University of California-Santa Cruz Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Guadalupe

top choice

Kyla

I love it here!! Where else could you wander through the woods to get to a midterm? It's great. The atmosphere is relaxed, the foods amazing (compared to other schools at least) the people are nice and excepting.. I mean yea it's a little more liberal than an average school but the student body is diverse enough you'll find ppl perfect for you

Gladys

I love nature and this school seemed to be the perfect fit. Seeing the deer right before your eyes is simply amazing. I love it and I am so glad I came to UCSC. The people, professors and staff are great!

Chelsea

I love that UC Santa Cruz is up on a hill and kind of secluded from the city. It makes the campus another world from the city. It's warmer up here than in the city where it's foggier and windier. It's cool that it's in the forest, but it also has some open spaces and some great views of the city and ocean. It's only a 15-20 minutes bus ride to the beach however, which is great for warm, sunny days. If you live on campus, you tend to spend a lot of time there because it's so convenient. We have a great gym and many places to eat, and lots of activities so you don't need to go off-campus until the weekends. It's a college town though which is cool. Lot's of students live downtown and everyone knows where the students hang out. I think that it's great that it's such a large school so you never run out of people to meet, but since it's divided into 10 colleges, you get to know people from your individual college really well, which makes the school seem smaller. I wish we had a football team or more pride for the basketball team, but people do go to rugby and lacrosse games. I think that having a football team would bring more pride to our sports though. I guess what unites our school instead is protests, which is why we're considered hippies. People think it's really relaxed here and everyone just goes to the beach and smokes weed, but really it's a UC, which means it's still tough, we all work really hard, and we study a lot. It's a big commitment just like any other University.

Kyle

The one thing I tell people when they ask me about UCSC is that unless I was traveling the world at that moment, I could not imagine spending my undergraduate career anywhere else but Santa Cruz. The community of the school is very welcoming. The people are nice and the weather is beautiful. I am physically and mentally a happier person when I am in Santa Cruz and at UCSC. The UCSC campus isn't the easiest campus to walk across. There are many hills and bridges that traverse large gullies. I often tell people about how crazy it is the first time you walk from one class to the next and you look back and can't see where you came from because of how thick the redwood forests are. As a student living on campus most of one's time is spent at his or her respective college. UCSC has ten colleges which students create an affiliation with upon entering the university. Your affiliated college is the place where you live, eat, and often hang out with friends. One of the great things about living on campus is the access one has to nature. From any given point on campus one must only walk ten minutes in any direction and be completely immersed in towering redwoods. There are many mountain biking and running trails through the woods that are spectacular. Since moving off campus I would say that most of my time is spent in class or at various study areas or libraries. The city of Santa Cruz is definitely influenced by the presence of the university. Many students participate in the economy of Santa Cruz via working in markets, cafes, shops, etc. Every first friday of a new month there is an art walk throughout the city of Santa Cruz. During the art walk many galleries and stores open their doors featuring works by local artists and sometimes pieces by UCSC students. The administration on campus is very involved in the student life on campus. One thing I would change in regards to administration would be to standardize a punishment system that is university wide. While living on campus I often witnessed punishment being given in what many students felt was an unfair manner. While we do not have a very big sports following at UCSC our school pride is still large. This is evident in our notably unusual mascot, Sammy the Banana Slug, a native to the redwood forests that cover UCSC. While it may seem a weird mascot, Sammy is quite unique in that he has no known natural predators. One thing I will always remember is giving a kiss to the first banana slug I ever saw. This UCSC tradition/superstition is said to bring good luck and great grades for the rest of college.

Kyle

The one thing I tell people when they ask me about UCSC is that unless I was traveling the world at that moment, I could not imagine spending my undegraduate career anywhere else but Santa Cruz. The community of the school is very welcoming. The people are nice and the weather is beautiful. I am physically and mentally a happier person when I am in Santa Cruz and at UCSC.

