University of California-Santa Cruz Top Questions

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

Deboni

Take a good look at all your options. Don't choose to go to a school just because it's free. College is an investment. I messed up by choosing to accept a basketball scholarship at a community college, and it hurts daily, because I know basketball isn't something I enjoy doing. Now I am stuck at a small community college doing something I do'nt enjoy doing, when I know I had the grades to go wherever I wanted. Because I didn't think I had the finances to go where I wanted, I chose the school where I wouldn't have to worry about paying. Now, I have decided to let go of basketball, and do it the way I should have from the beginning. I am going to do whatever it takes to get into my dream school. At the end of the day, you are only going to be happy doing what you enjoy. Go where you know you will feel comfortable, even if you don’t think you have the financial support. There are many people out there who care, and will help you get where you want!

Ryan

"Ryan, home will be 300 miles away. You are well aware of the distance, with blind enthusiasm, but can you comprehend it? Can you imagine a life outside of that warm bubble that is Whittier? I'll answer that for you: you can't. A year and a half in, and you willl still be clawing for some sign of stability, a buoy to mediate the ceasless gasps for breath. You are about to be emmersed in a new bubble, a bubble that you will be as unfamiliar with as yourself. So prepare for it while you're warm. Now you of all people will notice the urgency of my language. 'That's not how I talk'. But the urgency is warranted twofold: I am a changed person, and you need to prepare yourself to be a changed person. Prepare youself for the chance visit home, upon which you gaze into a mirror of change: seeing all that has changed since leaving, while it simultaneously stares back. You are beginning the most flux time of your life, in which not even spacial location can chain you down. Prepare to embrace it, for that is all you can do."

Pauline

If I could go back in time and visit myself, I would emphasize to not stress as much. For those four years I maintained straight As, with the exception of two Bs in a couple math classes, however those grades came at a cost. I was extremely hard on myself to have perfect grades because I wanted a great college education to make money and support my mother (who has no retirement and works extremely hard). This attitude often lead to mental breakdowns and crying during exams due to test anxiety. If I could go back, I would just give my old self a big hug, look myself in the eye, and demand that I relax. Looking back I carried around a lot of unnecessary stress because, academically, things usually ended up working out. Many problems came up outside of school too, like my parents constant custody struggle and my position of being the middleman between two parents who hated each other. I would tell my old self it is okay to cry and feel overwhelmed with my situation, but I would urge that these things just happen in life and sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Gloria

If I were able to go back in time and talk to my self in high school, I would want to tell myself all the good and bad stuff about college. However, the most vital pieces of information that would have benefitted me if I had known are the following. First, asking questions is the number one way to be able to succeed. We won't always know the answers to everything and we need help at times; thus the only way we can get help is through questions. Getting over the fear of embarassment of asking questions to professors and peers is difficult but is very beneficial to your college career. Secondly, I would tell myself that although I grew up in a prodominently Latino town, there are really amazing people of different cultures and traditions that bring new perspectives into your view. Yes, making friends is always a little mind racking but many other students have similar experiences to yours. So push your self, and set out of your comfort zone because the world is out there for you to see and experience only through asking questions and being open minded.

Taylor

As a senior, I felt elated to have come so far both physically and mentally. I wanted to make my last year of high school count, so I joined choir, the Drama Club and performed on stage. Looking back, however, with certain college classes held against me, I would have told myself that being on top of the world wasn't everything. I would have told myself to study harder and math and actually do my homework, as that's such an important aspect in college. I would have formed a better sleeping schedule so as to stay healthy. And most importantly, I would have told myself to apply for as many scholarships as possible. College certainly isn't cheap, and being paid minimum wage will only sustain me for so long.

Kyle

Take it slow. Don't jump on college-life bandwagons. It's a good idea to try new activities, sports, scenes, etc., ( in fact, there's probably no better time to do so) but remember that college life one day transitions into real life. During this transitionary time period, cultivate self-reflection and introspection. Take the time to take a class about something that has always interested you but that you've never had the opportunity to learn about. Accept the challenge to think critically about the world. Be good and go to class. Don't remain anonymous: professors and TAs have office hours for a reason. Go to them. Find a good coffee shop where you can do your schoolwork, because it's not always easy to do it in the dorms. Stay up-to-date on campus news. Join your college's student government. Do at least one semester of an internship in something that interests you. Keep in contact with your family and friends from home, but don't stay attached at the hip. Go out and discover yourself! Make college the best time of your life!

