This article is one that I send out to all the freshmen who find it difficult to assimilate into our well-known SB culture of cheap booze and painfully incoherent nights. I came to UCSB as a reluctant eighteen-year-old, wary of the party reputation that this school is famous nationwide for, but as I now enter my final quarter as a freshman, I find myself reflecting on the many terrifying, fun, and sober Friday and Saturday nights which I have spent in Santa Barbara. The one that stands out most in my mind is the night which my friends call â€˜the night of the graffiti cavernâ€™.
As usual, Friday night rolls around in its lazy, anticlimactic fashion with my friends mulling over what we should do for the evening. Go to IV and get trashed? Attend some frat party? Wander around DP for an open party where the Natty Light and mysterious â€˜jungle juice,â€™ flows like a dizzy, liquid rainbow? No, this night would be different. This night, we will go to the ominous â€˜boneyardsâ€™ that my friend had raved so much about. Spur of the moment, we leave our dorm rooms armed with nothing but cameras, warm clothes, and phones. I was wearing heels, by the way; this is pertinent due to the many times I tripped and fell in the dark puddles that litter the path across the lagoon. On the way we heard an eerie, inhumane screech that we reciprocated with an equally terrifying scream but alas, it was only two raccoons having sex doggy style in the bushes.
We continue on this mission to find the â€œboneyardsâ€ and stumble, literally, across the beach that runs along DP. We forgot about high tide. By the end of the night we were wet, no, soaked to our chests. One of my friends, Caitlin, was so drenched that she proceeded to recreate the scene from The Little Mermaid, in which the waves dramatically crash against the rocks as Ariel finishes the song â€˜Part of Your World.â€™ My friend has red hair and we have photographs of this. After Caitlinâ€™s tribute to the Disney classic, we advanced on our trek to the boneyards.
Perhaps, if you have sunbathed on DPâ€™s beach, you noticed the various caves that line the cliffs. Pretty, right? Not at night. Not at one in the morning. They are the most frightening natural phenomenon that I have ever explored. The night was pitch black and our only light source was from the dim lights of our cellphones and the camera. As I took a photograph of the cave, for the split second the flash lasted, I saw the shadowy figure of a man with pointed feet. Yes, he had pointed feet. I screamed at the top of my lungs and dashed off with my confused friends trailing after me. They had not seen this dark figure and were only yelling because I was. Needless to say, I felt stupid, but more scared than anything. We then finally arrived at the foreboding boneyards.
You know those photographs of the decrepit building covered in graffiti that you can see in the Davidson Library? Well those were the boneyards. Sure they look cool in the pictures but you should go there at night. As I have mentioned before, we were sans flashlights. With every flash photo, we were visually bombarded with bright, creepy graffiti and when we looked down we saw the floor strewn with used syringes, empty spray cans, broken beer bottles, and moldy sleeping bags and sweatshirts. It was a disgusting and dank feeling in there, but then again, I am a fear junkie and I got my fix.
After we had spent a few nauseating minutes inside this, what Caitlin (Little Mermaid) and I called, graffiti cave, we turned back and finished our odyssey. We found ourselves in front of the freshmen dorms, our seawater drenched clothes matted against our bodies and we were still pulsating with the adrenaline from our sober adventure.
There are many things to do at this school. We have the trails that zigzag through the Santa Ynez Mountains and the pier that leads to the beautiful Pacific that smiles up at us everyday. So next time you limit yourself to what you feel you can do on the weekends or if you are tired of the usual, please take a walk on the clichÃ©d â€˜road less trodden,â€™ and take it literally. You will find a new dimension to this university.