University of California-Santa Barbara Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?


Be open to new ideas


I would say to remain as calm as possible. No one is as judgemental in college as they are in high school. For instance, if someone falls in high school, some people would laugh, but if you fell in college, people would actually show more compassion and sympathy for you. Also, everyone is more mature and social in college, so making friends would be extremely easy compared to high school. Honestly, if I were to see my high school classmates again, I feel like I would be friends with them all since I'm so social nowadays. Sure, there is some social anxiety, but everyone is so social that you don't have to initiate much anyways.


If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that grades are not everything. If there was one lesson that UCSB taught me, it was that a lot of the important and practical experience and knowledge does not come from the classroom, but from outside the safe confinements of campus. In addition, if you are interested in something and the school does not provide the resources for the learning you desire, it is up to you to go out there and find it yourself. There are two mottos that I live by and had wished that I had known these mottos sooner. The first one is: "Failure to accomplish any goal is not due to the lack of resources, but to the lack of resourcefulness. " The second motto is : "If you're not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space." The first motto has allowed me to always push for what I desire and to not give up from discouraging setbacks. The second motto always reminds me to push my limits, try new things, and take risks; otherwise, I would just be an average Joe and we have enough of those today already.


The biggest piece of advise I can give is to have an open mind. Do not go into college having numerous expectations, because they will not come true. You have to roll with the punches because you go through a lot within your first year. Don't shut down when you have a bad day, because it won't help you at all. Yes, there are times when you just need to take a good nap, but not all the time! Find people who you are comfortable around. You don't think you will need emotional support because you think you are ready for these new changes in your life? Wrong. I promise that you will have mental breakdowns at 2 in the morning and need a friend to get coffee with and vent to! College is a great experience, but only if you do it right. Don't go crazy because your parents can't tell you what to do anymore. I have seen too many beautiful people in the hospital because they do that! Be safe because there are crazy people in this world that do not care who you are. Love yourself and be you!!!


Your life is so easy right now. You see your friends every day (and let's not forget the fact that you actually have an established group of friends), and you don't have to worry about paying for classes or books. You may complain about the obscene drawings in ink around the borders of you economics textbook, but at least you didn't have to pay for it. When you go to college, take legible notes. I know your writing looks like chicken scratch right now because you want your teachers to think you're paying attention, but none of that will matter. When you sit in an auditorium filled with 600 other students, the professor will not care what you do. So have some integrity and actually pay attention. Don't scroll through tumblr on your laptop or listen to music during lectures. Even if the class bores you to death, you might be surprised and actually learn something if you start listening.


The first thing I would tell myself is not to allow anyone else to influence my choice of college. When I was a senior I had a boyfriend who lived in Santa Barbara, and because of this I chose UCSB rather than the out-of-state schools I had also been admitted to. If I could go back, I would choose differently. Not because I don't like my school, but simply because I came here for the wrong reasons. I would also tell myself to not be afraid of putting myself out there. The transition this year was hard for me because I've always been shy around new people and it takes some time for me to be comfortable with them. While this might have been okay in a class of 175 people, it takes a little more effort to make friends in college. You can't be afraid to start up conversations or ask someone to hang out on the weekend. I would tell my senior self that now is the time to be bold and confident, and that there's no reason to worry.


I would tell myself as a highschool senior to enjoy every minute of the experiences to come. I would not have changed one thing about my four years at UCSB. Everything I learned, all the people I have come to know and love, and the incredible opportunity for education was irreplaceable. I would tell myself to remember every minute of the laughter with friends, the challenging papers to write, the stress of all nighters that strengthened my mind and my relationships with roommates, and most of all the love I learned to have for myself and the people around me. I learned to appreciate hard work. I learned that being vulnerable was okay. I would tell myself to savor every coffee and Freebirds nacho order shared with my best friends. I would tell myself that I was going to be okay despite the period of unemployment that followed after graduation, and that I should never regret that time I invested in my education. I will tell myself that all of those experiences will lead me to finding my partner who has encouraged me to pursue my dreams of teaching and encouraged me to attend graduate school for education.


