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Take Me Out: UCI Campus Highlights for Visitors

 

When friends and family drop by UCI for the first time, students must transition into tour guide mode, and fortunately, our campus is filled with natural and architectural features to show them.  The pressures of seeing and knowing everything that the school has to offer, however, should not complicate the process of touring our conveniently organized campus.  Without walking backwards or reciting the number of trees in Aldrich Park, anyone can easily take visitors around to campus landmarks while adding personal anecdotes about classes or where to hangout and eat lunch.  Giving a tour reminds us to take pride in our attractive and visually diverse school, and will familiarize first-timers with the beauty that Anteaters experience every day.  Here are a few must-sees and suggestions for showing guests around UCI, but make sure to include your own sights and sounds because no one knows your campus perspective better than you.                

Circumnavigation of Ring Road

The best way to see most of campus without getting visitors lost is to take a full walk weaving in and out of inner and outer Ring Road.  The outer ring will take you around to the distinct school areas, libraries, and Student Center, and the inner ring will lead you around Aldrich Park and UCI’s oldest buildings.  On a school day, do not forget the possibility of boba and Korean BBQ sales to feed your visitors’ hunger.  Stops on the bridges allow for breath-taking views and pictures overlooking Aldrich Park.  Also, you never know if you might run into a campus celebrity, like Swag Man!

Middle Earth    

Whether you were a resident there or not, the Middle Earth housing community based off the Lord of the Rings books is worth mentioning.  Directly off of Ring Road, every hall and facility building name was taken from the trilogy and may peak the interest of any type of guest.  Have a couple of hall names on hand to show off some knowledge of the community.  Lucky visitors can also pay a visit to the UCI rabbits by crossing Pelennor Field at night.

Anteater Benches

The anteater statue benches located by the entrances to the food court and Student Center provide for fun pictures with our mascot and a rest from walking on Ring Road.  Entertaining for the young and old, these anteaters are used to posing for photos and do not mind the company.  

Aldrich Park

Away from the busy pace of Ring Road, visitors can find peace and enchantment in the heart of campus.  Follow wherever the winding paths take you or pave your own path by walking along the rolling grass to the sound of chirping birds.  Sunny and warm days are ideal for picnics in the open area and naps in the shade.  Late afternoons to evenings are perfect for witnessing how beautifully the sun’s last rays illuminate the tops of trees and reach into the park.    

Mitosis Between Biological Sciences 3 and Natural Sciences 1

One of many hidden campus facts, the trees and ground designs between these two buildings illustrate the sequence of mitosis.  Take some biology fans to this spot and ask what they see.    

The ARC

Before heading out for Strickland’s ice cream, show visitors where you work out at the Anteater Recreation Center, UCI’s modern and well-kept fitness center. Prior to checking out the facilities, guests must be signed in by a student at the front desk.  If the numerous treadmills, indoor track, pool, outdoor field, and racquetball courts do not impress friends and family, maybe the kitchen in the back of the second floor will.

UCI Underground Tunnels

For the most adventurous of visitors, the legendary UCI Tunnels beneath the school should be attempted by those willing to brave sewer conditions and be led by a guide with prior experience.  Not many schools boast their own underground pathways, making a visit to them more enticing.  Filled with mystery and graffiti, exploring the tunnels may be an unpleasant and exhilarating task, but they definitely add to a unique Irvine experience.

Celina is a third year economics major at UC Irvine.  Her interests include playing sports, reading the news and books, and trying new food.  Besides being a writer for Her Campus, Celina is also a member of Active Minds, a mental health awareness club, and the karate club at UCI and is a site supervisor for an outreach program for high school freshmen.  
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