Devon

To me, UCSC is the perfect school. First off, it is beautiful in the middle of the red woods and next to the ocean. I love the fact that we are the banana slugs, and while there isn't a lot of sports enthusiasm, the students have a lot of school pride and are proud of our mascot. I enjoy the walk between classes, and studying in the cute cafes at each college. I work in the McHenry library, which has juts re-opened and has a delicious cafe as well. I live right down town on Laurel Street, an while there are a lot of homeless people, I like my location a lot. All the Santa Cruz houses are cute and funky, my house is purple, green, blue and turquoise inside. I am in front of a bus stop, a ten minute walk to the board walk and around the corner from Pacific avenue. There is always something fun going on downtown, live music, art shows, concerts at the Catalyst. Its a young and quirky town. My dad always exclaims: "look at all these characters!" when he visits, but those "characters" are very interesting and nice people!

Shelley

My favorite part about UC Santa Cruz is that it is located in a beautiful forest, but also just 5-10 minutes away from the beach and the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Of course another great thing is all the friends I have met here and how friendly students and professors are. If I could change one thing, I wish that it did not get as cold and rain as much here -- but that is just because I am from sunny San Diego. I think the size of Santa Cruz is just right. It is a very spread out campus, but it is awesome to walk through the forest to get to class or see the amazing views of the whole city and ocean when you are on the field. People react positively when they find out I am a student at UC Santa Cruz, but there is often a remark about being the banana slugs, which I find rather funny. When I am on campus most of my time is spent in the library, since as a senior my work load is a bit heavy. Santa Cruz is an adorable town full of old Victorian houses, the boardwalk, lots of good places to eat, go out, and an awesome feel to it. Santa Cruz is in northern California and subsequently very liberal. The most recent event on campus was protesting the current UC tuition hike -- a great cause. There is a lot of school pride because we are the Banana Slugs!!

ERICK

I was very nervous about going here and didn't know what to expect. I absolutely love this school now. The view from campus is just truly magnificent, nothing beats it. Another thing I like about it is that the people here are extremely nice. This is the best decision I've made so far in my life.

Rotem

Overall, the school is beautiful and friendly. There are views of the ocean, forests and farms. The people, overall, seem friendly and accepting and full of slugpower. Teachers, as well, are friendly, helpful and experienced. The school also offers a wide array of majors to choose from and the advisors are highly useful and available. Complaints may be mostly walking distances between classes. Places to check out in this vast campus are the bookstore, the dining halls and cafes and the gym. The gym is big and has a gorgeous view.

Kimberly

I honestly love my school. The best thing about UCSC is the really laid back, "chill" atmosphere we have on campus. We're surrounded by redwood trees, which really helps give this ambiance of peace. The view of the Monterey bay is one of my favorite things about my school. Regardless of how long you've been at the school, it will always awe you. The school is a little bit on the large side; getting to classes usually takes around ten to fifteen minutes, and there's a lot of people so you tend to meet someone new everyday. The town of Santa Cruz definitely has the college town feel; most of the residents near the base of campus are college students, and downtown is really small, but fun. The administration of UCSC definitely sides with the students; they do their best to accommodate all student needs despite the budget cuts. There is a lot of school pride. One of the complaints students have is the bus system; they lag and its hard to get around sometimes but for the most part there's not a lot of negativity on campus.

Genevieve

My opinion of UCSC couldn't be better! My parents, brother, and I have all attended UCSC and loved it. The reasons I chose to attend UCSC rather than another UC still remain some of my favorite aspects of the school. These reasons are: 1) the college system, and 2) the physical beauty. I'm a huge fan of UCSC's college system. What this means is that UCSC is divided into 10 residential colleges. I, for example, am affiliated with Cowell College. These 10 smaller colleges are where you live in the dorms for at least your freshman year, attend a core writing course with other students from your college, and often make your closest friends! They are not divided by major; you choose your college solely based on what it looks like and the theme of the core writing course. The college system gives you a small, close-knit community within the large university, and makes UCSC feel just the perfect size. The other reason I mentioned is the physical beauty of the campus. Santa Cruz is a truly unique place because it includes both the ocean and the forest. The campus is set on top of a hill so there are amazing views everywhere around the school. This also makes UCSC perfect for many outdoor activities including surfing, hiking, climbing, and biking. Santa Cruz also has a very nice downtown area that includes shopping, restaurants, and occasional concerts just a short bus ride from the campus. Between going downtown, hanging out at the beach, hiking around the trails on campus, and attending events on campus like open mic nights and movie screenings, there is always plenty to do at UCSC!

