Photo By: Rosana Liang
I’ve never wanted time to stop more than I do now. I’m starting to count my “lasts,” soaking it all in before my college experience is over.
As a transfer student, I only had two short years here to live it up. At first, I thought two years would be enough; IV can get old, you are around the same people and the same drama, almost 17 years of class starts to wear on you and the prospect of a new life can be enticing. This last quarter, however, made me realize two years is not enough.
So to start, I’ll pass on some of my wisdom to my readers and successors:
1. Be open-minded and take full advantage of everything there is to offer. Take fencing lessons, attend a ballroom dancing class, go for a ride along with IV foot patrol. Run for student government, go whale watching, try radio broadcasting. Check out some of the beautiful hiking trails, attend a concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl and visit the Marine Biology center to hold starfish and sea cucumbers. Some of these activities can turn into your best college memories.
To me, a great experience someplace isn’t based off how many days a week I got to go out and party, but by how much I felt like I contributed, learned, and the great people I met doing something I was interested in and passionate about.
2. Do not take going to school here for granted. Not only do you have the privilege to attend one of the best universities in the nation where acceptance rates are incredibly high, you live in a tourist destination with the beach in your backyard. Your gratitude to the school and your parents can be shown by giving back and working hard. Your success is the best gift you can give yourself and others.
3. Don’t resist change and growth. Although it has only been two years, looking back at me as a bright eyed transfer student seems like ages ago. Not only was I younger, I was naïve and not fully able to think for myself. My experiences here have given me insight and broadened my mind on some huge issues like gay marriage, politics and religion. Some people say kids lose themselves in college. And while that may be true for some individuals, many people actually find themselves in college. So give yourself that chance by stepping outside your comfort zone.
4. Surround yourself with good people. You may want to be friends with everyone, but the simple fact is you can’t, so don’t change yourself or your interests to appease others. On the flip side, you can’t change others or keep them from making mistakes, even with their best interests in mind. Therefore, spend your time with people that make you happy and that you can relate to; better, longer lasting friendships will develop that way.
5. Lastly, realize that college is a good place to start forming habits that will follow you for the rest of your life. Even if you live or interact with people you won’t see after graduation, still treat them with respect. Give your all in everything you do because you are shaping day to day and work habits. Listen to your conscience because it is usually right. And although partying and getting drunk can be fun, it shouldn’t become your gauge of how to have fun. I’d rather be liked for my intelligence and interests than my ability to drink or how “fun” I am. People forget about that after a while, but respect goes much further.
I am going to miss my friends and the incredible individuals that have shaped who I have become. I’m going to miss being able to walk next door and hang out with all my friends and narrowly avoiding bike accidents. I’m going to miss all the stupid and fun things like crazy scavenger hunts, prank wars, going downtown in short dresses and freezing to death in an attempt to look cute, the themed parties that brought out our inner Project Runway selves and line dancing at Creekside.
I am going to miss trying to explain to an outsider what Halloween is like, watching terrible movies my roommates pick, making sushi and calzones from scratch with the boyfriend, not being able to sleep at 3 a.m. because my neighbors are blasting music, arguing with friends about how their school doesn’t even compare to here, developing my love of house and electro music, getting Freebirds in the middle of the night and Java Jones before my 8 a.m. classes.
What I am going to miss the most, however, is Isla Vista itself. It definitely is one of a kind and I will forever be in love with the culture of this place. From guys pushing kegs on their skateboards, witnessing a gorilla chase a banana down Pardall to the bathing suit dress code and hodgepodge of mismatched dollhouses with characters of their own – this place will forever fascinate me. I’ve never been anywhere else where the students are so friendly and damn proud of the place they call home, where the attitude is so laid back and harmonious, and where there is always something random to observe that even after years of living here, makes one laugh in surprise and say “Only in IV.”
From high school I knew I wanted to go here; no reason, just for some unexplainable premonition it was meant to be. Graduation is around the corner and before I take my cap off to throw it up in the air with my fellow graduates, I’ll be tipping it to you, Santa Barbara.