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A Guide To Avoiding The Opps At UCSB

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

Over 25,000 students are enrolled at UCSB. Our campus spans 989 acres. 15,000 people live in Isla Vista. Yet, without fail, I am always running into the opps. 

An opp, short for opponent, is exactly what it means: someone who you have conflict or disagreement with, an adversary. But the opp designation can also apply to a wide variety of characters. It can be someone as personal as an ex-boyfriend, or it can be the person who constantly asks stupid questions in lecture (THE ANSWER IS IN THE SYLLABUS). In fact, as I am writing this article, I have had three opp run-ins today alone.

Whether it be an awkward Tinder match, situationship enemy, evil roommate, or ex-best friend, the people we don’t want to see often manifest wherever we go. Here’s a guide on UCSB and Isla Vista places you are most likely to run into an opp. 

Rec Cen

A.K.A. “OPP Cen.” The Rec Cen is UCSB’s gym, full of weights, machines, and enemies. I can promise you, you will run into someone you do not want to see at the worst possible time. 

I used to go to the Rec Cen at 7am to run on the treadmill and clear my head. I thought, “Who would go to the Rec Cen at 7 in the morning?” Turns out, my failed talking stage, class enemy, scary dorm neighbor, girl from my high school, and former co-worker all go to the Rec Cen at 7 in the morning. It’s as if they planned this personal attack against me, made a group chat titled “How To Ruin Lauren’s Life” to plot my downfall. 

Safe to say, I haven’t been to the gym in a while.


The library is one of the most prominent buildings on campus. As a result, it also acts as a gathering ground for opps from all walks of life. Here are the most opp-populated areas (based on personal experience):

  1. Fourth floor

If you’re going to the fourth floor of the library to study, you aren’t going to study. The fourth floor is notoriously the social spot, well-equipped with long tables and rows of bookshelves that hold decades of secrets. However, the social aspect of the fourth floor also increases the chances of seeing an opp. No one is safe.

  1. Second floor Ethnic and Gender Studies

The Ethnic and Gender Studies room is my personal favorite study spot in the library. Prior to the 23-24 school year, it was relatively empty. Ethnic and Gender Studies was my safe oasis. That is until fall quarter 2023, when word got around about this magical room. Now, Ethnic and Gender Studies is constantly crowded, and you are bound to run into an enemy in this former safe haven.

  1. Second floor mountainside

Second floor mountain side has something that other parts of the library lack: an abundance of study rooms. These rooms, along with the modern set-up and long windows overlooking campus, make this part of the second floor very popular. But beware — as you walk through the hallway lined with study rooms, you might make some awkward eye contact with the opps. 

  1. First floor Art & Architecture room

The first floor is the most public floor of the library. You are already bound to see a few familiar faces upon entering, and walking around is a treacherous ordeal. However, I’ve found that all of the prominent opps gather in the Art & Architecture room. With long tables, comfy chairs, and an abundance of charging stations, it’s almost the perfect study spot… minus the abundance of enemies at every table.

  1. Eighth floor

Eighth floor. The quiet floor. The silent floor. Which makes the opp run-ins all the more awkward. There’s nothing like seeing someone you DO NOT want to see in a completely silent room. There is no outside noise or other conversations to fill the overbearing awkwardness. At least they won’t approach you! They’ll just stare… silently stare…

The Arbor 

The Arbor is one of the most central spots on campus. As UCSB’s main convenience store, it is constantly crowded with students and campus members looking for a quick snack or beverage. The small layout of The Arbor, along with its immense popularity and centrality, make it an opp breeding ground. From standing in line to checkout to waiting your turn to use the microwave to picking a Yerba Mate before class, there’s a very good chance at least one opp will materialize in your periphery. 

Outside the store isn’t safe either. The Arbor walkway is full of clubs and organizations tabling, often consisting primarily of enemies, archrivals, and nemeses. And beware when the weather is nice — lying out on the grass lawn in front of the Arbor and Library is a UCSB staple… which unfortunately means the opps might be partaking in that activity too. 

I.V. Bagel Cafe

Oh, bagels… the lovely bagels… how I wish I didn’t have to include this on the list. But I would be lying if I said I.V. Bagel Cafe is a completely opp-less haven. It’s an immensely popular spot, beloved by all students and Isla Vista residents. And every time I’ve gone, I’ve seen someone I know sitting in the yellow chairs outside. They sit and eat their bagel and cream cheese, pesto melt, bacon egg and cheese, you name it, as I panic and try my best to avoid eye contact with them. 

Whenever I want to treat myself to a bagel, I have to weigh the pros and cons of going. Pros: delicious bagels, relatively affordable, walkable distance. Cons: the opps. However, I always decide to go. It’s always worth it. Bagels over opps, always.

Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

Del Playa

Picture this: It’s a Friday night in Isla Vista, which means it’s time to partake in the weekly ritual of the Party Wander. You put on your best black going out top, get together with your friends, and make the trek to Del Playa, the notorious party street.

As you’re walking around, listening for any sound of EDM or house music to hint at a backyard party, you hear a scarily familiar voice behind you. “YO! What’s up?!” You turn around, and BAM. Face-to-face with the annoying guy you were friends with week zero of freshman year. 

UCSB is known for its boisterous party culture. So it’s not that much of a shock when you see an opp during a night out. But, there’s something about the late night and the social buzz (or another kind of buzz, if you know what I’m saying) that give the opps the confidence to approach you, making DP a truly terrifying place. 

Here’s the thing: opps are inevitable. Part of being on a college campus is seeing people you might not want to see. They’re simply a part of life. So the best thing to do is to not let them control your life — keep your head up, soldier through, and find solace in the fact that you might be an opp in their life as well. 

I’m Lauren, a second-year communication and political science major at UCSB. I love consuming media, memorizing pop culture facts, and playing the guitar. Fun fact: I can name any Taylor Swift song within the first five seconds.