Cierra

The best thing about UCSC is the location! You simply can't beat the gorgeous campus settled in the redwood trees. No other college campus in the country compares to the gorgeous views, hikes and photo opportunities at UC Santa Cruz. The campus, while cozied into the forest, has breathtaking views of the Pacific ocean. It is famous for it's field which over looks the whole Monterey bay! I love the opportunity to hike one day, explore creeks and climb trees and then run down to the ocean the next day. There you can enjoy surfing great swells from the North and great views of the ocean from West Cliff. For me there is nothing better than the simplicity and natural beauty of Santa Cruz. After a stressful day of classes a soothing walk around campus puts everything into perspective. Coming from Los Angeles, I looked forward to a more laid back and non rushed city. In Santa Cruz I get just that. People in town are enjoying life, not rushing around in it. There are always people walking around and talking, playing music and taking in what the city has to offer. In my opinion you couldn't ask for a greater location for a UC campus!

Maria

Okay, the big picture. Santa Cruz is a big university with roughly 14,500 undergrads, but it based on a residential college system modeled after Oxford's. After you're accepted, you select from one of ten colleges to be affiliated with and live in your first year - these aren't based on majors, but on a "theme" or message, like social justice, international issues, or environmental awareness. Each of these colleges has its own vibe and you'll take your first 'core' class with about thirty people from your college, which is really great way to get to know people you'll be closely surrounded by. Budget cuts are the biggest problem the University is facing. Departments, faculty positions, TAs - they've all been cut back severely. It's important to note that this is not UCSC's fault, per say, but the result of a poorly run UC system, and you're gonna see similar cuts at any UC or state school. Unfortunately, however, bigger schools like UCB and UCLA have a lot of private funding, as well as revenue generated through sports, to fall back on, so it's fair to say UCSC is feeling the impact more than other UCs.

Marshall

--Scenery is absolutely beautiful --Academics in sciences and engineering are top-notch --Parties are good, social scene is very healthy. plenty of people to meet --if you are into music, that is good. there are plenty of musicians looking to jam.

Jessica

I would have liked it if there wasn't nso much protesting going on. People deciding to skip class in order to make a statement seemed ridiculous to me considering how much we pay for that education. I think some of the students need to focus a lot more on their studies. I liked the size, although it would have been very annoying if there were not buses around all the time to get you to your next class quickly. They ask if I'm a hippie. People are also impressed sometimes (I think its mostly because its a UC). I spent most of my time on campus in class..... Many of the residents don't really like the students...or so it seemed to me. They were annoyed by them. I hated that an A- lowered your GPA a little but then an A+ Didn't raise it!!! I have always thought an A is an A and its not fari that a stupid little minus next to it should lower my GPA!! I was there for the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years and there were several big controverseys during that time. There was a large protest when the regents came during my first year there, which resulted in students running around screaming "police brutality!!" when they themselves had gotten out of hand. I think the biggest one though was over winter break 2007 (or simetime around then) when people decided go live in the trees on campus to protest a new building that was being planned. Many of those people were not even students at the UC.... totally ridiculous!! (and a little funny) Yes, I'd say there is a lot of school pride even though sports are not a big thing there. The people there are unusual.... The first time I experienced the "first rain" with people running through the campus naked at night in the rain!! That was quite unexpected... Tuition costs are complained about a lot (and the costs of books).

