University of California-Santa Barbara Top Questions

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?


Before I came to this school I wish to have known about all the opportunities and resources available for me. There are so many resources available that help students with the application process or other things and sometimes not many students are informed because they are not publicized enough. I would have also really wished to know the actual costs of going to college so I would have saved up money and not made my parents use up the little money they have for me.


I wish that I visited this school before choosing to attend it.


I wish I knew about the College of Creative Studies(CCS). A little known program that offers majors in physics, mathematics, art etc. it is often called the grad school for undergrads. CCS gives students more freedom in their studies, allowing them to take as many units as they like and focusing on research. If you intend to go to grad school and devote your life to research, this is the perfect school for you. I have personally heard from many physics majors that they were accepted into their top grad school, like Caltech and the Ivy leagues.


I wish I would have realized how financially well off everyone would be here and how that would make me feel like a disadvantaged outsider. Everyone her is very friendly however not always relatable. I also wish I would have known the importance of extracurricular activities as a form of networking and improving the look of resumes.


As a first generation college student and Mexican-Immigrant, everything about my undergraduate experience at UCSB was new. In retrospect, I wish I would have known how important a consistent and nurturing support base would have been and made a difference, rather than feeling like I should figure everythin out on my own. Most importantly, I wish I would have asked my family and and reached out to school resources for help when I needed it, whether it was for moral support, or for help moving to new housing. Lastly, applying for scholarships before starting school would have helped financially.


I wish I had known how the social atmosphere and environment was like beforhand. In addition, what many people outside of UCSB do not realize is that "partying" does not take over the lives of every single student. Students here are genuinely smart but seem to be overlooked. Although I am making a generalization to a large amount of people, it nonetheless seems to be the case in my perspective. All in all, college is college, but I personally wish I knew what "college" was beforhand. I wish I knew the magnitude of the challenge before coming.


I wish i had known how to surf, rockclimb, and backpack. So many people here do hundreds of awesome things outdoors and i don't know how to do any of it! The good thing is there is a club here that teaches all of it. If you have the time the Excursion club is seriously worth it.


I wish I would have known the dining commons would get old, or that the quarter system is nothing to mess with. I was told, but I didn't really absorb those facts until I experienced them first hand. The dining commons are great, but after weeks and weeks anything can get tiring. The quarter system isn't too bad, but it does bring a rush. Being at Santa Barbara is like being a high-stakes gambler, trying to make money to pay off the mob. Relaxing is neccesary, but only in a calculated, careful, and balanced way.


Before coming to UCSB, I was looking for jobs off campus so I could make money while attending school. It wasn't until my sophmore year that I got a job; which was on campus. I wish had known how easy getting an on campus job was. On campus jobs are convenient as well because then you wont have to leave school to go to work.


How difficult it would be academically


I wish I would have been more involved in terms of internships and research opportunities. Make sure that you hit the ground running, take advantage of all career related opportunities, make sure to build relationships with professors who are willing to help you find all kinds of opportunities.


I wish I would have known that it was this cold all the time. Generally, I enjoy the cold coming from SoCal, but this is a little cold for me at night. I'm used to not wearing jackets, and now I want to go buy some more!


I wish i would have known how fast the four years of college will pass by and how much i would miss it. I wish someone would have told me to not take where i lived for granted, the people i met, or the education i got.


To take advantage of talking to teachers and professors as soon as I got there--they live and love to help the students, as teaching is legitimate passion for almost all of them (it's easy to figure out otherwise!). I found solace in these incredible people, and if they couldn't help with homework, they lent great life advice and were always eager to point you in the right direction if they couldn't address you directly. They truly understand that the youth are the future of this world, and take no shortcuts to adequately prepare us for it.


I wish I would've known what a difficult transition moving to college would be. I thought it would be easy moving away from home, but the transition is difficult. Moving hundreds miles away to school without any family and friends was a shock. Besides the nerves of meeting new friends and adjusting in your dorm, there is the added difference in teaching from high school. The grading scale is different, classes are essentially optional, and lecturing is unlike high school work.


