what is it like going to ucsc (university of california santa cruz)?
i am very interested in transferring to this school in the future and if anyone is from this area, or better yet attended, or attends this school, i'd like to know how life is here. Are people easy to friend? Is it a beautiful city/campus? Is it a pain getting to class? Any other information would be awesome.
- Adam JLv 68 years agoFavorite Answer
I graduated from there in 2004.
First off it really is a fantastically gorgeous campus--you're basically going to school in a redwood forest that has ocean views. I can attest that being in a place that scenic for extended periods of time really does improve your mood...
Santa Cruz itself is a cool, fairly laid back town with a reasonably lively city center for a city of it's size. The only real drawback to Santa Cruz as a college town is that it's somewhat isolated from the Bay Area. I transferred there so I always had access to a car, but if you don't have a car and you like being in a big city you might find the town a little claustrophobic.
In general people are quite friendly. The school's reputation for being a hippie bastion is somewhat overstated--there are hippies and other bohemian types to be sure, but in general I'd say that the student body was probably pretty representative of Californian college students (if maybe a bit more to the left than average.) By general agreement the colleges on the west side of campus. (Kresge, Porter, College 8, Oakes) are a little more Bohemian than the rest of campus.
The campus is quite spread out--you can walk across it, but it takes a while, and frankly most people get around using buses which make a loop around campus. At least for my major (Politics) classes tended to be spread all over the campus. Getting around wasn't a huge hassle, for the most part, but you would occasionally have to put up with a crammed bus.
A few other practical thoughts:
The campus is divided up into colleges. Frankly your college affiliation has nothing to do with what you major in, and if you transfer in and don't live on campus it probably won't make too much difference which college you choose. However if you are planning on living on campus, it's worthwhile to take a tour of the campus to decide which college you want to be spending your time.
Cowell and Stevenson have really awesome, sweeping views of the Ocean/Monterey Bay, and are the most convenient colleges to the school's Gym and Athletic field. They're also close to the Quarry (which has the school bookstore, a restaurant, the bike coop, and other useful stuff to be close to) and the main student parking lot. I'm not sure if they still have a dining hall in either college any more. (FWIW I went to Cowell and would neither particularly recommend it or suggest that you avoid it.)
Crown and Merrill are located on a fairly steep hill that is not well served by the school bus system, so unless you really enjoy cardio I'd suggest picking different colleges. The Crown dining hall was pretty decent though.
Colleges 9&10 have the school's main dining hall (and the best dining hall by all accounts) and are convenient to the Quarry and most of the central academic buildings.
Kresge is the most architecturally interesting of the colleges, and is located right next to a canyon filled with redwoods.
Porter, College 8 and Oakes also have nice views of the Ocean. Porter also has a very pleasant Koi pond. College 8 has a dining hall that was OK but not great when I went there, and I think Porter's has been remodeled. For no obvious reason most of the school's minority students lived in Oakes, which is probably the least convenient college to the rest of the campus (except for Merrill and Crown as mentioned). However Oakes is right next to one of the student parking lots which partially makes up for the hassle of getting there...
And if you can possibly avoid it, don't live in the quarry.
Obviously my recollections are now about 7 years old, so things may have changed. But on the whole I found it to be a pleasant place to spend two years and thought I got a pretty good education for my efforts (and I enjoyed it a lot more than the place I spent my first two years of college.)
Anyway, hope that helps.
- Anonymous8 years ago
so you feel the higher education category was not more appropriate?