Elizabeth

I would tell myself not to stress so much. In the end, any question I had was answered at freshman orientation and I've made some life-long friends at an incredible campus. More importantly though, I would remember to make use of lab sections and professors' office hours as being in a math intensive major ensures many confused hours in the library. TAs and professors are always happy to help demystify the homework--they were all there before!

Brian

The only real usefull advice I think I could give myself, knowing how well I take advice, would be to work harder. I'm a stubborn kid that likes to learn for myself, but I'm also a work -a-holic. So the only usefull advice I would have listend to would to just work harder, because the harder you work now, the easier it can get later.

Jessica

If I could go back in time, I would tell my highschool version of myself to apply for as many scholarships as possible, to think things through before making a big desicion. Sometimes we feel as though we know everything but the real thing is that we know nothing unless we actually do our homework on it. Some opportunities were missed due to lack of not knowing. Always take in play the advice that elders give you. Although you may think they know nothing, they actually know more that you think. Be very hard working, and don't let anyone tell you that you can't. You must succeed regardless of what anyone says to you.

Michael

Never give up. People in life will tell you that you can't achieve your dreams. You can achieve anything you set your mind to, and to actually achieve greatness you have to believe you can do it. It may hurt, you may be tired, or even miss a day out with friends, but in order to be the best at whatever your dream is, you have got to give it everything you got. It's easy to be strong when everything is going well, but your true strength shows when you fall down and get back up. Don't hesitate make it a habit that you are there to stay and you will not give up until you reach your dreams, whether it is to graduate college with a 4.0 GPA, compete at the olympics, or become the parent of a family that you love. Don't start tomorrow, start today. There is only one person that can stop you from fulfilling your dreams and that is yourself. How bad do you want it?

Michele

If i could go back to 2004 when I was a high school senior, I would tell myself to smile more and enjoy life. At 18 everyone should be enjoying their time being young and not stressing about how to pay for school or your family problems. If I was more relaxed, calm and happy I believe I would be much farther along with my college education then I currently am today. I am 25 years old now and I realize that life wasn't hard or complicated then. Getting a college education is the most important thing any young adult or adult can do. Smile, be happy and enjoy your life and that will make college and the transition much easier.

Jordan

Take things one step at a time. Do not rush yourself or think too far ahead in the future. Stay present and focus on what is important right here, right now, not 5 years from now. Take your time deciding what to do. Always be open and try new things. Study as many different things and learn as much as possible.

Alissa

I would've told myself to not be so uptight and rigid about my life. I remember being so wrapped up in making sure that I got into college that most of the time, I forgot how to be a teen. I forgot to have fun with my friends, that taking breaks was ok, and and that it was ok to be stupid from time to time. When I did let loose, I was so rigid that I felt so far away from everyone else in the room. But that's then and now that college is at my front door, I realize that after this summer, I really will be a adult with school and real adult responsibilities. I realize now that its those loose, fun moments with people and friends in between work that makes life more fulfilling. And God knows, I've missed a lot of those moments. So high-school me, never forget how to have fun. You don't wanna be the grouchy old lady that holds your grandkids on a leash all the time. Let loose. Be free.

Rosalie

Everything you've ever heard about college is how great it is. The parties, the freedom, the maturity of being around older students have always sounded so perfect and enticing. But what you don't realize is that going to college is a huge change, regardless of how ready you think you might be. Moving away from home will be a frightening experience. You'll have to meet all new friends, a new room, new food, new classes, a whole new system. It will take a good bit of time to adjust to your new setting. But don't be discouraged. Once you get past the fear, college is a fantastic environment for personal growth. It offers a chance to take a wide variety of unique classes, insight into new cultures and new social groups as well as the creation of a new family within your school. Once you find your niche, you'll understand why you've only ever heard good things. Just keep your chin up and enjoy the rest of your senior year. Oh, and this summer when you're contemplating what to pack for school, keep in mind you'll only have one closet.