Parker

UCSC is one of those nearly big UC's that fell like a small town liberal arts school. Minus the small town gossip, minus everyone knowing who you are, where you are from and everything about your daily life and definately minus the harsh presence of the stereotypical "college" environment, such as frats and sororities. For those whom love and live for the outdoors, such as surfing, sailing, biking, hiking and camping it provides a plethora of activities as well as breath taking views and scenery of redwoods and the Monterrey Bay. The most common complaint I hear of UCSC is the lack of appreciation, funding and spotlight given to athletics at UCSC. Athletics is a big thing on most college campuses, and although a lot of students UCSC are in fact athletes, every year more and more athletic programs find themselves being cut or in desperate in need of funding. The second most common complaint that I hear from students is the lack of parties. Although I completely agree with the first complaint, this one is far from the truth. Sure, parties at UCSC may not live up to the college parties portrayed by the media (except for those Bonny Doon parties that I hear of) but good parties are never in short supply here at UCSC. UCSC is a great college to attend, and in my two years at UCSC my experiences completely reinforce my decision to attend one of the UC's that is usually under appreciated and valued by most people.

Alex

UCSC is a progressive, active university. i very much enjoyed my time there, but wish the campus wasn't so spread out. the individuals who attend this school, for the most part, seem welcoming, fun, and open- minded. all the staff is very kind and the atmosphere is conducive to learning in all way, shapes and forms.

Jon

I loved the UCSC campus with all its beautiful redwoods and vastness leading to the potential to find new unique places. Everyone is very friendly and one gets to know each college well. The biggest recent controversy was the planned cutting down of Redwoods but it did not have too big an effect.

Lavender

The best thing about UCSC is the Natural Beauty. I get to see dear walking casually around my dorm every day. I've seen birds and plants that I had never seen in L.A. before. Oh, and the stars are AWESOME. Unfortunately though, a big portion of the beautiful woods will have to be cut down in the name of development and competitive growth. But the good thing about that is that more students will get accepted into UCSC. So instead of being just the right size, it's going to grow into a larger school. We have pretty awesome professors and staff members though. They're generally all pretty friendly and understanding. You can tell they care for us But one of the most recent controversies, beside the half-wanted and half-unwanted UCSC expansion plans (the LRDP: the Long Range Development Plans), is the issue with unfair contracts for some of our workers. Many of our workers (like the maintenance crew, janitors, and cooks) are getting paid less than the workers in the City College nearby. They're not getting a good living wage or fair benefits, even though the UCs make more money. The workers were gonna strike for two days, but the UC brought in a whole bunch of expensive, Union-busting lawyers to try to "negotiate" (used as a tactic to just buy some time to eventually come up with a legal contract so that the workers can lose their legal right to strike unless they want to lose their job or get fined. Crazy, huh? Therefore, I think many people have lost pride in the whole UC system as a whole, because there are a lot of monetary profits involved. We spend so much money trying to acquire a good education in order to do some good in this world, but meanwhile, we're doing it in a corrupt system. But I think most people are at least happy with their UCSC college experience because of the general atmosphere. Many people are really accepting and open-minded. Like if you want to do something crazy here (as in dress up every day as if it's Halloween or walk bear-footed), you can because, after all "it's Santa Cruz." Unfortunately though, there seems to be an influx of people who don't seem to understand that mentality.

Lauren

Very beautiful campus. Beautiful hiking trails and secret nooks to find. I walk up and down hills all day. DON'T TAKE THE BUSES! Walk! It's a beautiful campus and you will LOSE the Freshmen 15 if you walk to class. It is a big campus but really only takes 20 mins to get across it. Some things to note: UCSC has been trying to cut funds for Humanities for years. It might be better to go here if you are going to focus on the sciences. The bookstore is mediocre at best. The library is satisfactory. Santa Cruz is a fun town if you can drink or surf. Otherwise it's only ok. Don't bother with the Boardwalk. Some hostile locals towards UCSC students, so don't throw huge keggers off-campus unless you want to get a party fine from the city. UCSC is NOT a party school unless your drug of choice is THC. Oh...and the Banana Slug is the best college mascot....ever.

Megan

If you love the forest and access to the ocean, this is the place for you.