I wouldn’t advise myself to do anything different as a senior because the choices I made to focus primarily on academics and to ignore a popular social life shaped me to become the determined, hard working college student I am now. Academics in high school could be extremely stressful at times, and it pushed me to grow not only as a student, but as an individual. I would at least advise myself to recognize and respect the determination and resilience I had gained through my rigorous studies, and to use these traits in college not only to succeed academically, but socially as well. I would also remind myself to continually grow as a person and a student by remaining open-minded about the various opportunities that may come my way to learn something new, whether it be learning about another person’s culture or picking up and honing a new skill that will benefit me in the future.


It was completely correct to get involved with as many organizations and activities that you did when you were in High School. Although you would have gotten to "better schools" if your GPA was higher but the foundation that every student should focus on is participating in sports, joining clubs, and doing volunteer work. So honestly, I have nothing to say about the transition to college and say good job. However, I would give you better advice on women and to tell you that you should have just gone out with those girls who liked you instead of being a shy, "I'm too tough for love" type but alas this is about college, not dating. Now I'm almost 30 and still single partially because of you! Silly High School self. But you've done great for the college part.


If I could go back, six years and tell myself about college I would tell myself this. Never say no to anyone who is asking you to do something that will not cause you pain. Attend the club that someone invites you to, say yes to that study group, agree to go to your friends ballroom dancing recital. Everytime you get an opportunity to say "yes" take it. This ensures that you are exposed to every single person that you absolutely can be, and meet a whole variety of people. I do not regret all the things that I did in college becuase I did say yes to most people and most things. However, as time goes on people declare majors and start to hang out in a certain crowd because their career dictates the types of people you interact with everyday. While I can still interact with people with various backgrounds we still all share a similar history at my job. College is the only place in the world where you have direct access to someone who has absolutely nothing in common with you, and you can learn about them without fear.


After talking to many, most people seem to always wish that they could go back and tell their younger selves not to procrastinate, to take more AP classes, to study harder, or to join more clubs or sports. I would like to tell myself to not be afraid to try new things, to go out to more, to simply go spend some more time to slowly discover who I am. What I like and dislike. What I love and what I hate. For once you enter college, without the knowledge of who you are, you scramble to learn a whole life's worth of information which only gives you a limited amount of time to truly embrace your self, to truly accept who you are and move on from that point of life. So... high school minnie me, I hope you take time to identify yourself, for with that knowledge you can avoid that uncertainty that I am having now.


Dear High School Brenda, Make sure you read all your assigments, never push something for later because I promise it will add up more than you think. Go out and make new friends in different types of organizations, join clubs, get the most out of your campus and neveer think anything isn't for you until you give it a try. Try harder than you did in high school and develop better study habits. Everything may sound like nonsense, but every little bit of advice would have helped!


I would recite this famous quote from Dr. Seuss "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." When I was in high school, I did not tend to express who I was because of the fear of not fitting in. It was not until I entered college that I realized that it is more important to be yourself than to try and be someone who you are not. People who like you, people who matter, will not mind if you are weird or nerdy or if you make your voice heard for things you advocate. And those who do mind, do not matter. Our characteristics and our voice is what makes us unique.


Life seems bland and boring as a high school senior. As I was about to attend college, I would assume it would be more of the same. It absolutely is not. I wish I had known that college was going to be a time of education and academic exploration. I can take all the classes I was interested in, such as geology, astronomy, and math, and have the free time to explore other extracurriculars, such as swing dancing. I would tell myself to let go, and not be so shy, because that only creates missed oppurtunites. I wish I knew to make myself more accessible, not locking myself in my room and going out and enjoy spending time with people. My highschool self needed to learn to relax and let-go, and realize that I can make mistakes. This age is perfect for making mistakes, and as long as you learn from them and don't repeat them, they are not the end of the world. In fact, mistakes help you grow and mature, rather than make you a failure.


Truly know yourself and who you want to become. Don't waste time doing things that don't fulfill you, that you aren't proud of. Time management is the most important thing you need to learn how to do well in life. You think you're busy now, wait till you have a wife and kids. To manage time well you need to know yourself and the value you place on the things you choose to spend your time on. College throws a bunch of opportunities at you and tells you that you need to be a part of all of them. Learn how to say "No, thank you," and not feel guilty. None of these things are easy. They will take trial and error, and the answer might not ever be clear, but meditating on them will help you live the life you want to live. So study because you actually do love learning. Remember that each commitment you make means less time doing what you love the most. "Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive…because what the world needs is people who have come alive" -Gil Bailie.


