications Major at UCSB. He reacted to me instantly and said "you go to UCSB?! You are so lucky to go to such a great school in such a beautiful environment! I'm incredibly envious." One of the things that I actually really like about UCSB is that we haven't had a football team in years. The running joke is that we have been undefeated since 1992 (the last year we had a team). It's also really nice because I am huge soccer fan and that is the biggest sport on campus. Sometimes over a 3rd of our school will go to games and the best part is that all regular season sports games are free for UCSB students. It's amazing going to school on the beach. If i ever get stressed out just a quick walk down to the shore really calms me down and it reminds me how lucky I am to be going to such a beautiful and amazing school.
Beth FreshmanReviews provided by: Unigo