Lindsay

When i tell people that I go to UCSC, they always ask how it feels living in the trees and if there really are hippies on campus. On campus I probably spend most of my time in my room either online or watching movies or studying. Off campus I am usually downtown at the movies and or eating dinner. I think the biggest recent controversy was the tree sitters and also the unfair worker's conditions that groups such as AFSCME are fighting for.

Alex

right now, the size of the school is pretty much all right. i'm worried because they have been trying to expand, and the small town of santa cruz can't really handle any more students. the metro buses from downtown are always full by the time they get to the base of campus, if not a mile before then. if i could change anything, it would be the expansion of the campus. the best thing about ucsc is the setting. i love walking to class through the forest and seeing doe and their fawn, though some kid did recently get attacked by a mountain lion at merrill college. my professors are amazing too. the professors in the psychology, politics, and feminist studies departments are my favorite! the most frequent student complaints concern the accessibility of the campus (the lack of parking lots and meters, and the fact that meters are at least 75 cents per half hour.) you absolutely can't drive to campus, and the expansion and surfeit of students riding buses from downtown make driving a serious temptation. i would say there is a lot of school pride, but it's a different kind of school pride than i'd expect students at big private universities with great sports teams to have. i love telling people i go to ucsc. ucsc provides a different kind of education--an education i'd be lost without. lots of people in my conservative hometown think i must be a communist anarchist (which doesn't even make sense) when i tell them i go here, and it's fun to play devil's advocate. i guess that brings me to another complaint a handful of students have--that ucsc is 'too liberal.' i think it's a silly complaint, as most of my professors are relatively unbiased.

Whitney

The school is quite large, but the fact that it's broken into 10 smaller colleges makes it feel much smaller. The campus is beautiful and has many great places to sit outside and study under the trees and in view of the Monterey bay. If you don't want to be outside, there are several libraries, coffee shops, and sitting areas inside academic buildings. The school is often known by its stereotypes, but anyone who has ever gone here knows that the quality of education is very high, and students love their learning environment. Many of our programs are top-ranked. There are 2 big controversies on campus right now. The first is the school's plan to expand and build a new science facility on Science Hill. This is called the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). Many students disagree with this because it was done in secret, and the plan calls for cutting down many of the beautiful redwood trees on campus. In protest, there are students living in the trees on Science Hill. The second is the AFSCME workers union renegotiating their contract. All UC workers are going on strike, which is a debilitating hit. This is currently happening on all UC campuses. There is a lot of school pride. Students absolutely love UCSC. We wear banana slug gear and get involved in the school. We have very few sports teams, but there is a great amount of support for the ones we have.

Jessica

UCSC is a pretty good school, not only do you get a fair education, but there are a lot of social and philosophical classes that you can take to get a broader view of the world on the side. I am a bio major and still had time to take some of these classes. It has the same administrative bullshit and runaround of any university. There is no big central meeting area where you will see everyone, but each department has a center and so that's where you will spend most of your time. Most students move off campus their second year and SC is a beautiful place: The ocean, the redwood forests, the cliffs, beautiful. The community is very diverse, but there is a little locals vs. slugs (that's our mascot) rivalry that mostly happens in the water (for the surfers) but can come up on land and ruin a party. For the most part the westside is dominated by students and rich older people so its not so much of a problem, but if you move over to the eastside (where its a lot cheaper!) don't be a dick or someone might try to put you in your place. There is a strange dynamic between locals, students and tourists.

Admiral

I think the best thing about UCSC is that many professors care a great deal about their undergraduate students. I have had talks with several of mine outside of the classroom and they generally the professors have had some really interesting experiences. It is funny when I tell people about UCSC they tend to laugh and ask me if we have had any good protests lately. If I could change one thing it would be how protesters mobilize. They shouldn't march on a daily basis and they should only march on the people who can actually change what they are trying to protest. The protesters also believe that their cause is just, so they violate the law and then get up in arms over police "brutality" when the police start to arrest them. The general atmosphere around protests is the one thing that I really hate about this campus. However, the environment is wonderful and I believe the campus currently holds the right number of students. There is a Long Range Development Plan which wants to increase the size of the school a great deal, but it is still many years away from being implemented. Hopefully it won't destroy the natural beauty of this campus. It has many fantastic mountain bike and hiking trails. Every fall the local AIDS group puts together a great road biking event which winds through Santa Cruz county. This campus puts you in the center of great things and I would strongly recommend coming here.