Enjoy the right now, and don't obsess over the future. All throughout senior year and the summer before college I obsessed over thing that I couldn't control. So if I could go back I would tell myself to enjoy being one of the big dogs on campus and spend more time with my family. I know that my family is only a phone call way but there is nothing like a hug from mom when stressing about classes. Give mom and dad hugs for no reason so that when you really need one; pull the memory out!


College will not be the greatest years of your life but they will be the most important years of your life. College is where you will experience overwhelming heartache, pain and hopelessness. At the same time, it's these times of suffering that give you a chance to brush off the ashes and regain your footing. Many moments of struggle and victory are within yourself but the college of experience is not composed of just individual experiences. The community of the university will weave itself into the fiber of your own self. I was skeptical of this but the Isla Vista shooting that occured my sophomore year shattered that misconception. The people you meet in college will leave at the very least, a shred or at the most, a whole piece of themselves within you. I am half done with college (just two years!) and yet I feel like I have lived and aged a decade. Much of what college accomplishes is grades and a diploma but more than that, college will forever change the way you live, interact and build connections with people. Don't take college lightly, grab it by the reins and let it work for you.


Definitely look at the students on campus. Their posture, mood, garb, and overall physical appearance can tell you a lot about the college. Try to find a college that excels in many different departments, not just the one you are currently looking into because that will probably change. Try to visit when there will be students bustilng to and from class to see how they get around, maybe sit in on a lecture. Don't apply to a school solely for its reputation or physical appearance (and don't remove schools from your list because they hold a certain reputation). Don't apply to schools to make your family happy. You are old enough to make your own decisions. Do not under any cercumstances apply to more than ten schools. It is unneccesary, just make sure you have at least one safety. AND most importantly, try to imagine yourself at the school as a student, walking to and from class, studying on the quad under a tree, or eating lunch with friends. You want to know you will be comfortable if you chose to attend that school.


Don't worry so much. It's going to be okay. You're going to go to college somewhere, and that place will probably be the place you should have gone to anyway, so you don't bother worrying about all the schools you don't get into. You can always transfer later, so don't bother stressing about picking the right school or going to the college with the best reputation. The right school for the person who sits behind you in class will probably not be the right school for you, so don't worry about comparing where they get into to where you do. Enjoy the moment you're living in. The future will happen when it happens, so take the time now to solidify your friendships and get to know your family a little better before you move away from home. College will be a big change, but you'll want to have rock solid memories to take with you. The things you do today will (probably) not have any effect on the rest of your life, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't make them great.


Try as hard as you can in your academics as they are what will determine your near future. If you think you're trying hard, well try harder... a lot harder if you really want to be accepted into your top choice school. Don't slack off and let "Senioritis" overcome you and be the end of you. Become really involved in things like clubs and extracurricular activities. Also study real hard for the SAT and ACT so that you score the best you can. Another thing I'd tell myself is that I should consider applying to the Naval Academy as a Marine. But after all that I'd tell myself to "live life to the fullest and never look back" and to "live with no regrets".


The year 2008:Hi, high school Arpan. Listen, what I’m about to tell you about college is important, so you might want to write this down… The one advice that I would give you about going to college is: the fruit of patience is sweet. You haven’t started community college yet, so you think that you would graduate with your associate’s in two years, transfer to a university, then get a job, right? But you don’t know that to to discover the career path that’s right for you while completing your GE and degree credits, you will become a very patient person. And it will be tough. I know because in a few months the recession will hit, and as a result schools will cut budgets to a skeleton, and getting classes will feel like banging your head against a wall. So I suggest that you don’t rush. Have fun and get involved; don’t just focus on studies. Join some clubs: I guarantee that those will only help you in getting admittance to a great university in the future. And most of all be patient, as the journey counts more than the destination.


I would tell myself to not doubt myself or feel undeserving of being admitted to such a great university. I felt that I was not going to be able to find friends, or excel academically due to belonging to an ethnic minority. I found that my transition was difficult because I helped support my family financially, but by being more open to meeting people and getting involved, it opened many doors. Overall, I would say, congratulations, you do deserve to be here so go out there and make your family proud.


