The fall rush has begun.
I’m not talking about the Greeks – the real fall rush at UCSB isn’t a parade through different frats and sororities for one week; it’s a drunken parade down the streets and into the houses of Isla Vista that lasts through every school year. But fall is the worst.
With fall comes the herds of freshmen you can spot a mile away, stumbling into house parties because they saw the barrel, and it’s free beer for everyone.
Out-of-towners flood the streets too, either too drunk to stand or too eager to fight.
And the cops. Always the cops.
Maybe it’s my fault for living on the 6600 block of D.P. my junior year. For the most part, I do love Isla Vista, though; I love living here and partying here and walking out my front door to the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
But I also really, really like sleep.
A few weeks ago, I was awakened by the sound of a female neighbor screaming at some guys to get out of her apartment at 3 a.m.
At our first party, a number of my friends got hit on the head by mysteriously falling beer bottles. (It apparently had nothing to do with the party raging on the upstairs balcony.) In fact, every weekend, the middle of the complex looks like the end result of a bar riot.
Two days later, I got in bed just in time to hear the I.V. Foot Patrol interviewing another neighbor. His roommate had broken down his door after a wrestling match, and was threatening to press battery charges against him.
This week, a neighbor’s ex attacked him with a shard of glass.
Maybe I just moved into the wrong complex.
But it’s I.V., and the people I’m talking about weren’t all drunks – most were just crazy. Crazy people can really be found anywhere.
No, the most annoying quality of run-of-the-mill drunks is definitely their noise.
It’s the barely clad girl on a brisk night screaming for someone to come and light her cigarette.
It’s the really bad Top-40 music that for some reason stops around midnight, and then comes back full force around 2 a.m.
It’s the random who gets angry because you don’t want to give him and 30 of his closest friends your booze.
It’s the guy talking on a cell phone about how hammered he is because, hey, someone else’s walkway is the perfect setting for that conversation.
And yes, it’s the guys jeering from balconies.
I’d like to say that these guys will get no game, but – at least in the first month – they probably will. There are plenty of girls who just want a night of fun. But that won’t happen from a balcony 30 feet away – more likely from some smooth line at a party like, “Hey, what’s your major?” or “Nice back-less shirt.”
The parties aren’t out of control – the people at them are just retarded.
And loud about it.
It really comes back to the 10-percent rule – if you’re surrounded by people, at any given moment, at least 10 percent of them will be morons. Again, they’re loud, and give the rest of us a bad name.
It’s not all our fault – they pack us like sardines into shitty apartments that inspire no reason to keep them up. The streets are cleaned with leaf blowers, not brooms.
But most people have more respect for their homes than to strew their front lawns with bottles on purpose.
My 8-year-old cousin said I.V. looked more like a cup town than a college town.
But again, I did choose to move to the 6600 block of D.P.
So why do I live here?
There’s a little break in front of my house, and Sands Beach is a 10-minute bike ride away. I can walk to all of my friend’s houses, and am guaranteed to see at least two other people I know on the way there. I can wake up 10 minutes before class and get there on time.
I’m surrounded by my peers – and most of them are good people beyond the noise.
I’ve seen I.V. when tragedy struck, and there’s no place I’d rather be.
See, it’s a community. There’s not too many of them left. And it’s small, so you can hear your neighbor’s problems, and they become yours too. That’s not always a bad thing, because it means that in addition to the assholes, there are also a lot of people looking out for you.
I probably won’t live on D.P. again. But I’ll remember it fondly, in that “crazy college” kind of way. And let me apologize ahead of time if I’m a bitch when I tell you to turn the music down. I’ve already been here a few years.
Marisa Lagos is the Daily Nexus county editor and is going to turn a hose on the next guy who talks on a cell phone right outside her bedroom window.