Well … After four years of sweaty adolescent suffering you’ve made it. Congratufuckinglations, and welcome to UCSB. Welcome to a university so totally awesome that even today the occasional moron will call it “The Harvard of The West,” not realizing that, in fact, comparisons to Harvard only make Harvard look bad.

Because this is it. There’s your epically beautiful location, your deliciously gorgeous student body and, of course, a research program so awesome it drives rival academics to a level of alcoholism, that even in the academic world, is considered unseemly.

Yes, my beloved freshmen, life is tough in Santa Barbara. It’s a treacherous world of excellence, and despite my love of disaster, mayhem and madness, a strange paternal instinct seems to be rearing its ugly head.

It feels like a bottle of cheap scotch is rebelling in the depths of my digestive tract, and so it looks like I’ve got little choice but to vomit up a few of the tasty tidbits of sage advice, wholehearted wisdom and debaucherous nonsense that I’ve gleaned in my half decade at UCSB, in the vague hope that someone might benefit or, at the very least, my editors will let me keep my job.




Now, those of you who foray out into Isla Vista for your kicks — which is, of course, highly optional as freshmen living in the dorms — should, in all seriousness, know a few things if you want to, say, have a good time, and not, say, end up in a body bag or in jail.


I.V. Commandments


1) NEVER SIT ON THE CURB. You will be hassled by the police. They might not be immediately visible, but believe me, they see you, and what they see is a drunk kid they can send to jail with minimal effort.


2) NEVER CARRY AN OPEN CONTAINER. Isla Vista may be a great place, but the cops are out in force. That means if you walk down the street with an open beer, you will get busted. If you walk down the street with a red cup, you will be busted. If you think you’re soooo clever and you walk down the street with booze hidden in a bottle that is typically non-alcoholic, you will be busted. If you walk down the street with a bottle in a backpack, open or otherwise, you will be searched and busted. Don’t fuck around with this one.

3) GIRLS, BE CAREFUL. The hammerhead shark and the I.V. bro have something in common — both love “fresh meat” and both are merciless. Have a good time, but realize these guys are not your high school boyfriends, so watch out for your girls, walk in pairs, packs or gaggles, and if you’re not planning on having sex, don’t go somewhere alone with a guy. Even in a place as nice as this, scum roam the streets, so don’t be naive.

4) DRINK LESS. You’re a freshman, which means you can’t hang. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can because it takes time, hard work and dedication to work your way up to veteran degenerate status.

This advice will, of course, fall on deaf ears, but pace yourself and be careful. Take it from me, jail and/or the hospital is not the greatest way to end a night.


5) Also, DON’T PICK FIGHTS. You might think you’re tough, but you’re actually just a jackass. Also, you run the risk of running into a certain drinking columnist who’d be happy to open a can of not only whoop, but also Natty Light, all over your ass. As I’m not a large human being, this can be extremely embarrassing.



It doesn’t take a genius, or even a wrecked and beer-drenched excuse of a human being such as myself to realize that most of you have never lived without dear ‘ol mom and dad before.

Now I was a freshman in the illustriously notorious FT — now renamed Santa Catalina — so hark when I speak, for I know what I’m talking about.

The natural reaction to such new-found freedom is to go absolutely goatfucking apeshit. It’s a debaucherous course I wholeheartedly recommend, but you don’t want to end up like Tim — who went literally, straight-jacket crazy in the first two weeks of school — or my three suite mates, who all dropped out before my Spring Quarter, happily leaving me with the largest living space I’ve ever had in my time here.

That being said, the rules are simple. Or maybe not. It’s clear in hindsight that throwing fruit from the window onto stog smokers 10 floors below was probably not a great idea. While it’s true that panties might drop faster than X-wings around a Death Star, don’t be like my freshman crush, who decided to take the plunge and get some action from yours truly by knocking on my door after a shroom trip, which was, to say the least, an extremely awkward hook-up.

Keep noise to a minimum. Quarters are no good. And beer pong is pretty much only an option if you can put the table in the bathroom between suites, if you have ‘em. The key here is easy: simple clean-up. Bottles as decoration will get you busted, but if you can hide the alcohol, you’re good.

As for partaking in strange tomatoes, I’m sure you can figure it out.

As for school, don’t flunk out. After freshman year, it only gets harder. I’d recommend setting aside a few hours a day for studying and sticking to it religiously. It’s really that simple.

So that’s that. My know-how abridged, for what its worth. If you want more advice, or are in lieu of advice and tender love, I’m always available via e-mail.

So good luck, my beloved freshmen, and cheers to a good year.

Daily Nexus drinking columnist Chris Benham will be carrying around a 30-rack to ensure Commandment #5 is not broken.