The transition from high school to a four-year institution, nonethless UC Santa Barbara notably considered a "public ivy," is anything short of smooth. Like many other students, it was the first time I had the opportunity to leave the "nest" that has so long supported me. Entering my fourth year, I have learned and experienced some of the most influential skills and times of my life. As a student at UC Santa Barbara I experienced it all from the constant contemplating of majors, the midnight library runs, to a community coming together after the gruesome massacre. The biggest key to success in a four year institution is finding your place. That means finding the friends, clubs, and major the best fosters your academic endeavors. The faster you get involved and activiely seek out your place, the faster you can settle in and hone your skills. Rushing a business fraternity in my third year was the best decision of my undergraduate career. I was able to find the group of friends who had my interest, my ambition, and most of all, cared for me especially during the incident where I had no place to stay.


I would tell my high school self to not worry so much about people’s expectations of you, because in the end it is you who has to live your life. If you want to go for a career in art then go for it and if you want to write a book well then start writing. You will often get confused between what you want to do and what you ought to do. Do not let it puzzle you because it will only set you back in the end. Trust me, as much as everyone likes the idea of you going to medical school, deep down you know it is not for you. Over all just do not be afraid to admit what you want and find the courage to go after it. P.S. Take advantage of the time you have with your family. You will actually star missing them when you are away at school.


Dear high school Mary, Stop stressing out about what you want to "do" when you grow up. You think you know what you want to do, but you really have no idea. Be prepared to have an open mind and learn that there's more to life than a career. Don't put other people down if they don't attend school right away. Every person has a different timeline. Some people like you are going to attend college right away, but don't worry about what others do. Just focus on you, and enjoy your years now, and enjoy what's to come. Don't take yourself so darn seriously. Take your learning seriously, but never take yourself too seriously. I mentioned it twice because you take yourself too seriously. Lastly, please remember to be open to new ideas even if you have a strong opinion.


Enjoy the college experience as it comes, but be prepared. Preparation entails being knowledgable about all of the resources available at USC, in order to feel more confident about my support. Applying for scholarships before starting college would have allowed me to pay for the financial costs of schooling and housing, and would have alleviated the need to take out loans and work while taking a full course load for four years. Asking for help from family, friends and college support staff would have better enabled me to make swifter and more appropriate transitions. Taking advantage of summers to work so as not to have to work during school would have alleviated some financial strain and more time would have been allocated to my studies. Networking throughout my undergraduate years would have helped solidify connections and contacts to employment after graduation. Staying in touch with college support staff and key professors would have helped guide me through my graduate application process, rather than hoping a professor from the past remembers my name when asking for a letter of recommendation. Lastly, selectively choosing friends from college would have provided role models and sounding boards especially in challenging times.


I would tell myself that life is about to get 30 times harder, but that I will grow more both emotionally and spiritually in 9 months than I have throughout four years of highschool. I would tell myself not to be shy during the year and to go out and apply for jobs and organizations and get involved so that I could feel some sense of community. Remember that school is and always will remain the number one priority, so when you want to go spend time with your friends, you should probably finish writing that essay first. Remember that your family is your backbone and they will always be there for you, but at the same time, you also have to start supporting yourself financially. Last but not least, remember that in the end, the only person you can trust is you. Because there will be times where your so called new friends won't be there for you, and the only person you have to keep pushing you farther is yourself. So love yourself and accept yourself and never give up.


I would tell my high school self to enjoy home cooked meals, fresh laundry and having your own room. I would also explain that college is not about partying and who can make the most friends, so make sure you make academics your first priority and socializing second. Get enough sleep, becuase your biggest downfall will be sleeping through classes becuase you stayed up too late the night before. Take a class that has nothing to do with your major, becuase you may be surprised by what you learn and how the subject opens your eyes. Talk to an advisor when you first get to school or over the summer, so that you know what you have to complete for your major before it is too late and you are scrambling to finish your units for graduation. And lastly enjoy every moment of college, becuase before you know it you will graduate and be thrown into the real world becuase no, college is just a stepping stone to the real world.


Senior year was more or less a stressful year for me. My time was filled with college scholarships, applications, sports, friends and family. Balancing everything at one time was relatively difficult for a person who supposedly was able to manage his time well. Coming from a small town, I was not exposed to a grand amount of intelligence. In a sense I was limited by my environment. Because of that, I would make it known to myself that in college there will always be someone smarter than you. There will always be someone who gets better grades as well. I would tell myself to stop comparing and start working because there is no mom and dad telling you what to do and when to do it. But overall, I think the best piece of advice that I could give to myself would be to stop worrying about the little things and just get it done. It's as simple as that. It might be cliche to say and it might seem like nothing, but it nonetheless serves as advice that would have helped me personally. I think now I have realized that when experience serves, it is never wasted.


