Top 10 Struggles of Living in FT

As a freshman, I live in the infamous Santa Catalina Hall, otherwise known as FT. We have a really unique community here, and there is nothing that bonds us closer together than sharing the struggles of living off campus as a newbie. I present to you, the top ten struggles of living in FT.


1. Portola

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As a freshman, I feel blessed to have never experienced the horror that was old Portola. With the dismay I have for new Portola, I cannot begin to imagine the alleged monstrosity it used to be. Still, I am often left bewildered as to how many of their dishes were able to get approved. The soups not only taste like the inside of a can, but also as if they have been sitting inside of a humid room for years. The most disheartening struggle that us Portola diners have, is taking a bite out of a cupcakes only to realize the frosting is rock solid. However, I must admit, the salad bar never fails me.

    2. The Bus


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For those of us who refuse to ride our bikes to campus everyday, running to the bus stop right before the bus leaves is a constant trial. I consistently find myself being 0.3 seconds late to the bus and watching it slowly drive away, leaving me alone in my despair. Not only that, but you never know if a bus is going to be early, on time, or worst of all, late. I often watch the 28 busses reappear and disappear on the bus tracker app multiple times before giving up on predicting its arrival. Lastly, and probably the most frustrating part is that the bus gets filled up in the mornings VERY quickly, forcing the people left to sit, wait, and hope to make it to class on time. 

    3. Biking

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Some students bike to campus, so that they don’t have to work around the bus schedule; however, it can be tiring and difficult to navigate around other bikers and pedestrians. For those of us with both morning and later afternoon classes, we struggle with having to bike back and forth for morning classes, and then having to go again for later classes... it just seems impossible sometimes.

       4. Events at Night on Campus


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There are many school events and meetings that occur at night, and it can be especially tedious to attend the ones you want. The busses also don't run late on the weekends, making walking or biking the only solution to get to things like concerts. Us FT kids often feel left out from campus activities.

      5. IV is far

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Another struggle that Santa Catalina residents face is the fact that IV is not as close to us as it is to other students. Going to IV classes, getting food, or to social scenes on the weekends requires extra planning and commitment.

   6.  Sharing a Bathroom

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Unlike many other dorms, FT has semi private bathrooms. Two rooms share one toilet and one shower, with our sinks in our individual rooms. This is more of an opinionative struggle as many people, including myself, usually prefer having this style bathroom to the communal ones. Some downfalls however, are that these bathrooms are cleaned once a week instead of once a day like the communal ones. The doors also lock from the inside, so you could potentially get locked out of your own bathroom (twisting penny in the lock will unlock the door though!). Also, it may be difficult to find a good routine and relationship with the suite mates you are sharing the bathroom with.

   7. Library

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This is another of the “it’s just too far” struggles, but the library is a really useful place and resource that FT kids can’t just go to at night to study. We would first need to check the bus schedule and plan in advance, or have to bike. Sometimes you just want to go to the library for an hour, but the commute there and back can take just as long, especially when waiting at the bus stop.

  8.  Wanting to Hang Out With Friends not in FT

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Basically, when wanting to hang out with friends who live on campus, they are rarely willing to come to San Cat, not even for the activities. So most often, we are the ones who have to go to campus to hang out or attend their events.  

    9.  DLG Late Night & the Arbor

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Sadly, me and my friends have not experienced a DLG late night. This is because at midnight, the thought of biking to campus does not sound very appealing, no matter how hungry we are. Another convenient food option like the Arbor, is also not available near us. If we are hungry in Santa Catalina after 8pm, our quick options are microwavable mac and cheese or top ramen.

    10.  F*** FT

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And finally, the worst struggle of living in FT is the incessant shouts of “F*** FT!” from cars driving by. These loving hollers can be heard at all hours of the day and night, even from our dorm rooms. After a while though, it starts to become assimilated into our day. A day without hearing a single “F*** FT” feels strangely empty.

Although theses struggles of living in FT are very real and frustrating sometimes, I actually really love the Santa Catalina community and this little island we call home.