Hmm. There’s a lot of space left. I’d better change that subhead to read “A Few Words…” Well, I’ll get around to that after I finish this, edit some of the news stories, see how the map at the bottom of the page is coming and get a cup of coffee. It’s a busy night down here in the Nexus cave under Storke Tower.
Onwards: This is traditionally where the Daily Nexus editor in chief offers sage advice to the incoming freshmen. Go to class, he or she says, talk to your TAs, never take early classes, don’t ride your bike in the rain and, if the EIC is particularly wise, learn to surf.
There – you’ve heard it all. Not that you were going to listen anyway, right? Let’s be candid here. You’ve had it up to your scalp follicles in sage advice from your elders. Maybe they didn’t actually tell you the watchword for your future was “plastics” but they probably came pretty darn close. Not that you paid attention then, either. Like most people, you’re probably going to do whatever you damn well please. Nothing wrong with that, it’s a good plan. You’ll learn lots and lots of things (if not always in a pleasant way). Still, tradition is tradition and, what’s unbelievably more important, I’ve got space to fill.
This is a great school. It’s right next door to a funky little town, you can ride your bike everywhere, you can walk right into the chancellor’s office to talk to him, the teachers are generally friendly and our science departments are hotter than cold fusion. There’s one very good reason for this: UCSB is right next to an ocean you can watch the sun rise and set over.
This has everything to do with, for instance, the success of our science departments. Seriously. At least one of our Nobel prize-winning professors – there’re three – admits he came here for the beach.
So my advice is this: Do a lot of different things.
Start by taking classes in as many subjects as you can. It’s a big wide world out there and it’d be a shame if you came out of college and only knew a lot about one thing as opposed to knowing a fair amount about one thing and a little bit about a lot of things. Plus, taking classes outside your major makes it much easier to talk to people at parties and, by extension of this principle, increases your odds of getting into the pants of whatever gender it is that you’re interested in diddling. If you’re into diddling, that is. You may not be. I don’t want to rule anyone out.
(My apologies to science and engineering majors here, not because I’m implying that you don’t like to join the mating ritual as much as humanities majors do but because it’s very, very hard for you to take classes outside your major. Also, you have to learn math that gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies.)
Then go for a walk. Explore. Get lost. It’s not like your parents will worry where you are because they aren’t here. Good places for getting lost and found are the beach (okay, it’s hard to get lost there but it’s very pretty), the Ellwood Bluffs and the Santa Ynez mountains.
The campus is a pretty good place to get lost too. The touch tank in the Marine Sciences Institute is great free fun and has what is quite possibly the world’s fattest swell shark. You can’t touch the shark. This isn’t because the shark will rip your hand off – it’s not that kind of shark. You can’t touch the shark because people are bad for sharks.
Read the Daily Nexus. We cover everything from Nobel Prizes to crime to plans to build condos on the Ellwood Bluffs (that’s why you have to go see them now). We may not catch everything that’s going on but we’re a damn sight better at covering UCSB than any other paper.
If you really want to see a lot, come work for the Nexus. The beauty of working at a newspaper is that you get to see the world through fresh eyes every day and you have a reason to talk to people you might otherwise not talk to and to learn about things you might otherwise not pay any attention to. There’s no better place to do this at than the Daily Nexus.
For 81 years, under one name or another, we’ve been working without a net or a journalism adviser. We teach each other. There’s a fantastic amount of freedom here; you can hop around from one area of the paper to another pretty much at will and everywhere you go you’ll find tremendously talented people who are, thanks to a lack of sleep and sunlight, really interesting to talk to. We’re here for the adventure of the thing and unlike too many professional papers, we haven’t been gutted by what Carl Hiaasen calls “Wall Street whore hoppers.”
Have some fun (hopefully with us) because you won’t pass this way again.
And if it all seems too much sometimes, don’t worry: It’s just your 19th nervous breakdown.
Here it comes.
editor in chief