The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
All it takes is a simple Google search for hundreds of results to come up about first year college experiences. Videos such as “A Day in the Life of a First Year at UCSB” or “Five Tips on How to Survive Dorm Life” instantly pop up. However, it is much more difficult to find any semblance of advice or first-hand perspective on what it’s like being a transfer student, even though going to community college before University is becoming more common.
Because your time is essentially cut in half, it can seem very daunting to try to make the most out of your 2 years in Isla Vista. Making friends, finding your way around campus, and learning all of the weird terms people use, like “65 block”, has to happen in such a short amount of time.
Moving here at 20 years old and only knowing a couple of people, I was terrified that I wouldn’t make a solid group of friends, which is something that is important to have in your 20’s and throughout college. A learning curve of making friends as a transfer student is that there are no orchestrated ice-breaker events or communal dorm activities; you are just thrown into it on your own and it’s your job to find your people. But, what I found to be the most helpful is quite simply to put yourself out there. I’m aware with how cliché that sounds, but I think that it’s a cliché because it really works.
Going onto Shoreline and looking up clubs, sports, and hobbies that you’re interested in will open you up to hundreds of people that have common interests and personalities. Personally, I have joined a sorority, a Filipino club, HerCampus (of course), and started taking dance classes at the Rec Cen! Being the introvert that I am, it took a lot of energy to even convince myself to sign up for these things, but I’m so glad that I did because of how many new budding friendships I now have. Having that said, as someone who needs deep connections in my life, it was essential to remind myself that it’s okay and normal to not have incredibly deep relationships 2 months into living here.
A huge motivator for me to hang out with my newly made friends was that I had no clue how to get around Isla Vista or campus nor did I know any of the good spots to eat or watch a sunset. So, whenever I needed to go to the grocery store, wanted to try a coffee shop, or craved a certain food, I would reach out to someone! You would be surprised how willing everyone here is to participate in spontaneous plans! Through this. I not only was able to become closer with my friends, but I also have become quite familiar with IV.
Although there is no handbook to surviving UCSB as a transfer student, starting with small steps to find your way around can make adapting to your life in Isla Vista much easier.