I wish I would have known how to schedule classes in a manner that would benefit my GPA. I struggled in the beginning and it was hard to catch up.


That most of the freshman are placed in all the other residence halls except for Manzanita, but it's still cool here.


I was very pleased with my education at UCSB.


I wish that I would have known how to put myself in situations beyond my comfort zone. The only way to meet people is to put yourself out in the open and start a conversation with a complete stranger. If I would have come to school knowing that I think that I would have a much larger group of friends, hindsight is 20-20. I do enjoy the company of the friends that I have made, but I hope that I can push myself to branch out and meet a more diverse group of people in the future.


I definitely wish that I would have been aware of all the amazing extra-curricular activities on campus before freshman year, because although I was interested, I was too caught up in dorm life to try too many clubs or activities...and my second year I really took advantage of all the amazing opportunities that UCSB has to offer. I realize now that I could have started all of that a year earlier! However, I did definitely enjoy the vibrant dorm community freshman year, so do not pass that up either!


I wish I knew to make time for my own interests. UCSB coursework can be demanding and I miss leisurely reading and my own hobbies. During midterms and finals those are definitely sacrificed, but there are definitely ways to unwind (like movie night with friends).


I wish I knew about the bike paths. I wasn't informed much about colleges before I went to college. I had a lack of information and I never went on tours. Before coming to UCSB I went to their Spring Insight event, but went places where the bike paths were scarce. If I had known about the bike paths I would have bought a bike in advance instead of later on which was a hassle. The bike paths are great!


I wish that I had known about all the various opportunities that this school has to offer. The choices really are varied and plentiful if you want to attend a lecture, concert, or play. However one downside of this UC is the budget cuts. It really does effect the students. We have less classes to choose from and there are fewer spaces in the classes so it makes getting the courses you want exceedingly difficult. It has left me frustrated at the high price of attending a UC but the lack of the supposed benefits.


UCSB encompasses every thought and opinion of every student. All students are motivated to engage in the academic discussion, directly derived from their own experiences or observations, so there is nothing I wish I had known before coming to this school. This school allows me grow and learn from the evironment, not from my past. Mistakes are even considered necessary and tools for growth as an individual.


I wish I had known that it is the people in your life that make it. My friends were, and continue to be, my family and life is hard without them, but they are probably the reason I succeed. I would tell kids in my position, who miss their friends, that it's alright. You mean as much to them as they mean to you, and if you're love is that deep then nothing will ever tear you apart. Its ok to love and long you find others who help, not replce, and move on.


I wish I had know more about the how class scheduling works and where to go for help. I wish that someone had taught me how to use the online system before it was time for me to make class decisions, and I wish I had known sooner how to get academic advising and tutoring. Knowing the ins and outs of class scheduling, and in what order to take classes is extremely important. I recommend seeing an advisor in your first quarter or semester.


I wish I would've known that the town is run off small businesses. I'm a city girl, so not having a one-stop-shop for all my needs was a surprise to me. And now being a college student with no car and only a bike, it's difficult to find the time (along with the bus schedules) to go shop for hours because I have to find my groceries at separate stores now. I wish I would have known that the weather was chillier than I anticipated, and the bike trials all over town aren't smooth.


Before I came to this school I wish I would have known the intensity of the classes. We work in a quarter system, which means 4 weeks into school it is midterm time. Time flies by fast and it is easy to get behind. The transition from high schools? slow school year is very hard. I wish I would have been more prepared for this change. If you are not aware of it, it is easy to get knocked off your rocker real fast.


Get involved in your school right away! Take advantage of all the resources the university has to offer and that you pay for. Grow and learn from your professors through office hours and research opportunities. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone in the means of academics, extracurricular activities, and your social life. Start applying for financial aide and scholarships ASAP! The transition from High School to College will be difficult, but stay true to yourself and morals. Manage your time wisely, and be self-efficient.


I wish I had known that the undergraduate advisor in my building is not as knowledgeable on my major as I had wished. This is, however, an isolated incident. Most other advisors at this school are excellent at what they do. Before deciding for or against the university, know whether or not the undergraduate advisor knows what he or she is talking about.