The advice I would give myself as a high school senior would be that its never to soon to start planning for college. I wanted to go to a University, but realized I didn't have the money. If I would have taken duel credit classes in high school and applied for scholarships it could have helped me. This first year of college I have already taken thirty five hours of classes, and it has been extremely stressful but I am actually doing good with a 3.7 gpa. In high school I didn't realize how much I could actually accomplish. Everyday I surprise myself.


Hello high school self. I have some advice for you. Enjoy Mom's cooking! You said you'd never end up back home but you're going to wish you were home all the time. The food is nowhere near as good. Also, you should move in with your brother now so that you'll get used to having messy roommates later. As far as academics goes you're doing pretty well for yourself. You should really start working on those long-term goals now. That way i would almost be done with them. You should also enjoy as much time as you can with your friends now. Once everyone leaves for college it becomes very difficult to get everyone together at the same place and time. That's all the advice your much future self has for you.


Dear Younger Me, Well look at you. You received the top test score seven times in your science classes, straight A's the last two years of high school, skipped two math levels because you thought they would be too easy, and not a single financial worry. None of that will matter, apply, or last once you go to college. High school is a self-contained bubble that kept you safe from experiencing a real challenge. Your exceptional ability with mathematics that made you so great at physics might not actually translate into being passionate about it. What you can take with you to college is not your GPA, your parents' money or even your friends. What you can take with you is completely intangible: your determination to succeed. There will be nothing to guarantee success other than your ability to fight, claw and study your way through to the end. Sincerely, Older Me


My advice to myself is to make time for your personal life too. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in the five homework assignments, labs and readings that we forget to take some time for ourselves. Read a book, catch up with a good friend over coffee or see a movie! Don't spend 12 out of the 24 hours slaving over a lab! Everything in moderation.


High school was fairly easy for me. I got good grades without putting in much effort, and was able to get in to my college of choice. In my first semester, I got my first C. A few mediocre grades later, I came to realize I was hurting myself if I wanted to return to school, or if an employer asked for a GPA. I put in more effort, but was really just trying to memorize key points for the test. My grades did not improve much, and I decided to sit down and dedicate time to actually learning. Soon, I realized the applications of what I was learning. The history and political science classes enabled me to make better decisions in elections, and economics helped me balance my own finances. I started going to classes with the intention of learning-not to figure out what will be on the final. I found what you learn will make you more informed, and enable you to make smarter choices. My grades naturally improved. I would tell my high school self to not learn for the grade, but learn for yourself and your future.


The only advice I would give myself would be to try harder. College is harder than it seems and certain things about life will always get in the way alongside the trouble you face. Whether it's dealing with the courses yourself or the events like my dad's death, the people I had to deal with, or just personal things that we all eventually face. It's a hard road through college because you're not an adult when you get out of High School, you're one when you finally have to deal with life itself. Just try harder, be stronger so you can be prepared for it all; that's the only advice I have myself.


“It comes a day when every bird leaves the nest”. When I left home to UCSB, I felt scared and unprepared. Till this day the same feelings plague me. As a first generation college student, I had no one to look up to or know anyone in the same situation as me. My footprints are the first ones to take place in this new land. I was given the resources, finance, and knowledge to survive the first year yet they fail to save me from the untold traps of adulthood. If I had the ability to go back to high school to warn my former-self, I will spare myself of the upcoming nightmare. I will tell myself of the different resources, give warning to wait out any high purchases until an appropriate time or resource, and never take action without expert advice firsthand. This act of self-redemption would had made my first experience blissful but sacrifice is needed. I landed in this new world and it’s my footprints the next generation will follow. I can’t predict every snare but I know everything will be okay. That’s a message I always have in past and future.