Morgan

This campus is amazing, there isn't another one that can compare to its beauty.

Jamie

UCSC is a BEAUTIFUL campus. So many trees and naturally gorgeous. It's big but I always seem to see people I know. I hang out in people's dorm rooms a lot. There are some coolish things on campus- Porter Caves, Tree 9, peace forts where people smoke, etc. Usually some kind of dance somewhere on campus if you like those. The town of Santa Cruz is OK, there's a lot of restaurants and clothes stores and a few movie theaters. There's always the beach but the boardwalk is really expensive. Not a whole lot to do though.

Connie

Its a beautiful campus that really offers a range of subjects and activites that you can't find most places.

Bryan

At first the school seems massive and like it will be impossible to navigate, but you learn your way around quickly and can usually get anywhere on campus in under 30 minutes on foot. You seem to spend most of your time on campus in your own residential college, since there is no great central meeting place. The college town is small, but it has a good spread of everything you could possibly need, plus its close to the beach and the boardwalk, which has rides and games. There is tension between the students and administration at times over further development of the school, but for the most part both sides get along fine and the students are pretty much able to do as they please. While there is hardly any emphasis on sports teams, there is definitely a strong sense of school pride since UCSC is such a unique, at times quirky place.

Emily

It's big here. The campus is spread out, but there's a pretty good bus system, so getting anywhere around campus isn't TOO much of a problem, especially if you're not against walking. It does make for a segregated populace though, as there is no "common area" central to all of the mini-colleges, so people tend to stay within their respective living areas. Pick somewhere you want to hang out a lot to live. A major downside is the distance the campus is from any sort of normal civilization. First-years aren't allowed to have a car, and parking on campus is on the expensive side. A trip downtown on the bus is an journey (going to get groceries? It'll take around an hour and half), and forget walking to say, Taco Bell unless you're in for an epic journey. It is pretty here though, and close to the ocean. Surfing is actually a PE class, which is pretty sweet.

April

The best thing by far is the gorgeous campus. The trees and mountains are so inspiring and unique for a college campus. There is not a lot of school pride, which is sad. People rarely come to the few sporting events we do have, and people are generally not very involved in the school. Sometimes I feel like I am at a huge commuter school. The size is just right for me. Small enough to recognize a few faces, but large enough to meet new people everyday and not get bored with the offerings here. The townspeople in Santa Cruz are not very friendly towards students, mostly because we drive up rent prices and crowd the already-too-small town with our cars and surfboards. One experience I will always remember is the great friends and people I have met here. The people are very unique, and there are many that I don't get along with, but once you find your niche, the social atmosphere is great. We go to the beach and go frisbee golfing.

Lauren

I, personally, love going to UCSC. Some of the reasons are that it's somewhat isolated but it's still not too tough to get around, and another is because the on-campus environment is so friendly and laid-back. The campus is a little bit big for walking - if you live in Crown and you have a class in Oakes, it'll take between half an hour to an hour to walk there. I think the beauty of the scenery makes up for that, though. And if you're worried about making friends, it's not too tough: Despite the big number of students who attend UCSC, only a portion of them live on-campus; and living in the individual colleges gives a small-campus feel, so it's easier to make friends with those in your immediate area. Admittedly I'm not the most social person - UCSC accommodates for both the social and the anti-social pretty well. It's easy to make friends when you live on-campus. I've definitely run into a few people who have looked surprised or scoffed a bit when I told them I attend UC Santa Cruz. I know UCSC has a bit of a reputation (from before the system began giving letter-grades) of being academically less-than-UC-standard, but I don't think that's so true anymore. There are definitely some great teachers here - as well as some bad ones, but you can't expect a huge school to have 100% fabulous professors.

