The school became an entirely different place when midterms and finals rolled around. You’d have to fight for a seat in the library and share a desk with a fellow student who had pages of notes stuck to their face while they slept. Yet, there was nothing more satisfying than biking home, feeling well-studied, with the ocean breeze whistling past.
UCSB is known for being a “party” school, but there was more to the experience than that. Every college has parties – no big deal! However, I actually went to a party once, at a house that probably would have been condemned in any other place, but talking to the host lead to the conversation that he’d never leave, no matter the condition. He was paying $700 a month for beach-front property. If that’s not a deal, I don’t know what is. They may have been sharing living space with cockroaches and noisy neighbors, but they awoke every morning with the sun streaming through the windows and nothing but the sight of an endless ocean before them.
The school was like its own world trapped inside this one, but I never once felt out of place or unwelcome. For me it was the nirvana of schools and I couldn’t have imagined going to study anywhere else.