Jillian

If I could go back to my senior year in high school, I would tell myself to take college more seriously throughout the journey rather that mess around the first year and think I was big man on campus. I would tell myself to take advantage of the college and career center at my high school and fill out as many scholarship applications that I could, that way when I did reach college, I wasn't worring about how to pay for classes, books, and other materials needed. I would also tell myself to pick one major and stick with it till I am finished, unlike my 3 majors and 1 minor I decided to persue. I would remind myself that I can always persue another major in the future if I get tired of the field I majored in at first. Last but no least, I would tell myself to STUDY!!!! Listening to my high school teachers advice about studying. It always pays off in the end.

Brittany

I would tell my high shool senior self to take things more seriously. Like I did but I wish I applied for more scholorships. After my first year I already have over $8000 in loans. College life and transitional wise, I would of had more fun with my friends during the summer because I didn't realize how much I missed them (I spent over 90% of my summer with my family). Basically, spent as much time as with people life doesn't give you a chance to hang out with. And taking a summer class would take a class off the requirements, it eases the stress of trying to figure out which classes to take.

Jessica

I have just been in college about 6 months and it has been a lot of work. In high school teacherts scare you about the amount of workload there is going to be and the amount of stress one will go through. Although not the workload i expected, college work is difficult. Looking back now i would have paid more attention in my AP classes. I would not have slacked off in high school, because now everything is harder. I would also tell myself that being homesick was just a phase. That was my fear coming to college. Being 6 hours away and i was afraid i would go back home. I would just tell myself that it was a phase i would get past because now i am fine. I was also afraid of coming to college. Afraid of failure. Now that i am here i know that i have made it this far so no need to quit. I am glad im in college and would not quit.

nicole

I would say stay in school. College is not a choice, it's a right of passage. All the jobs and careers that you would want to do in life, you will have to go to college. So get in over with.

Nikolas

I would start off by telling myself to not assume that the college workload is just a little bit harder than the amount of work administered to in high school. Although college offers a lot more free time and fewer classes each quarter/semester, falling behind is a lot easier and catching up is nearly impossible. I would tell myself that time management is probably the most important aspect in college. As long as you manage your time, your college life will run smoother with much less stress involved. Another important piece of advice I would give myself is not give in to peer pressure. Yes we were taught to not give into peer pressure in middle school and high school, but there is even more peer pressure in college. Especially since you will be living on your own for the first time and will be making your own choices with no guidance except your own friends, which leads to my next piece of advice. Choose your friends wisely! They are an essential part of your life in college and without them, you might lose your sense of what is wrong or right.

Richard

If I were to go back in time when I was a senior in high school, I would tell myself that my abilities all comes from my own will. I would have done more in college and have achieved more if someone had told me that college is gateway for your own success and the only way to succeed is to try hard. I would have started to join more club and get myself more associated with the extra free help that is available for students to help prepare themselves for the future. I would have done more internships to get myselve prepared for the real world and perhaps work at the same company that I have interned for to secure myself with a career, instead of being in a limbo. If I was the apply myself at the start of college, I could have been one of the many people who succeed after college or even progressed without college like Mark Zuckerberg.

sarah

If I could go back in time, I would tell my high school self to be brave! Since graduating high school, every period of growth has followed bold choices and fearlessness of change. Whether it's moving across the country, applying to a competitive program, or challenging established but inefficient routine, having the bravery to make bold changes is how you move forward. It may not always have the outcome you envision, but you will always learn from it, and grow as a person. Pushing yourself out of the routine and life you know can be scary, but exposure to new ideas, people, and opportunites is what going to college is all about. I would encourage myself to be brave and fully explore and take advantage of all the opportunites college offers.

Alex

The college experience has been somehat of a dissapointment. Because of cutbacks it has been difficult to take many of the courses that look interesting. On the positive side I am graduating in three years instead of four because the University has accepted my AP credit and summer school courses. I have learned about Computer Science/Game Design because UCSC is one of the few schools to offer such a major. The result has been t hat I am more aware of my strengths and weaknesses for pursuing a career in this field. The University does include a lot of guest speakers and this has also helped me to see the potential for pursuing a career in this field.

