Parents: Remain calm. Your sons and daughters are likely far more competent than you give them credit for; after all, they were accepted to UCSB in its most competitive application cycle yet. I’m not going to sugarcoat it — Isla Vista can be as hellish as it is heavenly. As a result, though, its residents inevitably develop keen new veins of common sense to deal with (exceptionally fun) apocalyptic realities like Halloween and Deltopia. Even if you have little faith that your child will acquire these skills, take heart. The tiny town has its own extremely capable foot patrol (and Lt. Ray Vuillemainroy used his I.V. experience to teach riot control in Cairo last year) as well as Campus Security Officers who gladly escort students around campus and I.V. at any hour. UCSB is also widely known for its CASE program, which uses a realistic, non-punishment-based approach to substance safety lessons. In conjunction with our renowned Alcohol and Drug program, CASE is far more effective than typical scare tactics and is actually an enjoyable learning experience for its participants. Resources like these address the usual inevitability of experimentation head-on and provide a secure, well-insulated environment for your child’s potential freedom frenzy. These safeguards certainly don’t ensure that students won’t dip their toes in the waters of collegiate sin, but they serve as excellent life vests.
To the young, eager minds of the class of 2016,
Congratulations; you’re in for an incredible ride. Prepare yourself for new extremes, steel your guard against (malicious) temptation and abandon all doubts and pre-college jitters — they’re useless here. Trust yourself and attempt to wrap your head around how wonderful it is that you are unique. This is not the time in your life to conform for the sake of comfort, but the opportunity to celebrate and refine yourself in the thought-provoking context of the trillion new perspectives that will soon saturate your world. Keep your mind at least five times more open than you think it should be and never judge what you don’t personally know. I.V. is a strangely friendly place and I’ve found that, even as a flaming introvert, the rush of giving sincere compliments to friends and strangers alike is addictive, cathartic and exceptionally good for the soul. As I would recommend you do in any passionately magical place, keep your wits about you and stay aware of your surroundings; new freedom is volatile. Most of all, cherish the bare necessities and share the happiness you find with others. At your very worst hour, you still live in paradise.
Katherine Friedman, Editor in Chief
• Appreciate your Chancellor. When Henry T. Yang isn’t busy Chancelling, he teaches undergraduate courses in mechanical engineering, specializing in aeronautics and astronautics. Your school is run by a rocket scientist — one who joins Isla Vistans for a stroll down Del Playa on Halloween, surveying the madness with a kind smile.
• Try really hard to not be a pain in the seat in the bike lane. If you’re biking with a friend, for the love of God, do so in a single-file line.
• Don’t try to use your fake ID, no matter how much it cost. Spirit merchants in this square mile don’t just glance at your picture; they have a sixth sense in their dominant hands that detects the tiniest variation in an ID’s weight.
• Skate thoughtfully — please don’t slalom toward me, just choose a side — and stay out of wheel-exclusive lanes when on foot.
• If you have consumed any alcohol or done anything remotely sketchy in the recent past, DO NOT, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, sit on the curb. Law enforcement has spidey senses for that.
• Respect your elders & read the Nexus religiously.