Valerie Fu / Daily Nexus

Do you ever feel like a failure? A recent study of UC Santa Barbara students shows that you may, in fact, be the only one feeling this way. 

“It is quite extraordinary how well in control of their lives the students of UCSB are!” chief author of the study and University of Pennsylvania professor George Papadopoulos said, practically beaming with joy. “I had no idea so many people in one university could feel so satisfied with their lives!”

The study seems to indicate that practically everyone you vaguely know from class is capable of juggling excellent results in school, a decently paying job, fulfilling social lives and at least three gym shifts a week. An astounding, but not surprising, 75% had already lined up a high-end internship for the summer of 2024.

 “I think part of it is that everyone enters UCSB with a clear life plan in mind,” Papadopoulos told Nexustentialism. “Most people outside of UCSB do not decide upon a career before the age of 18, at which point they have already missed their chance to live a happy and successful life.”

One of our Nexustentialism reporters caught up to Richard Shaver, a third-year economics major at UCSB and a respondent to the UPenn study, fresh from a lunch date at Campus Point. Shaver only had time for a brief interview. 

“I guess I am not surprised,” Shaver said with regard to the study results. “With the qualifications that everyone at this school has, I can’t imagine that anyone would be worried for the future.” 

 “Mr. Shaver, how is it possible for a person like yourself to have it all? How can you be so clever, good-looking, funny, athletic and successful?“

“I get that question a lot, though not usually from UCSB students. I think it all comes down to waking up early in the morning, to just being yourself and to live, laugh and love.” 

The interview was cut short, as Shaver had to catch his plane to New York for a sustainable development conference.


Chris P. Pants gets 8 hours of good sleep every night.