When I first arrived at UCSB I was intimidated by the size of campus but then I was calmed by the amazing view. Like most first year students, I was nervous and kept thinking I was going to get lost the first day. Now that a year has past, I am familiar with most places on campus there are still a couple place I need to find. However, it didn’t take me an entire year to familiarize myself with the campus. UCSB is big but it is not difficult to learn where things are located. After doing FSSP for six weeks I got the hang of things and I knew where most places on campus where. For those of you who attended orientation, you were introduced to many popular places on campus. However, as the school year begins you will become more aware of how big campus is and how many other places there is to discover. Your first year you will find that you’ll have many classes in: Campbell Hall, the IV Theater, the Human Social Sciences Building (HSSB), Phelps, and the Chemistry Building. Your first year there will be many buildings you will spend a lot of time at including: the UCen, the Arbor, the Davidson Library, the Financial Aid Office, the Student Resource Building (SRB), and your residence hall. However, there are also many places on campus that you will spend time at just to hang out and relax including: Campus Point, the lagoon, the Labyrinth, the San Migolos Lawn, the Chi-Five lawns, and StrokePlaza/Stroke Tower. It is crucially important that you know where things are located because these are resources that are meant to help you succeed.
The best ways to get to know campus is:
· Walking around campus before your first day of class
· Getting a map of campus and studying it
· Asking where things are located before class begins
· Asking Resident Assistants (RAs) & Desk Assistants (DAs) for help
· ATTEND THE SCAVEGER HUNT DURING WEEK OF WELCOME!!!
Once, the school year begins, you'll get the hang of it! But if you need help locating something on campus, ask!
Isla Vista, more commonly known as IV,
is a small college town outside of UCSB. You will quickly learn that IV has its own culture and is a huge part of the UCSB community. Isla Vista is home to many UCSB students, awesome restaurants, coffee shops, and of course our beautiful beach. When you walk down the streets
of IV, you’ll find yourself surrounded by bike traffic as students rush to class or as they return from class, the sound of laughter and conversation, the smell of amazing food, and the feeling of infinite youth. Even if you don’t live in
IV, you might find yourself spending a lot of time there. Some of the most popular restaurants in Isla Vista include: Free Birds, Hana Kitchen, the IV Deli Market, Woodstock’s Pizza, & Blenders. But almost any restaurant you go to in IV is pretty popular and appetizing.
Living on campus your first year is a great experience! I loved it so much my first year that I’m living on campus again my second year. It's a great way to help you transition into UCSB. Living on campus is extremely and I mean extremely convenient. You get a sense of freedom without all the extra stress and hassle. You don’t have to worry about paying rent every month, paying a late fee when you miss rent deadlines, making sure that all your roommates & housemates have their rent money, paying for maintenance repairs when something in your apartment breaks, buying furniture, moving furniture into and out of your apartment, constantly buying food, cooking for yourself, & so many other things!
All these things are taken care of for you, which is really nice because having your living arrangments taken care of ahead of time is a big weight off your shoulders. I personally loved living on campus for three reasons: the convenience, the food, & the view. My first year I lived in San Nicolas which was about a five to ten minute bike ride to most places on campus! I biked everywhere and I was really close to my classes, my friends, the beach, the lagoon, and the Ucen! This summer when I didn’t have a meal plan, I realized how easy I had it living on campus. Since I don’t have a meal plan this summer I cook for myself and tbh my microwavable food doesn’t satisfy the same as the dining commons food. But I really love living on campus because of the view! Depending on where you live in IV the view doesn’t get any better than the view from the residence halls! The view from my room overlooked the lagoon & the beach! Although living on campus helped build my college experience, everyone is different & everyone has a different experience. If you get the chance to live in on campus your first year I highly recommend it!
Whether you and your roommate(s) are bffs or whether you and your
roommate(s) do not have the best relationship and only interact when needed, roommates have a huge impact on your college experience, especially your first year. My first year I lived in a triple and although my two roommates and I had more differences than similarities, we survived 10 months of living together. My first year roommate experience was interesting because I got the “bff” roommate
experience with one roommate but did not have the best relationship with the other and we interacted minimally. Living with another person, in some cases two other people, can get difficult and it will be a challenge but the best way to avoid conflict is communication and
honesty.At the beginning of the year you and your roommate(s) will fill
out a roommate agreement form. The is meant to help compromise on: a mutual time to go to sleep, a mutual time to have the lights off, sharing arrangements, and other important details that you should answer honestly. Answering
honestly can prevent conflict. It is very important to remember that you do not have to be best friends with your roommate(s) but since you will see them every day it is important to communicate with them. Your room is an essential part of your college experience and it’s important for you to feel safe and comfortable. Here are
some tips to help you room with your roommate:
· If you feel strongly about a situation (like having lights off by 11pm) and they feel differently, compromise. It is your room but it is just as much their room so find a common ground and respect it!
· If you do not tell them how you really feel about a situation (like having company in the room at certain times they’ll assume it’s ok and you’ll become frustrated when it continuously happens.
· You may change your mind about certain agreements (like sharing items with your roommate(s)) & that’s okay! But remember to tell your roommates or they’ll never know.
· If you came to an agreement and your roommate(s) continuously break the agreement remind them that what you all agreed on! And if they continue talk to your RA.
· You may find yourself having conflict with your roommate but remember you’re in college now so going around telling everyone but your roommate how you feel is immature. If you’re upset with your roommate(s) talk to them don’t go around telling other people.
· There’s two sides to every story! So if you are arguing with your roommate(s) it is important for you to communicate how you feel but it is also important for you to listen to how they feel!
· Communicate before conflict arises!
Remember that having a roommate is a fun experience! Make the most of it! You never know your roommate your first year may be your best friend your fourth year!
Your first year in the residence halls will be a memorable, fun experience. Many people will help make it amazing including your hall mates, floor mates, roommates, lead staff, and especially your RA. Each floor has one resident assistant (RA) who will be the authority figure in your floor and hall. The RAs are responsible for your well being (mental & physical), your safety, and a good residential experience. Resident Assistants are ultimately a resource to help you succeed! I was really lucky my first year, all of the RAs were really amazing, diverse, and fun. I had a different relationship with each of them but I considered them all my friends. My RA, Lupe <3, was a huge part of the reason that I enjoyed and loved my first year. She became a friend and was someone I could confide in. I still maintain a strong relationship with my RA even though she graduated this past year. My RA became a mentor to me and someone I look up to as a role model. When you live in the residence halls you will become more aware of how involved the RAs will be in your lives. So make the most of your time with them because they can be really awesome!
Here are 5 Reasons to LOVE Your RA:
1. Your RA is a UCSB student JUST LIKE YOU which means that your RA has already experienced the things you are feeling as you transition into UCSB! They can help you get through it because it already happened to them!
2. Your RA will have your back! Your RA will always have your best interest in mind and their job is to help you in any way they can!
3. Your RA is more than just an RA; they’re also a person! Most residents tend to forget this but if you take time to get to know the RAs you might actually have a lot in common with them!
4. Your RA is a resource. Your RA is there to help you succeed academically, socially, and personally! Utilize them!!!
5. Your RA can become your FRIEND. I grew a personal relationship with my RA and I’m glad I did because she has become one of my closest friends while at UCSB. Although, she always made sure that I knew she was my RA first, she was also there for me when I needed a friend and I like to think I was there for her too.
Your first year is going to be full of excitement and fun! Your RA is just another reason to love and enjoy living in the residence halls! UCSB will become your home and the people here will become your family. The best advice I took from my RA that I want to pass down to you is take care of yourself, take care of each other, and take care of this place.