Amber

My experiences as an undergraduate student were some of the most rewarding of my life thus far. I would strongly consider myself to be defined as a highly ambitious student, and from the moment I enrolled at the University of California-Santa Cruz, I fully immersed myself in all the university had to offer. During my four years as an American Studies undergraduate, I completed enough courses to satisfy my major twice over and requested permission to take additional credits in fields such as sociology, computer programming, art history and music. I also had the opportunity to involve myself in various campus organizations including: the American Studies Student Representative Board, Women's Varsity Golf, Gospel Choir, Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, Students Against War, and the Kinetics Poetics Performance Poetry Group. My experiences as an undergraduate allowed me to intellectually and spiritually blossom and created a lifelong learner of me. The knowledge I have attained and the fire that has been ignited inside me is absolutely invaluable, and I eagerly anticipate starting graduate school in the fall. I move forward a great deal wiser, more self sufficient, and well equipped to achieve all of my educational and career goals.

Dalynna

What I have gotten out of my college experience so far is the solitary experience it is to live life on my own. For the last 18 years of my life I lived with my dad in a quaint little suburban city and I never got to experience life outside of that bubble. Coming here to UC Santa Cruz has given me an experience of a lifetime I'll never forget because I've met such wonderful people I never would have met back at home. Now I consider Santa Cruz my home because I'm living here on my own yet I have my roommates and housemates to support me, so I'm never really alone, but I'm as independent as I've always wanted to be. It's such a valuable experience living on my own because I have myself to motivate me and I have to learn how to live by myself in order to succeed in life later on. I can't be dependent forever and my college experience here has taught me that and I am very grateful for it.

Alexander

College has forced me to grow as a person. I have learned the evils of procrastination and I have learned the importance of studying. College has also given me an oppurtunity to thrive not only academically, but emotionally. I have reached out to many people and have made many friends. Holding an on campus job has also been extremely beneficial. I t has shown me the importance of time management. I can honestly say I have grown more in the past 4 months than I have my entire life.

Brandon

My college experience so far has taught me invaluable lessons outside the classroom, which in my opinion are much more important than the knowledge I acquire from my textbooks. Firstly, college has given me the ability to work hard and really try to succeed. Never in my life have I felt so compelled to do well in school and really get the grades that I am satisfied with. Coming from a family with high expectations for me, I failed to fulfill these expectations and ended up attending my fallback option. But this same failure was what made me realize the impact of my education on my future career and quality of life. Just as importantly, this same failure taught me to appreciate the people I rely on in my life, namely my parents. Even though I came up short to their standards, they remained encouraging and supporting, despite their financial shortcomings in this ever-climbing fee hike. Most importantly of all however, college has forced me to be less reliant and more independent. Living on my own, doing my own chores, and making my own decisions are just a few aspects of this valuable life lesson.

Kara

A college experience is a learning process when coming straight out of high school. My time at Heartland Community College has taught me that if I want something, I have to make it happen. No one is there to hold your hand like they did in high school. College is about developing and perfecting the skills that will make me successful for the rest of my life! I discovered very quickly that what I put into the college experience is exactly what I will get out of it as well. So my plan is, and continues to be, giving my all to the point of exhaustion and perfection. I would never phathom doing anything half-heartedly, and my time at Heartland Community College has challenged me to keep working as hard as ever, in hopes to transfer to a university with confidence. I thank the school for expecting the best out of me. Their expectations have forced me to work to meet my highest potential as a student, getting ready to transfer with a 3.906 GPA. I am very proud at how far I have come while attending Heartland College as a student and as a woman!

Kristen

From my college experience, I have encountered many new and progressive ideas about society. I have learned about alternative histories not taught in the normal high school, close-minded textbooks. I have met a diverse group of liberal students, who are accepting to my gender and sexual preference. I have experienced a new and beautiful campus. I have become educated about the devastating impacts humans have been and are making to the environment. I have been presented with tools to further my passion for the environment and our precious resources.