If I could go back in time and confront myself I believe it would go something like this: I would say to this younger version of me, "Look, You are on track to get this diploma from Tumwater High School, and that is great. However, college is a whole 'nother beast. One you may not be ready for. It is important to get your education and make sacrifices to do so. It is more important to finish your AA than to make friends and spend money. Start cooking for yourself it's the best way to save and learn to be frugal. No one is going to teach you these things you will have to learn the hard way if you don't make changes now. No one ever told me how to do anything I just did what I assumed I was supposed to. You can make so much progress with your amount of time. Don't stop your pusuit of happiness and love for music, study hard, don't worry about dating girls til you're 30, and always wear a condom. Mom and Dad had no idea what kind of world they were sending you out into.'


College is not a place where you just become independent. It is a place were you learn and grow. You develop skills like time-managing, setting priorities, and meeting deadlines. You are becoming an adult now, and the truth is adults have many responsibilities. You are walking into a different life, with different people, a different home, and a different enviroment. You may have made mistakes in high school, have those mistakes of memories if you ever encounter a similair problem. However, college is by no means similair to your high school experience. In high school teachers told you what to do and how to do it. In college you are on your own.You must assign yourself own homework. It is your job to seek out the resources and put in the effort to meet other people who can help you along in the process. Do not let shyness get in the way of participating when you are having discussions and do not allow anyone to intimidate you. Most of all do not think that all the time when you are not in class is "free time," it is time for you to study.


In high school I had no idea how imperative having a defined plan when coming into college is. So many majors and opportunities require you to be exactly where you need to be, whether that be in the right academic college, pre-major, et cetera. I entered into my school as an Undeclared and thought I would just figure it out when I got here, and all my relatives and friends said that I would be fine. However, as an undecided major I'm finding time moving by very quickly and debt racking up at a similar pace. I would definitely say that the pressure of all this has required me to buckle down and focus on what I want to get out of life, however. I'm learning an incredible amount about myself and what my potential is, but I realize now that I could have had a lot less stress if I put more thought into my path through college. After a lot of maturing I have become much more confident in my ability to succeed but I still often wonder what it would be like if I had a more optimal beginning to my college career.


Bring shower shoes. Study. Study a lot. Study more then you think you should study. When you're done studying, you should study. The people are awesome, but meeting a group of people on the first few days doesn't anchor you to them. Look for the people with good hearts, and make them your friends. Appreciate every single second of down time. When you are done studying, socialize. If socializing is tiresome, it is always okay to go into your room and read. Being solitary sometimes is neccesary. Be comfortable with yourself and you will understand others.


Harrison, congrats on surviving High School. Moving away from home is going to be the best thing that's ever happened to you, and it's going to open more doors than you could have imagined five years ago. You are now going to get away from the bullying and all the negativity that engulfed you during your time in school, and will now be surrounded by friends who want you to be happy with where you are. Enjoy college, enjoy meeting and living with your best friend, and enjoy that beautiful beach that you get to walk by every day on your way to class. Welcome to the best four years of your life.


Take community college classes in order to experience the intensity of a four unit class. Keep an agenda to delegate your time wisely and learn the essence of time management. Learn how to be independent regarding your coursework because no one is going to tell you to study. Be wise about your free time and know that it should not be spent mostly on leisure activities. Apply for more scholarships because financial aid barely covers your expenses. Books are very expensive so do not underestimate the cost of a college textbook. Work on your note taking skills and studying techniques because in order to be successful in college, studying requires an effective method. Writing everything down is not going to help you. Start excercising regularly because it improves physical and mental health, which you need in order to lead a balanced lifestyle. Be careful of the freshman weight gain. Expand your horizons and try things you would not normally do. College is about learning more about yourself and your surroundings. As much as you should take it seriously, try to have fun as well.

Jesus Briseyda

If I could go back in time and give myself advice i would make sure i stayed on top of everything.In my culture Jesus is a boys name so i would always go by my second name.This ended up messing up all my college applications.It was difficult but after many calls I fixed my errors,on those applications.On top of that I always spelled my second name wrong.When I was told there were problems with my documents I checked my birth certificate and I realized that through out my entire school career I had spelled my name wrong.This accident definately delayed my financial aid.I would also suggest that I would apply to as many possible scholarships.Going to college is a great feeling but worrying about payment plans is not a good feeling at all.


