1. Hook Up in the Library
What better place to hook up with that special someone than the quiet stacks of the eighth floor of Davidson? Enjoy the spectacular views while gettin’ some. Also, very few people actually venture up there (Dead Week and Finals Week excluded) so it’s the perfect place to be as loud as you want. Plus, you get bragging rights.
2. Undie Run
Nearly-naked people, exercise and donating to charity? Hell yeah. Most colleges have a variation of the Undie Run, but are most colleges ranked within the top ten for “Most Beautiful People?” Didn’t think so. So take advantage of this and treat yo’self to the student body’s, well, bodies, in their penchant for exhibitionism. Six-pack not required. Strut yo’ stuff, girlfriend.
3. Skinny Dip in the Ocean
There is absolutely nothing more liberating than ripping off your clothes and jumping into the ocean. So take a study break, grab some buddies and get naked. Doesn’t count if you don’t come back completely soaked and shivering, with sand on your unmentionables. Go get ’em, cowboy.
4. Get to Know the Yangs
The Chancellor himself is known for making an appearance in I.V. here and there. Odds are, you’ve partied with Chancellor Yang without even knowing it. Just don’t pull a Chairman Varner and call him Wang. Keep your eyes peeled for him and possibly his wife, Dilling (who gives great hugs) for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get turnt with the practically famous. Pics or it didn’t happen.
5. Kayak or Stand-Up Paddle Board to Platform Holly
Solidify your relationship with the Pacific Ocean on a romantic sunset paddle out to the oil rig (just try not to eat shit while getting past the breakers). It’s an awesome feeling to paddle out past the surf and look back at the beauty that is UCSB and I.V. Look out for sharks and snap off a piece of kelp if you get the munchies. You can borrow equipment from the Excursion Club or Adventure Programs.
6. Hike to Inspiration Point
Strap on your boots and prepare yourself for the blood, sweat and tears on this grueling trek to Inspiration. A lifelong journey finding your inner chi it is, young grasshopper. Also, the view is pretty sweet.
7. Do a keg stand on DP
If you haven’t felt like you were drowning in alcohol at some point during your time in I.V., hit a keg stand ASAP. There’s nothing more luxurious than cheap, watery beer sliding down your throat at an incomprehensible speed as you ponder how the hell beer can defy gravity like fucking Idina Menzel. Keg stands are the great equalizer, where friendships are either forged or broken, and where you may just meet your future life partner.
8. When You Turn 21, Do the Loop and Take a Blowjob Shot
There’s nothing quite like finally turning 21, when you can stop hitting up the random juniors and seniors your friends know and actually go out and the get the drank yourself. Isla Vista has numerous watering holes that will cover you when the big day comes, and the best way to memorialize that is to fish for a shot with your mouth between your best friend’s (or a stranger’s) thighs. So close your eyes, hold your breath and enjoy it while it lasts. It’ll be over before you know it, we promise.
9. Have Sex on the Beach
No, we don’t mean the drink. ;)
10. Jump Off Goleta Pier
This is technically illegal so don’t be conspicuous and attract attention. But it’s perfectly safe as long as you can swim. Walk to the middle of the pier, jump off, enjoy the adrenaline rush from the 30-foot drop and climb back up the ladder. Boom. Badass Level, Achieved.
11. Go to the Top of Storke Tower
Whether you get there by skydiving all badass out of helicopter or twiddling your thumbs on your way up in the elevator, if you get to the top of Storke Tower, you shall surely taste sweet, sweet victory. Stand on top of the UCSB world, beat your chest and belt out the Gaucho chant with pride. Or just, you know, Instagram it.
12. Hold the Octopus at the REEF!
Dude, who doesn’t want to hold a fucking octopus?! ’Nuff said, just be careful; apparently it bites. Oh, and it has a beak. Weird.
13. Walk the Labyrinth
If you can find it that is. This elusive pebble passage occupies some mysterious spot near the lagoon. Created by students eons ago, it has perplexed many a drunk senior in their last days in our little slice of heaven. Rumor has it there’s a pot of gold at the end but it’s probably more like the feeling of satisfaction you’ll have when you make it to the center.
14. Finish Freebirds Nachos by Yourself
We’ve heard the ooey-gooey goodness is exponentially more satisfying when you finish every last dripping morsel. Or maybe it was exponentially more sickening? Well, there’s no better way to find out than to walk into Freebs with your head held high and just say “yes” to every topping. Horde that shit and go to town. You deserve it.
15. Learn to Surf
If you call Isla Vista your turf, you better know how to surf! Seriously, how many people can say the ocean is their backyard? Go on and grab your Sex Wax and longboard and go get shacked. Shred that gnar, bro.
16. Climb to the top of HSSB
Bouldering is out and building-ing is in, so dig out your sneakers from behind those flip-flops and take to the walls. Just don’t get yourself into a doodle that can’t be undone and have to get helped down by the fire department. Or do, and fulfill your childhood dream of climbing a fire truck ladder. Bonus points for wearing a full Spidey suit and making web-shooting sounds the entire time.
17. Smell the corpse flower
Every now and then, you’ve got to stop and smell the flowers … er, corpses? This hidden gem spends its life pushing people away, and is often in need of a little love. Hit up the greenhouse to give this lonely flower a hug, or at least a whiff. Just be careful … I smell dead people …
18. Get kicked out of a building for being barefoot and/or shirtless
Once you leave this beautiful place and go into the workforce to enter “real” adulthood, walking around shirtless in public will no longer be socially acceptable. Adults won’t tolerate that shit when you’re older, so if you’re going to get in harmless trouble, do it now.
19. Befriend your professor
And we don’t just mean for good grades. As one of the top-ranked universities in the country and in the world, our faculty are nothing short of treasure troves of knowledge. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to be surrounded by brilliance and get to know your professor and whatever badass research project they’re working on. Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself genuinely interested and getting involved.
20. Enjoy every moment
Not many people can say they’ve gone to a prestigious university with globally-acclaimed curriculum resting literally on the beach. Study hard, soak up the sun and enjoy the Mediterranean weather. Whether you stay nearby or venture far off after you graduate, you’re a Gaucho ‘til you die. Olé!
A version of this article appeared in the print edition on page 4 of the Daily Nexus on Thursday, June 5, 2014