Deseri

I am in the Digital Bridge Academy at Cabrillo College. The DBA is a learning community which has built my confidence level up, and has given me tools that I can use throughout my college and career experience. When I first enfrolled in college, I had a minimum goal of obtaining an A.A. Degree, but now that the DBA has shown me how successful I can be, I am now planning for my Master's Degree. Following is a short list of valuable skills that I have received from the DBA at Cabrillo: I have gotten to know myself and my personality, which is a direct connection to being happy and successful within a career and in life. I now know what my "learning style" is, and how to recognize the learning styles of others. This is extremely helpful in order to work together well. I can work in groups better. I have learned helpful study skill techniques, and I know what my academic and career skill sets are. I am so thankful that Cabrillo College has incorporated the Digital Bridge Academy into thier curriculum, and I recommend it to all first time and return students!

Samantha

College has taught me to be more independent. Along with making sure that I do my own work fully and get to class on time, simple things like making my own meals and doing laundry has made me a stronger, more self-reliant human being. College has also taught me that there are so many fields of study to explore and unique, diverse people to meet and learn from. I have learned the importance of being a well-educated individual, as well as the understanding that opportunities are always there, but it's the amount of effort you choose to put in that can make something worthwhile.

Zoey

I was a nerd in high school - plain and simple. Going to college got me out of my shell and showed me I could be a nerd, and still be cool. I could have my own passions and interests without being made fun of. People were interested in everything, and that made it really easy to make friends. I know I should focus on the academic portion of it regarding why it's been valuable to me, but honestly, I could have spent 4 years in a library and learned as much as I did by going to college. What I truly learned - self-confidence, what friendship and love is, and the beauty of the world around me - that is invaluable to me, and something I will always be grateful for.

Batseba

I gained the experience of making it on my own. Of being able to make my own decisions and be responsible. Living in my college also made me learn to adapt to the surroundings and the prople. I've also met alot of great people in college who make my stay here ten times better. I also get a great deal of help with my studies and i take every opportunty that comes to me.

Margaret

Living in the safest city in the nation my whole life, a city that offers its residence everything they need, it was more than necessary for me to leave and see what else was out there. My world had been limited to the perfect utopia I grew up in. Going to Santa Cruz was the best decision I ever made, it was perfect for what I had been looking for: self growth. I've not only learned about Maslow's hiearchy of needs and Freud, I've learned genuine friendships based on similarities rather than coincidence, I've learned how to take responsibility for every acheivement and mistake made, I've learned to be independent and take on opportunities without the comfort of friends, I've learned to approach everything with unbiased hope and not blind faith nor assumptions, and I'm starting to learn more about myself each day. Slowly but surely, UCSC provides me with an environment that helps me acheive self-actualization. Best decision I ever made.

bailey

It is valuable to attend because it prepares me for my future, my career, and for the rest of my life. College is valuable because it helps you guide your way through life towards your future and your career. Going to college may determine your future career and your life. Not only is college very expensive to not be looked as, as valuable, but it is also important to guide and prepare you for your future.

Shanina

As of the school year 2009-2010, I have learned the value of meeting new classmates that has turned into acquaintances, if not long-term friends. Meeting new people in my college, especially in my classes, is very important because it is very helpful to know people so we can form study groups and have people we can turn to if we need help with any schoolwork. I learned that networking with as many people throughout my college experience may help in the future.

Olivia

My experience here at UCSC could not have a price tag put upon it. There is no way to buy the things I have learned here. A new passion for learning has been installed within me by the teachers and students I'm surrounded by daily. The more I learn, the less I know and the more I strive to gain new ideas and come to new conclusions. I have made many unexpected friends who have shared their experiences with me and let me see things in their perspective and have gained a much more global outlook. Being in Santa Cruz has given me a great opportunity to settle into a close community and each day I'm here I feel a greater responsibility to be the change I wish to see in our world.

Hannah

So far during my two years of college I have learned many things. I learned about the functions of a eukaryotic cell, the absurd sexual theories of Sigmund Freud, different religions and their various gods, I learned to play beer pong and I learned to pull all-nighters. However the most valuable thing I have gotten out of college thus far has been the value of an education. Not just the monetary value of an education but the social, economic and personal growth that a good education allows. In college you meet many different people from many different backgrounds, and from those experiences I learned that education is a privilage that not everyone gets to experience. I realized that if I was given only one more year to live I would want to spend that year in college, because education is a precious thing. I am excited for my next two years of college and anticipate learning and experiencing many new things which will hopefully help me grow as an individual.

