You just barely managed to get out of high school alive, and now you’re being thrown into the riveting world of college. Need some tips on how to make your first year not suck? Don’t worry, we gaucho back.
1. There is no shame in carrying around a map.
Or your schedule for that matter. You knew your high school like the back of your hand, but now you’re starting fresh. There are a lot of similar looking buildings on campus. Have a copy of your schedule and the map on your phone (if you haven’t already made it your lock screen). For even more help, using the UCSB interactive map will let you narrow it down to the very classroom you’re looking for. Maybe you’ll make a new friend by showing them the way.
Bonus tip: Plan your route to class based on how many PokéStops you can hit along the way.
2. Eat around, not out.
This year you’ll have to learn how to manage your finances without your parents constantly looking over your shoulder. One of the most common ways college students waste their money is by going out to eat when they’re sick of the dining commons. Fortunately, UCSB has four different dining commons that you can alternate between. You can even plan ahead by checking their menus on the MyUCSB app.
Bonus tip: Keep your eyes peeled for all the start-of-the-year meetings offering free pizza and other snacks for some free food and new friends.
3. Learn the bike paths (and how to bike).
Most bike accidents happen in the first few weeks of school while new students are still learning the ropes. Take advantage of the empty paths during the Week of Welcome to cruise around campus and get to know the roads you’ll be using the next four years. Also, if you’re not biking, the bike paths are not a glorified sidewalk, so get off of them now before you get hit by a beach cruiser.
Bonus tip: Google what a roundabout is if you haven’t figured them out yet.
4. There are multiple uses for deodorant.
You’re moving from a campus barely big enough for your English teacher’s ego to a metropolis of classrooms, dorms and resource centers. With this bigger terrain comes a lot of walking, sometimes in less than perfect conditions. By now you already know that deodorant can keep your armpits smelling like daisies, but did you know it can also keep your thighs from chafing? Just glide some on where your legs meet when you walk to avoid some serious scarring. If you have a thigh gap, then this tip doesn’t apply to you (enjoy your ability to wear Brandy Melville and have fun rushing this fall!).
5. Don’t let the party school reputation fool you.
Yes, Isla Vista is a hotspot for all sorts of illicit recreational activities but there are other ways to have fun too. UCSB offers clubs, athletic centers, free movie nights and you can’t forget about our legendary soccer matches. Don’t burn yourself out by partying too hard your first quarter, and don’t let the fun override the high you’ll get from having good grades. We are one of the top academic institutions in the United States, after all.
Bonus tip: Don’t sit on the curb — it’s solid advice in any situation but especially when in I.V.
Ultimately, your first year is what you make of it. Hopefully, these tips will help you go from terrified first-year to Gaucho Gladiator. Good luck!
Emily Anne Williams is excited to continue her education this year as a sophomore linguistics major.