anonymous asked:

Do you have any UCSC survival tips for incoming freshmen? :)

#1. NEVER. EVER. EVER. BUY ANY TEXTBOOK FROM THE BAYTREE SHIT STORE. EVER. if possible, look up required textbooks early and order them online. if you’re a lazy forgetful asshole like me, make friends and borrow the textbook from them until yours arrive. join the official ucsc group and the sub “for sale” page on facebook.
#2. on the first day of your classes, make sure you know where they are and leave early in case of confusion. j bask and e bask are two very different places.
#3. don’t eat the seitan.
#4. towel under your door, lights off if your window’s open, campus safety officers leave after 3 am. do what you will with that information.
#5. unless you’re going from porter to stevenson (which are opposite sides of campus) or there’s a bus right at the bus stop, you’re better off walking to class :]
#6. do the naked run. do it.
#7. look up professors on, especially for GE classes not needed for your major. there are plenty of classes with awesome professors, why be stuck with one you’d be miserable in?
#8. crown/merril dining hall has the best food. but you decide if it’s worth the hike. 
#9. metro buses: 10 is the fastest downtown, but there are peeps living off campus who actually need to get home so if it’s crowded, don’t be an asshole and take the 15 & 16 instead, thems the homies. 19 for the boardwalk, 20 for natural bridges, but both end up downtown as well.
#10. porter ride or die ;] just kidding. but really. porter’s where it’s at.

these are all i can think of off the top of my head so far but i’m sure there are many more. 

i feel like a guru.

it’s been two years and this post is still getting attention and i’m so glad that people in the shoes that i was in find this useful. 
well, i’m a third year now, in my last quarter getting ready to graduate (a year early whoop!) and i’ve come back to edit this post because i’ve learned so so much more, and want you guys to know now the things i’ve found out too late. here we go!

#11. build relationships with your professors. you don’t have to be the star of the department (god knows i wasn’t). i’m not the kind to stay after class to talk to professors, i avoid all office hours unless i desperately have a question (and even then i only go to TA office hours), but…this is the wrong way to go. push yourself. find a professor that you have even a slight connection to and go say hi, make up some questions to ask. things like what they’ve been working on, maybe you can help in their next research? suggestions for the class? make yourself not just a face in their classroom. it feels good two quarters later in your next class where you happen to have the same professor and they remember your name, for the sake of references and oh you know, just personal gratification. i didn’t figure this out until the last year of college and it’s my number one regret.

#12. if you have the time, join a club or org. you’ll get to know people and do things with them, meaningful things. the first year in the dorms you feel like you have a never ending stream of friends because everybody’s excited and living with each other. come second year you might move off campus, or your friends move off campus, upper division classes are harder and you have less free time, any number of reasons can find yourself missing social connection. the people who were in my student org have now become some of my closest friends. (shameless plugging, my student org is CARe (community aid & resources), we put up free health clinics for the homeless and under-served in santa cruz, and we meet at kresge student lounge at 5 pm every sunday!)

#13. this one is short i promise, LOOL. if you’re an out-of-state city girl (or guy) like me, take advantage of the OPERS recreational trips. they take you on hikes and camping trips and sometimes the fees are hefty (do whatever you want and can afford, of course) but will cost way less than trips organized on your own since they cover entrance, group gear, guide, etc.  i’m going to a big sur one in may and i’m mad hyped! i’ve never been camping unless you count that night i wandered into central park and looked at some trees, and i’ve never been to big sur!

#14. take advantage of santa cruz! the trail down west cliff is beautiful, go kayaking, go paddle boarding. you’re now living in a city where tourists literally come pay to stay at, and they only get to be here some of the time while you’re here all of the time, homie.

#15. don’t slack your freshman year and be wise about the classes you take. i know it’s new and exciting, but you will regret it like how i regret it right now looking at my GPA. personal story: freshman year i got a 4.0 my first quarter because intro and core classes were ezpz. second quarter i was so dumb, i took an 8 am upper div history course THE SECOND QUARTER OF MY FRESHMAN YEAR, and i wasn’t even considering history as a major! i thought it was interesting and i took it, but just being interested isn’t enough, you have to commit. on top of that i zoned out of the first two weeks of a linguistics course within my major and had to take it pass/no pass as a result. i’ve done so well my last two years of college (all A’s with a sprinkle of B+’s baby), it’s really the first year that messed me up. moral of the story: kids, don’t be like me.

#16. in a similar vein and in conjunction of #7 above, be careful the classes you take to fulfill your GEs. i planned mine out in a way such that any linguistics course that fills an eligible GE, i took. this way i take a class that fulfills my major AND GE, AND i’m interested in it because linguistics! do this here! for the GEs that can’t be found in your major, try to find one you like and will commit to, and depending on how hard it is consider using a pass/no pass on it. before i figured this out, i took a macroeconomics class graded. yeah, you heard me.

okay, well, i think i’m done so far. i don’t check tumblr as often as i used to but if ya’ll have any questions, just ask!