Class of 2020, welcome to paradise. Now that you stand at the gateway, after countless hours spent researching universities from East Coast to West Coast (ehem, Best Coast), allow me to give you a look inside what the future holds in store for you in this laid-back community where the beach is your backyard and shorts are appropriate attire 365 days of the year.
Gaucho pride can be traced back to countless origins, some of which you may have already gathered from the most recent publication by The Princeton Review: Ranked at No. 8 among public universities, employing six Nobel laureates and laying claim to the No. 1 spot among Green Schools, we have plenty to be proud of.
Or maybe Gaucho alumni boasted to you that the Isla Vista party scene is unrivaled, with “the best years of your life” defined by crowded cliffside daygers where liquor flows freely and hazy nights can be spent listening to live music from rooftops.
While this is all true — except the idea that these are undoubtedly the peak years of your existence when, in reality, they are only the beginning — there is so much more to UCSB only fully comprehended once you experience it for yourself.
For me, the takeaway when I walk across the stage in two years (fingers crossed) to pick up my diploma and shake Chancellor Yang’s hand with a smile on my face will be the lively collective of diverse individuals that define this community.
Yes, we’re happy because we can walk to class day after day with the sun shining down on us and sand still between our toes from a morning walk along the beach. But there’s more to that positive energy, tangible as you trek through campus or wander the streets of I.V.
This community, while it has experienced unimaginable tragedy, continues to grow stronger each year in the conviction that we are all individuals equally worthy of respect and that we share a responsibility to steward the place we call home.
So, when you’re up late at night wondering how on earth you are going to swing a passing grade in Chem 1A or if you will ever manage to pay off your towering student debt, talk to someone. Anyone. Shouldering the weight of your worries with the mindset that no one cares that you’re struggling or that your concerns aren’t worth bothering a classmate, coach, roommate, TA, RA, etc. with because they have their own problems, is a mindset that will cripple your ability to thrive these next four years. So speak out.
One last thing I would like to let the class of 2020 in on: If you happened to pick up a copy of the Daily Nexus when you toured last spring or maybe over summer while at orientation, you’ll probably notice that the issue you’re holding in your hand now is a larger size. This change from a tabloid to broadsheet layout is a switch the Daily Nexus editorial board spent countless hours discussing and implementing over the last six months as a permanent reconstruction of our weekly print issue.
While some may question the appropriateness of making our print size larger when so many publications are reducing how frequently they print or even eliminating it altogether, we believe it’s a worthwhile venture.
Two years ago, the editiorial staff made the wise decision to reduce the print edition to once weekly and shift attention to online content, bringing the Nexus fully into the digital realm of journalism. Now, with higher online readership than ever before and a strong social media presence that’s continuing to grow, the role of our print edition is in need of revamping. While the tabloid size offered only limited space to present content, in our new broadsheet issues you will find more a spacious layout that increases readability and creativity by allowing for more visually appealing and well-rounded designs.
So whether you desire to join our team or are merely looking for a way to stay up-to-date with the goings-on of the UCSB and I.V. community, the staffers striving in the barrack below Storke Tower that is the Daily Nexus office hope that you will make our publication a part of your Gaucho experience. Make sure to check out our website at dailynexus.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
A version of this story appeared on p. 1 of the Thursday, August 25, 2016 print edition of the Daily Nexus.