I wish I had known how much of a challenge it is trying to live in a totally new city, different room, with an entire set of new people. I knew college life would be different, but it really is a struggle trying to juggle not only my own schedule, but the schedules of my two roommates along with mine.


Knowing about the spirit and excitement that all students here have would have made me coming to this school much more comfortable from the start. I didn't know how college would be like, therefore had a more serious, or a "not knowing what it would be like" type of experience. However, I believe it's not knowing TOO much that makes you learn on your own and allows you to make your own perspective of the school rather than having one beforehand. It's important to know the basics, but the real stuff you learn on your own.


It is important to understand just how vital balance is. I wish I had known how to balance school and fun before coming to college because it is easy to get caught up in the social aspect of college and get behind in the academic part. Time management is important and every student should know how to do that effectively.


I wish that I had know that when you are in college you are not going to be helped by someone unless you go looking for it. In college you are responsible for yourself. There are going to be no teachers there reminding you what homework you have to do everyday. You can only be successful in college if you want to be. I took plenty of the help that I had in high school for granted. Always talk to your proffessors when you need help, you can't be shy in college.


I wish I had known about the economic problems that the university faces so that I could better prepare myself for the lack of available classes. I also wish I had known how great this school is, rather than brush it off as an easy college to get into.


I wish I would have known more about this school when I applied. I had my heart set on other colleges and applied here out of a wim. When my top choices rejected me I was clueless to what the University of California Santa Barbara included. However, the more time I spend here, the more I fall in love with it. I am so happy I ended up choosing this school to broaden my education.


I wish I had known that parts of college would be really hard and that it would take time to adjust to living in such a different environemnt with a bunch of peers. Also, UCSB students have had a hard time enrolling in classes and recieving enough units in order to graduate on time. I wish I had known it would be difficult to get the classes I wanted for my major.


it is very difficult and to put in all the needed study hours from the beginning


Nothing because my experience here has been great and I wouldn't change it.


More about the organizations and about the sources open to students. Where to get help with classes and major requirements.


I wish I had known this public school would end up costing more money than I can afford.


Before entering college, I wish I had known just how different the quarter system was going to prove to be. It is much more fast paced than the semester system of high school and this contrast is very much felt, particularly in the beginning of the freshman year of college.


How many different social activities there are. It's hard to know of all the campus clubs, but there is almost one for every interest.


I wish I had known how amazing my life would turn out to be at UCSB.


I wish that I would have known how to manage my expenses better. I have learned my lesson and will be a lot more careful about spending my money wisely.


It is ok to be the bookworm who also wants to have fun and just hang out with friends. They dont judge you for wanting to be successful because they all want to be successful too! They want to support you, and there are more than enough people here to help you be successful in any endeaors, whether they be personal or professional. And the faculty and staff are here to support you as well:)


To be honest, I wish no one told me anything about the school before I attended. I wanted to experience it for myself, and see what I can make of my life there. Anyways, if I took anyone else's word for what the school was like, I'd probably live in the world they described to me as UCSB, rather than what I really thought of it while going there. Most of all however, I wish I knew where everything was, because not knowing where everything was, I eventually landed in a dorm a mile off campus.


Faculty and administrators say "It's not a party school, but we do know how to party." Not entirely true. It is a party school.


I wish had known more of what I truly wanted to study. I feel that I spent a lot of time in my first two years here on classes that I did not enjoy and that served little purpose to me or my future. I also wish I had come to school with more of an idea of how to prepare for the college workload. High school came way too easy for me and so the transition to college served as somewhat of a wake up call. My grades suffered my first year here because of this.


Before I came to this university, I wish I had been taught how to better balance my time. While, I have learned good balance techniques and grown to understand that a certain amount of prioritizing is necessary at a university, especially in the quarter system, it was a definite challenge in the beginning. Lerning how to balance my social life with my academic one would have been an extremely valuable skill to have mastered before I stepped foot in Santa Barbara.