Livia

Out of my college experience at UCSC thus far I have learned a lot about how college is way harder than high school. It's a lot more independent study. "how much you put into it, is how much you get out". Make sure you go to class because the quarter system is fast and you can't afford to get behind. Go to office hours and make your professors know your name. If they do in the end they'll give you some more lee-way. If you fall behind, talk to your professor!!! Find someone to be your mentor who's older than you and in your major they always have great advice. I've learned that family and good friends and so important! Cherish them. I've learned you have to be proactive if you want anything, a job, to be in a sorority, an internship, research, help, advice. You have to make it happen.

TRINH

I have learned the importance of research and theoretical frameworks. But i have also learned research with applicable work will result the best result. I felt very accepted here. Goin to UCSC have make me more confident of myself and now i can be myself, dress my way, act my way, and speak my thoughts without being afraid of other people's opinions. I learned to oappreciate the environment and the life of our earth and our own healthy. I had a chance to study abroad which was an eye opening experience for me, and it has taught me alot . My ambitions and aspirations are motivated from this experience.

Chelsea

In my college experience at Coffeyville Community College I was a tutor in the campus library. I had to learn not to judge people by their physical appearance and I had to be patient with everyone I tutored. I met some of the most diligent learners and some of the most detached learners. I found typical stereotypes were not as accurate as I expected. I helped football players who came in everyday for my assistance and worked hard. I also found out that not all nerdy people are into books and homework, but would rather watch cartoons online. The people I met in college came from all walks of life. Therefore, it is not just a matter of broadening one's knowledge of facts and terms, in the end, there is a sense of broadening one's beliefs and aspects of everyday life. At a community college the campus is small, but the opportunities to broaden views on life are truly endless due to the close relationships with the faculty and student body. As a tutor I have learned that everyone has a chance at a better future. Attending college is the first step.

Sharena

I was able to graduate with a degree in Business Management Economics and Legal Studies. I had the support of two of my professors, who also wrote my recommendation letters for law school. The key to college is to get in there and meet people and professors that have your best interest at heart. If you feel like you are struggling, it is ok to ask for help and the administrators will help you. The one thing I wish I would have known about was scholarships, I wish that there was an adviser to help students apply for scholarships so that they would not have to take out so many loans. Also, the counseling services were not that great, the services need to adjust to the students needs and particular situation.

Tony

My college experience has made me realize the importance of balance in life and crossing new lines day by day. With all the friends 2-3 minutes away and the amount of work from three classes, balance was an issue when I first started college. But as the year progressed, I learned how to draw a fine line between a social life and an intense working life, which is something I'll have to do with my future career as well. College has also made me see how every day of the next few years will have a serious impact on who I'll be and what I'll become, which has me going above and beyond my best day by day. This experience has opened up new doors and introduced me into a new world that I never knew I'd be a part of after high school. Seeing how hard adults work and maintain a social was one thing, but being able to experience a similar situation was another; and its changed how I go about life and my future.

Svannah

I enrolled in college right after high school. It was too hard to juggle two jobs, bills, and college so I joined the military. It's been almost four years since I've been in college. I've seen people get out of the military, without a college education, and try to make ends meet. I wouldn't take back any of my experiences in the military, but I would love to be a civilian studying at a college someday. College makes me feel good. Every time I get a good grade I feel like I'm accomplishing something. I know that going to college is essential for me for the lifestyle that I want to live. College will provide me with an education. With that, I'll be able to provide better for my family. College offers me a sense of stability because I know that I'm going to graduate with a lot more opportunities and benefits than I would without the education it provides.

Emily

Before I came to college, I expected to get a solid education and a degree that would help set me on a great career. I am already on this path, and have learned so much in my courses already. However, this is not the part of my college experience that I have come to value the most. I have gotten so much out of my college experience that has made me a better and much happier person. I have met very amazing and diverse people, and have experienced new things that I never imagined myself doing. Some of my courses have required me to study religion and philosophy, and through these, and the new world that I am living in here, I have completely changed my views on life. I now know how important it is to me to learn and love and continue to grow, to push myself to attempt new challenges, learn new skills, and continue to try things that I haven't yet experienced. I am much more open minded because I attended this school, and I know that this will enable me to live a more interesting and fulfilling life.

