Marissa Wenzke is the editor in chief of the Daily Nexus.

Marissa Wenzke is the editor in chief of the Daily Nexus.

Welcome fellow Gauchos. Congratulations on reaching UCSB — a top-ranking school with never-ending good times.

UCSB: cutting-edge research, a thriving arts community and progressive social efforts, coupled with coastline scenery, Mediterranean climate, beautiful students and a whole lot of adventure.

In this issue, you’ll find an extensive guide for navigating your way around this little paradise, with its incredible academic opportunities waiting around every corner (think Nobel Laureates and world-renowned science), as well as its offering of incredibly enjoyable, if not ever so occasionally sketchy, beachside activities. Work and play can so easily mesh into one nasty mess. And yes, we like to get rowdy. After all, we’re the only school in the US with its own beach.

Late nights spent partying/ booty popping on Del Playa balconies and countless hours spent studying at Davidson can create a blur that is only cleared by some sense of direction. But while we’re a giant public university with huge lecture halls and thousands of students, we have direction. We’re directed in our ability to act as a uniquely united student body, one that produces revolutionary research and holds serious organizing abilities unlike any other school.

We’re also physically close — there’s 17,000 people living in the tiny (less than one square mile) tract that is Isla Vista. And when you’re living in close quarters like these, there’s bound to be sparks flying and maybe a little trouble brewing.

But the times you spend on this campus, the people you meet, the passions you continue and create, and all of the work you do, have the power to impact your life in amazing and nearly unimaginable ways. Don’t be afraid to reach beyond your comfort zone. Find your niche on campus or in the community, whether through student groups or other networks. Do your absolute best in every class and every activity because this is your only chance to do so. Realize that these next few years come once in a lifetime. And above all else, enjoy it.

On the cold, concrete walls of the Nexus office, in all its Storke Tower-trolling glory, you can see a mural of chalked quotes from the Nexus alumni of decades past. The smeared and scattered lines can look like a mirage of now-abandoned stories of forgotten glories, but they’re not. They’re the marks of generations who will always value the Nexus, and this timeless camaraderie is something I hope you find on this campus. But for now, just enjoy those first weeks of fall, put your best foot forward and don’t sweat the little things.

Here at the Nexus, we will continue our tradition of serving the best — and only entirely student-run and independent — editorial content, featuring daily coverage of campus and community news, as well as a breakdown of sports, local arts and entertainment, science and technology news, and everything in between.

During these next four years, you’re basically molding your entire future. So why squander this gift? Value it. Don’t just settle for a mediocre experience, or create shitty habits that will damage you in the long-run.

Shout out to all the booty poppers worldwide.

Marissa Wenzke is the editor in chief of the Daily Nexus.