Tristan

UCSC is a great place to be when you're trying to develop yourself and discover yourself in new ways. You live among a community of (almost totally) extremely open-minded people and it's extremely easy to find a small community of people which share some of your similar values and interests. There are so many things to love about UCSC and to keep you busy and intrigued. I don't think I could ever get bored of living in Santa Cruz--the city is so full of life and culture, and it's life and culture is great for the soul. If you love sun, nature, surfing, vibrant colors, and a wide array of great, genuine people and conversation, UCSC is the place for you.

KJ

Our school is a medium sized school and most of the students are democratic and environmentally friendly. when i tell people that i go to ucsc they automatically assume that i am a stoner (which i am). the best part about our school is the view on campus and our ski and snowboard club. santa cruz is a beautiful city and the campus is extremely nice. I am not really a fan of the school system though. it is organized poorly and the traffic/parking sucks. we are not really considered a party school, but i think that is changing thanks to ski club and people like me.

Bobby

Being a slug is probably one of the lamest and weakest mascots a school can have, but don't let that fool you. UCSC is beautiful.

Jessica

I honestly feel that UCSC is different from every other college. The students do a great job balancing their time between academics and social gatherings. On the bus, I always here people discuss their classes and tests that are coming up. But we don't take ourselves too seriously. We have "first run" and "4/20" here on campus. "First Run" occurs the first night it rains at the beginning of each academic year. It is also considered the naked run. Naked students start running from Porter College and make their way to all of the colleges. About 600-700 students are known to run while everyone else is cheering them on on the side of the road. "4/20" is another great event; I don't need to explain it. Look it up!

Willow

I love UCSC. The best thing about it is the community. I feel like I have friends everywhere. Even though this is a incredibly large university, it seems small, like you know more people than you think. Plus, in your major you kinda end up seeing the same people, which makes for a great community. The anthropology community, but the way, is awesome. I love my fellow anthro buddies. I spend most of my time on campus hanging out with friends either in lounges, outside, in the dh or at their place. Santa Cruz town is great, though I wouldn't characterize it as a college town, which fits me better. I never favored a college town environment. The administration is one bureaucratic state. It very rarely listens to the students and sets up bizzare restrictions. Plus, sometimes I feel that it acts too fast and without the best interest of the students at heart. Though, I must say, I do have compassion because it must be hard to be in charge, considering the dynamics of the UC Regents. The biggest recent controversy was the military men coming on during career fair. There is a lot of school pride, but it is very passive. I'll always remember going for hikes and cooking with friends. I'll also always remember our community and the incredible classes I've taken. I love UCSC. There is no other college I would have wanted to go to.

Ciara

The greek life is a big part of UCSC, I myself am a part of it so I can really agree to this fact. It allows the opportunity for people to be active with on campus activities but also to meet new people and increase the amount of friends one has. The proffesors are amazing and are very knowledgeable in what they teach; in the long run when you tell someone you go to UCSC they oooo and aaaaahhh and really look at you in high respects. I must say when I graduate I will be leaving with an extensive amount of wonderful information and great friends.

Katie

I think the best thing about UCSC is that the people here, for the most part, dissasociate themselves with most materialistic things and don't focus on popularity or social status. Life in Santa Cruz is the epitome of the beachy college town with good people and a great academic focus.

Alex

UCSC campus feels like summer camp all of the time. It has been the best decision for me to go here. The school is not large, but it is spread out. You take trails through the redwoods to get to class. What more can you could you ask for. It is a good place to learn about current events, because there always activists somewhere. Plus, we are at the beach! I live literally 2 minutes from the beach, what other time in your life can you afford that.

