Hi, my name’s Igor, and I’m the Daily Nexus advice and humor columnist. This will not be a humorous column.
Welcome to UCSB! We are all thrilled to have you join our community. As you begin your Santa Barbara career, I wanted to give you some advice to point you in the right direction. As a former resident assistant, I have seen firsthand the issues that affect first-years, and as a former freshman, I have seen firsthand the issues that piss off RAs. I want to help you avoid all of them. It is critical, though, that you do everything I say without doubting me. I’m a senior, so I think I know what I’m talking about, OK? Cool. Let’s start.
1. The bike paths are meant for skateboarders and pedestrians, too. They’re just called bike paths colloquially. Officially, they’re known as shared transportation spaces (STSs), so please treat them as such. If a biker yells at you to get out of the way as you’re walking in the middle of the bike path, remind him that it’s an STS, and continue along your way. Bikers are crazy!
2. “Participation” means raising your hand. Once you start your classes, take a look at your syllabi; you may notice that “participation” will count for anywhere between 5 and 20 percent of your grade. Though they may not say it, professors are expecting you to ask two to three solid questions during each lecture. As any UC student will tell you, college is about an active and personal relationship between students and their professors, not sitting in a massive room and getting talked at for 50 minutes. Oh, and remember to say your full name loudly and clearly before you begin your question, or else you won’t get credit.
3. Sixth floor = Sex floor. Unless you want to run into people having sex all the time, stay away from the sixth floor of the library. Known as “the sex floor,” this is where people go when they get horny after a few hours of studying. If for some reason you find you have to go there, make sure to stay away from the corners – that’s where people masturbate.
4. To avoid any possible harassment in I.V., make sure to travel in large groups. You may have heard that upperclassmen pranksters will do silly things like throw water balloons filled with urine at passing freshmen. Can you believe they think that’s funny? How rude. To avoid this, go to I.V. with a group of at least 10 of your friends, or better yet, your entire floor. This will intimidate the upperclassmen. If they are still not intimidated, jump up and down, wave your arms and make loud noises. They will retreat.
5. “Open Parties” vs. “Closed Parties.” Walking along beautiful Del Playa Drive on a Friday or Saturday night, you may find it hard to know if a party is open or closed. Let me help. You can tell a party is “closed” if the lights are out. Don’t go in there, it will only lead to trouble. On the other hand, if the lights are on and you can see people drinking, dancing or even just watching TV, feel free to come inside and help yourself to any alcohol you see. Take as much as you want; that’s why they bought it. This is how you’ll make those lifelong college friends that everyone is always talking about.
These are the five most important things to know as you start your years at UCSB, but there are many more bits of knowledge and know-how you will find on your own. If, however, during the year you have a roommate issue, a love life issue, a menstruation issue or any kind of issue at all, write to me at email@example.com. My column appears in the Nexus every Monday.