Dear Senior Kevin, college is an entirely new world in and of itself. My first tips for you are those pertaining to academics. Procrastination is not an option in college, specifically on research papers. To gain an advantage, complete papers early and take them in for critiquing by either a professor or teaching assistant. Utilizing their office hours to better yourself and your assignments is a critical component to success in college. Also, do not be afraid to form study groups with students in your class; they may be able to help you with things you struggle on. One social tip I can give you about college is to leave your room and the video games as often as you can. Attending residential events and programs is the number one way to make friends and relieve stress. Also, with so many students living together, it is important to stay healthy and active. For this reason, make the most of the university gym; after all, you are paying for it! My final tip is to apply for as many scholarships as humanly possible, because student loans are the only evil greater than the IRS. Best of luck! Yours truly, College Kevin.


The first thing I would tell myself is you have to make a schedule. It will make your whole life easier because you are unaware of just how easily deadlines will sneak up on you. It is much better to be prepared for something ahead of time than find yourself playing catch up the days before a final. Never forget to focus on your studies as much as you can, but be sure to save a little time for fun. Don’t be afraid to take some exploratory classes, you just might find something that you will enjoy. Get plenty of sun (with sunscreen) at the beach, you wont know how much you will miss it until it is gone. And finally, ditch the bike for the first few weeks, it’s too crowded and freshmen do not know what they are doing anyway.


I remember the High School days when I discovered that I could simply charm the teacher in order to get the grades I wanted. People would do neater work and more of it--I still received the favoritism. Do NOT count on using those methods for the upcoming engineering/science weed out courses as these they are less personal due to class sizes. The grading is often instead measured solely by exams. When a professor claims that homework is not being collected, that actually means DO the homework because that often correlates with the exam. Thus, hone in on eliminating any test taking anxieties. Personally, I wasn't very good at multiple choice. I over-analyzed questions when I should have just moved on. Expect professors to use multiple choice on difficult problem based tests to make grading more efficient-- it just means there's no partial credit. Even if it's not multiple choice, I discovered that I had to often skip the first problem on exams and do a simpler question in order to get my momentum going so I wouldn't get psyched out. Keeping a positive attitude for learning and time-blocking should help your transition!


Self-you are about to have the most amazing time of your life! Do not forget for one second how truly lucky you are to achieve higher education on a beautiful campus, surrounded by outstanding peers. Try and remember that while you will make lots of new friends, you will also learn the difference between true friends and circumstantial friends. Its okay to let go of those who do not value you or are not healthy for you. You're going to make mistakes. That is fine too. How else will you learn who you are? You're going to change your mind, and then change it back. Breathe. This is normal. Do not spend every moment studying. Take chances and do things you don't think you'll like because you might surprise yourself! Don't forget that you are also there to learn, and your parents gave you this opportunity (so don't waste it). Call them more. Remember they are doing they best they can and watching you grow up isn't easy on them. Have fun. Fall in love. Get your heart broken. Take lots of pictures. And always, always, remember this is your dream!


Hector, remember how the teachers would say that once you arrived at UCSB, you would have books piled on top of each other while you were studying? Well, that isn't the case. I have never had books piled while I was studying and being on top of your game is not a hard thing to do. You know how initially you heard this campus had a lot of hate crime incidents? WEll, I havent seen anything happen and the people here on campus are really friendly. The advice I would give to you is study, have fun and socialize. You will not know what expereinces the college life has to offer until graduation day arrives.


I would say that the most important things in this transition into college life are self-control and moderation. Of course the typical connotation of college life shifts our focus to that of parties and social life, where these terms would easily apply, I would say this as an overarching word of advice. Learning self-control and moderation is useful in any setting, not just that of the social life. Having a strong understanding of what a well-rounded person looks like is very important. This is the best way to enjoy your time in school. Having the self-control to turn down invitations when you have your own work to take care of is key because at the end of the day no one will answer for what you've done but you. If you get a good grasp on your responsibilities and the self-control that is required to take care of those responsibilities, then things can flow much easier for you. On top of that, moderation in all aspects of life is benficial. Moderation doesn't apply solely to drinking. The first thing you realize is that you and only you control your life from here on.


None of the study habits you learned in high school apply in college. You have to develop a plan that works best for you once you start your classes. The post-it notes don't work out very well; I ended up filling the book with post-it notes. You have to read the chapters anyway, just take notes on the important points. Don't use a highlighter on the pages because you want to sell back the books when you finish. Books are so very expensive; some cost upwards of $200! I learned how to get the list of books you need from the campus online bookstore, then check the textbook rental web sites and online bookstore discounters. Whatever they cannot supply you get from your campus bookstore.