Class of 2014:

You’re here. You’re actually here. And you must have a thousand thoughts a minute whizzing through your head: What am I doing here? What classes do I take? How do I get to Buchanan Hall? What should I major in? How do I cross the bike paths without being t-boned by the freaky-looking kid with a pink Mohawk who rides that bicycle with two frames welded to each other? What the hell is a Gaucho?

Perhaps I should back up a little. First off, welcome. It’s no small feat that you’ve managed to get yourself into this school, especially considering the UC’s ever-tightening admissions standards (The average GPA of accepted freshmen this year was 4.10 for Christ’s sake). And, congratulations! You will find that you have just placed yourself into one of the most unique learning environments you’ll ever encounter.

Seriously, Santa Barbara has it all: We’ve got a climate akin to a year-round summer; glorious mountains for hiking, biking, skating and exploring; miles of coastline for wandering, revelry and world-class surf; prestigious academic programs, teachers and facilities; access to education abroad programs in locations around the world; not to mention the hordes of talented peers and teachers you will come in contact with on the day-to-day.

What’s more, you’ve all probably heard that these will be the best four years of your life. While I don’t know about that — I certainly hope not — I do know that you are being presented with a time to prove yourself and make something of yourself. Now, that’s not to say college is your only chance to do something worthwhile with your life— far from it. What college is, however, is a starting point for your adult life. Or perhaps a continuation point, if you’ve already realized the importance of the notion of accountability — that what you do here, at this moment, in these next four years, matters, and will continue to be significant to you for the remainder of your adult life.

So, the next time someone tells you that your life will take a turn for the worse four years from now, “horseshit,” you reply to them. Here at your trusty dusty independent student-run newspaper, we understand that your collegiate years are going to be filled with golden times, but that this is just the start to an illustrious future.

If you’re serious about your time at UCSB, take some time to read through this issue— we’ve crammed it chock full of hints and tips for your first year. As you flip through you’ll find guides to important locations on and around campus, previews of delicious local eats and plenty of informative sections about what to expect as a Gaucho. And don’t stop there! Check out our Web site at and follow us at or friend us at Our blog — the Daily Nexog —also provides fresh online exclusives, opinion pieces, tales from travelling Gauchos and news at

Let your college years take you where you would have them. Do what pleases you. Study what interests you. Befriend those who are kind to you. Do your work — you’ll regret it if you don’t, it’s as simple as that. And, most importantly, read the Daily Nexus. Or, if you want to see something different from the paper, try joining our staff!

Elliott Rosenfeld

Editor-in-Chief, Daily Nexus