- Class: Freshman
- Major: Communications
- Gender: F
- High School: Mountain View High School
- Transfer Student: N
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.
You would think that with some classes with 200-500 students in them professors wouldn't give much time to remembering students names, but that's definitely not the case at UCSB. One of my professors in the Comm. Departments takes pictures of groups of students holding name placards up so he can review them before class and remember more names! It makes the experience a lot more personal and shows how much our professors care about the students. Students study very often. On weekends or even sunny weekday afternoon you can find students all over campus and on the beach enjoying the beautiful surroundings and weather while getting work done. Students here are not overly-competitive at all. Of course there is always the drive to succeed in class, but I never feel that UCSB students want to succeed at the expense of other students who are trying hard too. It's really easy to find people to study with and work with together on class material--everyone is pretty much willing to help each other out. Despite some stereotypes that UCSB students only party and don't work, UCSB has high academic requirements and is a great educational institution. The classes are definitely challenging, but I feel that they are challenging in a way that really inspires learning in the students. I am really looking forward to taking sailing next quarter. It's actually a class here on campus! The Communication Department at UCSB is PHENOMENAL!! The professors are so interested in their research and the field in general that it really comes across in class and inspires the students to learn more. The undergraduate assisting staff is also amazing. I went in one day to ask a question to the peer advisors and I had messed up on the times and two women came out of their offices to see if there was anything they, personally, could do to help me and answer my question. It made me feel like they really cared about me and my education. One day I was reading in my textbook about "communication accommodation theory" and the theorists name sounded really familiar. Turns out he--Howard Giles--is a faculty member here at UCSB and he actually teaches and was a guest lecturer for one of my classes. It's so cool to think that out of the 30 theorists mentioned in my Communication Textbook, one of them is actually here at UCSB and you can go and talk to him personally. It's like our own little celebrity. All of our professors here at UCSB are required to have at least 2 office hours a week and I highly encourage you to go visit with them. It allows you to build a relationship with the faculty. The Honors Program here is the best thing ever! Honors program students get to register before EVERYONE else in the student body so it means you never have a problem getting the classes you want. We are also required to do "honors contracts" with professors in the upper-division level which allows you to build relationships individually with professors. Occasionally professors will even ask students to assist on their research.
We definitely have a very active campus at UCSB. However, it really is what you make out of it. If you don't want to be involved, there is no pressure to, but on the other hand if you do want to be involved there are hundreds of clubs here on campus that our students actively particpate in. I love how the majority of our campus bikes around and there are no car-streets across campus (they have to go around). It makes it really easy (and fast) to get around and I feel a lot safer.
The Best Things
The people here, the beach, the classes, the atmosphere
The Worst Things
when people say "oh you go to a party school," because its not all like that