Four years at UCSB flew by.

My two years as Sports Editor at the Daily Nexus went by just as quickly. As I prepare to graduate college in a mere two-and-a-half weeks, I often reflect on my time as a Gaucho and think about what I would have done differently.

Overall, I feel I did college the right way. I became involved early on, grew passionate about my friends and potential career and developed meaningful relationships with co-workers and friends that I will cherish forever.

I would advise all readers to embrace college, have fun and, above all else, work toward your endeavors with a passion. Whether it is community service, athletics, academics or anything else, always strive toward a goal and take steps to accomplish them.

Four years in college may seem like an eternity to some, but if you do it right, you will look back thinking about all the good times and how it just did not seem long enough.

More than anything, the tragic events of this week remind me just how precious life is. Any one of us, or our friends, could have been a victim on Friday night.

Surround yourself with people you care about, and likewise care about you. Meet people who challenge and inspire you to improve upon yourself. Life is too short for anything less.

This year has been a rough one for many at UCSB. Numerous stories and media coverages have engulfed our campus throughout the year, especially in the last week.

However, despite all this, the resiliency and determination that comes with being a Gaucho has shined.

The community’s responses and discussions regarding events this year makes me supremely proud to be a Gaucho.

We care about our community and each other and I will miss the friendly faces on the streets of I.V. I have grown to love.

Much of my love for UCSB comes from my time and experiences at the Nexus and with Gaucho athletics.

I was lucky enough to cover the men’s basketball team for two seasons and met some extremely talented, humble and kind people in the process. Big Al, you are a beast and I hope to watch you in the NBA for years to come. Punish the Big West next year and bring the Gauchos back to the NCAA Tournament.

For all you Gauchos out there, please support our teams for the remainder of your college career. We have up-and-coming baseball, soccer, basketball and volleyball teams that I have had the privilege of covering during my tenure with the Nexus. Grab a few friends and head out to a game sometime; I promise you won’t regret it.

I personally want to thank everyone at the Nexus for all the hard work and collaboration over the past four years. I also want to especially thank my co-editor Kristen for working with me these past two years. There’s no way I would have made it through all those late nights without the help and collaboration. We definitely made a great team and brought our own unique talents and preferences to the paper.

Thank you to my brothers and sisters in Alpha Kappa Psi. You made college for me. You challenged me to improve and changed me for the better, and without all my experiences with you all, I would not be ready to enter the real world in a short few weeks.

Lastly, thank you to all my fellow Gauchos for making these past four years the best of my life. Whether it was celebrating a Gaucho victory over Cal Poly or partying on Deltopia in the respectful way we know how, we had fun and we did it with class. It may not appear that way to outsiders, but we know what we stand for.

Gauchostrong baby,

Paul-Michael Ochoa


A version of this article appeared on page 13 of May 28th’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.

Photo by Peter Vandenbelt of the Daily Nexus.