U Can Study Buzzed?

UCSB shot glass
Courtesy of Eugene Ho

Lindsay Meola
Staff Writer
Photographer: Eugene Ho

In case you were unaware, UC Santa Barbara’s got swag. Not only are we ranked #39 academically in the nation, but we are also Playboy’s #10 ranked party school and we take the number 8 spot for the Princeton Review’s pick.
Did I just hear a beer cracking open in celebration?

The question is though, what statistic are we celebrating?

Sure, we have all seen the “Sorry for partying” tank tops, and as far as I’m concerned, I don’t see any “Sorry for studying” ones coming out any time soon. But that does not exactly mean that Davidson Library is a ghost town.

However, the party and beach atmosphere tend to take center stage when UCSB is brought up in conversation. While this is simple to dismiss in a social aspect, oftentimes it finds its way into the career world.

Sarah Eadie, a second-year double major in global studies and sociology said “When I tell employers that I go to UCSB, the first thing they say is ‘Oh, the party school!’ The fact that UCSB is first of all, a hard school to get in to, and second of all, an academically challenging school, is often forgotten or put second.”

Eadie brings up a valid point. In a job interview I had last summer, I spent the entire time being grilled with questions such as, “Did you live ocean side Del Playa?” Rather than, “What’s your GPA?” When in fact, I’m actually proud to say that our school is academically prestigious. We should be more inclined to talk about our academics than our keg stand expertise.

Actually, I ended up not receiving the job, and I accredit it to the fact that no interview was ever even properly initiated.

As smart as we may be, the peace and party reputation often take precedent. This is not to say that we are the only school who parties, however. Essentially every school is a party school – we just happen to do it better.

Fourth-year English major Krista Joy accredits this to our environment, “Events like floatopia and deltopia are inevitable considering we are the only college campus with our own beach!”

We are relatively spoiled living here in Santa Barbara. Doing homework poolside at the Rec Cen makes me feel like I’m on a vacation. Inevitably, the difficulty of my work reminds me that I’m certainly not.

Yet UCSB’s academics are no joke. The highly acclaimed research school that we attend upholds standards that are not always easy to meet. A pass/fail class requires a “C” to get the job done. We have five Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. And the quarter system pushes us to learn an entire semester’s worth of schooling in ten short weeks.

To an outsider’s point of view, however, it does appear that UCSB students are on a permanent vacation. Lawns all over campus are littered with bathing suit clad individuals, some of which are playing Frisbee or football. It is quite easy to overlook the books in our hands, granted, if we even have any.

This glorified peek into UCSB students’ lives is a great pull for interested students. Hearing that UCSB is a party
school and then witnessing the beach and the happy, tan people running around is more than enough to draw in a massive crowd of applicants.

Joy explains our reputation, “For the most part though, I think SB’s reputation is stable enough that many people can see that people who graduate from here are able to balance their work and social life.”

Eadie follows up with a piece of advice, “I think that academic wise, the school is what you make of it. If you work hard, you do well.”

This is absolutely true. And lucky for us, we are able to reward our hard work with some good old-fashioned fun.
At the end of the day, UCSB is a smart school that knows how to have a good time. No matter if rankings focus on academics or partying, we still pull in top rated results. Whatever way you spin it, UCSB comes out on top. Yes, we are that damn good.