Let’s play a game.
No, no, not that creepy one with the hacksaw, Christ. I meant the sweet, innocent kind that you haven’t played in years — the kind with boards and playing pieces and paper money!
No? Shit. O.K., I’m getting ahead of myself — let’s start over.

Hey freshmen. Welcome to the Daily Nexus. We’re your handy-dandy daily source of campus news, sports, opinion and sudoku. This mess of ink and pulp slowly staining your hands is our board game-themed Disorientation Issue. In it, we’ve taken time from our busy summer schedules (floating on a raft in the Pacific and drinking Coors Light) to write a handful of interesting, informative and erotic articles to ease your transition into freshmendom.
But before we begin, a bit of nauseating self-promotion disguised as an explanation: We’re a wholly student affair here at the Nexus. We’re not constrained by the good sense of adult advisors or the traditionalism that comes with a journalism program. We do our damnedest, day in and day out, to enlighten, entertain and occasionally enrage you, our beloved readers. All of us here look forward to making your Psych 1 class a little more bearable this Fall.

Also, a quick aside: Generally, we send home an “Orientation Issue,” — note the lack of the prefix “dis-” — but last year our sex columnist was a tad vulgar; people complained, and, well…long story short, not everyone is O.K. with the thought of their children — most of whom are technically adults in the eyes of society and the Isla Vista Foot Patrol — having consensual sex. And that’s fine. We totally understand the earth shattering awkwardness. So to appease the frothing masses, we’ve changed this issue’s name to assure everyone that we, the Daily Nexus, are an independent entity from the University of California, Santa Barbara and that this issue, the Disorientation issue, is not necessarily condoned by the school.
That said, this year everything is different! New staff, new design, new affix! New everything! Except for our sex column. That’s still there. And will be every Wednesday during the school year. (Sorry, but if it weren’t for the sex and the swears, how would you know for sure that we’re a college paper?)

But I digress; back to the orienting. Today’s paper is our humble attempt to tell you everything your dedicated Orientation staffers may have forgotten — or perhaps intentionally neglected — to mention. We’re big on nostalgia here at the Nexus (and, clearly, we love themes), so the articles within are laced with references to the classic board games of our youth.
Inside, you’ll find stories highlighting things like UCSB’s most intriguing courses, it’s unruly history and an adorable, drool-inducing Isla Vista restaurant guide. For your own sake, I’d recommend reading our county news editor’s piece on his ride-along with the Isla Vista Foot Patrol. (Or don’t, whatever. When you’re shivering in the drunk tank or staring down the barrel of a $700 citation, don’t say we didn’t tell you so.) And as you peruse this first-rate tabloid — may I suggest leaving it near the toilet? The Nexus makes fine bathroom material — we hope you’ll take note, and do as we say, not as the vast majority of us did.

What? That was only 500 words? Damn. Two hundred more? Well, in that case, I will leave you all with a few globs of wisdom that I’ve accumulated — sometimes painfully — in my three sublimely chaotic years here. Also, I will stop using contractions in order to kill more space.
• Venture out into the college ghetto that is Isla Vista. And not just at night. It’s a beautiful place — well, it’s a place of beautiful contrasts — and we’ll all miss it to death when we inevitably move to L.A. after college.
• Surf. There is no peace like the kind you find 100 yards offshore and there is no better way to spend a morning. Also, on that note…
• Don’t take morning classes. I’m serious. You may think you can take an 8:00 a.m. class just because you’ve been doing it for the past 13 years, but trust me, you can’t. UCSB nights can be rough — even if they involve nothing more than staying up until 3:30 a.m. kicking the living snot out of your dorm mates in Super Smash.
• Do take weird classes, and lots of them. How will you learn that you fucking hate linguistics if you don’t try it? Shop around for majors, there’s a lot more out there past communications and business economics.
• Don’t eat Freebirds more than, say, two times a week. That shit’s as bad for you as the liquor.
• Go abroad. Don’t worry about what you may miss back home in I.V.; DP parties are nothing compared to the glory of Rome or the smell of the Thames.

And finally, don’t wear sunscreen — because what does anyone else’s opinion really matter? Half the fun of UCSB is figuring out what the hell is going on, and those are the memories even alcohol can’t erase.
Oh, and come write for us.

David Ferry
Editor in Chief
Daily Nexus