Blake

I love the campus and I love the set up of the university into colleges because it makes it feel a lot smaller and more tight knit.

laura

The campus is amazing: imagine having forests and fields in your backyard. The town is great, too: just the right size with lots of beaches and beautiful niches. Its important to know (if you are planning on living on campus) what the deal is with the colleges, as you will have to choose one and live there. Here is a simplified guide: bewarned: most of the below descriptions are extremely stereotypical. -Cowell: surfers/preppy/smart but quiet-er -Stevenson: smart with an attitude (be warned: a longer core-course than the other colleges). -Crown: science/math whizzes (warning: up a giant hill!) -Merrill: no idea honestly, but warning: up a giant hill! -Colleges 9&10: "normal" kids -Kresge: hippies and lesbians -Porter: artsy farts and hipsters -College 8: socal preppies -Oakes: "diversity" (warning: far removed from most of campus)

Blake

UCSC is extremeley beautiful. A lot of people I know can't handle the idea of living in the redwoods but I think its amazing. What more can you ask for a beach and a forrest! Natural Bridges is such an amazing beach, I love to visit the tidepools. I guess one downside about this place in my opinion is that we are anti large corporations so unlike the other UC's we dont have an In-N-Out, Taco Bell, etc on campus. What I thought was cool about UCSC is that just like UCSD we have ten small college housing communities you associate yourself with within the campus. It is supposed to really help bring people together. I'm not sure if it did, but I like how each separate college has its own look and theme to it. I've heard we have an outstanding Physics, astronomy,ecological and linguistics programs. Sure you may here that Santa Cruz isnt a serious campus but it actually is. Its a great school. People work together and help each other out, unlike some of the competitive schools where you may tend to feel alone.

Colin

The best thing about ucsc is that if you decide you want to work hard, you will get a great education, yet, you don't have to worry about rediculous curves due to an abundance of overachievers. If there's one thing i could change, its the parking situation. Parkings a bitch, and the ticketing people are nazi's. And its also very expensive to park. The school seems to be growing even larger, approaching 20,000, which is great for diversity, even bigger would be fine because as it is classes are usually no problem getting into. There's no real college town, everything off campus is so spread out that it cannot be confined to one area like at santa barbara, and that akes it difficult when events and parties are happening because neighbors (usually non UCSC people) are living a completely different lifestyle... which isunderstandable. One experience i'll always remember is the "4/20". The day of the year when thousands of people storm to a certain spot near campus to smoke together. I'm not part of it b/c i dont smoke, but it's definitely a trademark of UCSC.

Casey

UCSC's location is gorgeous. You can't really beat it. But the administration and beauracracy is horrendous. Especially if you're coming from a small private school, the culture shock is really a jolt.

Ben

It's the kind of school where it's 100% up to you. Classes can be too extreme, or too easy, depending on which ones you take and how seriously you take them. If you do all the reading you can get an education like an Ivy, or you can find the loopholes and just get the grade. It's really up to the students. You can be active in politics, social issues, fun, anything you want. Or you can just sit at home and watch movies with friends. Not right or wrong, just up to you.

Gene

There is the constant town/gown battle that rages on. UCSC is the epitome of a city on a hill, seemingly disconnected and unconcerned about the simple minded townies. There is merit on both sides of this argument. The amount of money and brain power the the university has and continues to bring to this town are what makes brings it some of its noteriety. That is, UCSC has lifted Santa Cruz ffrom a small town where tourism and frozen vegatables were the main industry.

Maria

The campus area is too large, and makes it difficult for students to get around other than taking the buses provided. Many of us dislike the fact that freshman and sophomores can't get parking on campus, and makes it even more inconvenient. The housing on campus is a little run-down. There should be more colleges on campus like College 8, 9, and 10. They are now overpopulated because of the high-demand. When I tell people I go to UCSC, people get the impression of the low-academic level at the school, and others emphasize on how great the beach area is. The college town (downtown) is dirty and lacks variety and nightlife. The mall is too small and needs more stores. The college town is very old, and almost abandoned by the corporate world. The biggest controversy so far is the expansion of our campus. The students do not have a lot of school pride, the majority is apathetic in sports and activities. Perhaps if we had a football team or a less picky cheerleading team, then more people would join and be involved. The most frequent student complaints have to do with the overpopulation in College 9 and College 10, how people cannot move in, the inconvenience of parking on campus for freshman and sophomores, and the lack of a frat row and a larger greek life.