Hey there,

I’m going to skip the intro so that my name, year, major, or whatever other basic introductory material doesn’t become one of the 10,000 combinations you hear and quickly forget this week. I’ll just settle with imparting a little bit of life wisdom.

In my opinion, and my opinion does matter, there is one thing, and ONLY one thing, that you absolutely need to do with the limited time you have here at UCSB: have an open mind.

In a very short amount of time, you are going to meet a lot of people. You are going to make new friends, have new relationships and romances, you are going to do a lot of stuff you never thought you would ever do.

Your entire life up to this point, you’ve been working towards this moment: the moment when you leave everything you’ve ever known behind.

Away from your parents, away from anyone you never liked back home, away from that high school sweetheart that you just couldn’t work with long distance.

This school is basically everything you’ve ever dreamed of … so long as you take advantage of it while you can.

Be the person you’ve always wanted to be, but couldn’t be, back home.

If you were quiet and shy, then be loud and make jokes; put yourself out there. You go to UCSB, you are smart enough to make a funny joke and you know it.

This is your time to experiment. There is no scientific formula for what you should or shouldn’t do at any time during your college experience; there is simply whatever you as a unique individual perceive as what makes you happy or unhappy.

As Aristotle said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

Expose yourself to the world, to the good and the bad. Let it teach you.

At some point, you’ll realize that you actually enjoy learning. There are endless possibilities and roads you can go down in life, so put yourself in the best position to make it as good a life as you can.

So go to the soccer games, I’m sure you’ve heard about them. Go out with your friends even if you don’t have anywhere to go. Read the newspaper! And I’m not just saying that because my livelihood may or may not depend on it, but because we are literally one of the top college newspapers in the country.

Do whatever the hell you want with your time here, just remember that every day is an opportunity. You can never stop learning and you can never stop improving who you are.

And lastly, at least check out what our sports teams have to offer. We have some really amazing teams here and we get great crowds in the stands whether it’s volleyball in the Thunderdome or soccer at Harder Stadium.

So rather than sitting around trying to find something to do, grab some friends and be a part of something that is truly a great thing to be a part of. We are lucky to be Gauchos.

Here’s to the first best year of the rest of your life.

Your sports editor,
Michael J

A version of this article appeared on page 7 of October 2, 2014’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.

Art by Emily Zhang of the Daily Nexus.