annette

To me, college is an invaluable experience in both the practical and emotional sense. Even though I did not work in the field I majored in after graduation, I know that having a degree made me more comptetitive in the workplace. Having some kind of degree looks better than nothing, which is an important thing to consider in this economy. Indeed, I decided to use the current economic depression as an opportunity for further development and growth by returning to school to get my Masters in Counseling Psychology. I notice my appreciation for college much more now that I am returning to grad school after a 15 year hiatus. I am mindful of the unique camaraderie one enjoys while being in school, the ripe opportunities for change and the blossoming of self determination. If I could give one bit of advise to all new college students it would be this: enjoy each day of leisurely walking across campus, of meaningful debate with instructors, and all night pizza parties with friends.

Kelly

I came to college with my heart on my sleeve, beating quickly. I was anxious to meet new friends and take my somewhat basic education to the next level, and I haven't been disappointed; the incredible people I met even on my first day made me feel at home instantly, and my classes sparked a new heightened interest in all my coursework. Though it's easy to get lost in the beauty of the redwood forest and the liberal ease of the seaside town that surround campus, UCSC students remain constantly focused on the woes and injustice outside our college bubble. Together we create a community which sticks together and stands strong on issues of health care, environmental conservation, and of course the ever-euphemistic "homeland security" policies. I know that when I graduate I will take with me a strong conviction to fight for what is right, as well as the knowledge and the close friends to support me in creating a better future for myself and this world.

Jessica

As an undergraduate chemistry major, and more generally, a college student, I have gained a wealth of knowledge about people, ethics, and science, and with each new thing I learn, I find that I am coming to understand myself on a deeper and more significant level. Balancing my academic and social life, sometimes studying in my friends? dorms until late at night, and sometimes playing games and enjoying life until early in the morning, is something that gives me a sense of satisfaction. I find that my relationship with my family has gotten better since I?ve been able to embrace individuality in school and secure a confidence in myself that I could never have achieved before college. Now that attending class is no longer an obligation, but a luxury for which I pay tuition every year, I find myself looking forward to lectures, and looking forward to what I hope I will take out of each one. College life has a flavor that can?t possibly be matched by any other experience. Even as I look out the window into the upper quad, I can?t wait for what I will be introduced to next.

Leia

Not only have these past few months at UC Santa Cruz been an amazing time, but being a student here has also opened my eyes to how many other people share the same interests and work ethic as I do. During high school, I felt as if I was one of the only people that had a will to learn and gain knowledge. But here, I feel like people take their school work more seriously while also being able to balance out having a social life. I think it is great that I can be surrounded by people who are on the same level as me, figuratively speaking. The second quarter of college is not even done, but I feel I have already learned more being a college student for a mere few months than I have all four years of high school. Being able to come together and meet people from all over the country has opened my eyes to the various cultures that are in existence as well as the opportunities that lay ahead of me after college.

Maria

What advice wouldn't one give their younger self? The confidence to engage in activities and experiences outside of one's established comfort zone is vital to becoming a more well-rounded individual. Although most students are considered adults when they begin their college career at eighteen, the vast majority are not confident enough in their own skin to try new things and possibly risk either their reputation or pride. If I could advise my eighteen year-old self at the brink of starting her Freshman year at the University of California, Santa Cruz, I ask her to loosen up and challenge her insecurities and fears by attempting things outside her comfort zone. I would plead with her to consider studying abroad - her high school boyfriend will still be around when she returns and even end up marrying her. I would encourage her to participate in multicultural theater and to audition for plays before her junior year - she ends up being cast as the principals in two plays later anyway. More importantly, however, I would push her to do things that she might never have the opportunity of doing again. College is, in fact, the time of her life.

Francisco

The Advice that I would give myself would be not to take my senior as relaxing as I did. I would push myself and still take those hard classes such as AP's and Honors courses which were offered at my school. Another word of advice that I would give myself would be to look for more opportunities such as economic and academic. I would tell myself to push harder and look for those scholarships and financial opportunities that will help me in my future and also so I won't have to worry about money as much. Another word of advice I would give myself would be how to manage my time efficiently. One of the things I have learned so far is that time management is very essential for success. During my first year I have learned how to manage my time but I know I could also do a batter job.