Does IV only have college students?
No, actually. It is often a misconception that IV is only exclusively for college students. In IV you will find families, a retirement home, and homeless people around. Approximately close to 5,164 total households live in IV. There are 1,206 family households and 3,958 nonfamily households. With that being said, you see a lot of children running around the parks and biking throughout IV. An elementary school is actually right in front of Santa Catalina, a freshman dorm.
How dirty is it in IV?
It is surprisingly not that dirty! Several clubs volunteer on the weekends to go around and pick up trash throughout IV. On days closer to move outs, you will see a lot of furniture items on the sidewalk and on days after Deltopia or Halloween, things will be a little dirty – with red solo cups and beer cans lying around in random places. Other than that, I want to say that UCSB is a pretty environmentally conscious school to the point that the people in IV try to live as environmentally friendly as possible.
You’ve mentioned things like Deltopia and Halloween, will everyone be a party animal? Do I have to drink when I go to UCSB?
NO, NOT AT ALL. After being here for four years, I can honestly say that I have only been to a handful of IV parties. I can probably count the number of parties I’ve been to on both hands. Freshman year, I hung out with a lot of people that just happened to not drink and I never really got into the idea until I turned 21. I came into UCSB not even thinking about the fact that it was a party school. I knew that I didn’t enjoy drinking, so I stuck to hanging out with my friends in the dorms, going to the beach/improv shows and a variety of other things.
Also, do not worry about people judging you or thinking that you’re lame for not drinking. No one ever really said anything to me about not drinking, they kind of just accepted it and moved on. I was also in a sorority that fall quarter and they never once pressured me or did anything that made me feel uncomfortable. Actually, if you chose not to drink, you should expect many outsiders – people that do not go to UCSB or live in IV – to not believe you. When I told people that I went to UCSB, they would always ask if I partied all the time and when I replied “no, I don’t drink”, they almost never believed me. I had to swear up and down that I wasn’t their “typical IV person.” It got annoying at some point, but nothing that I couldn’t handle.
But on the other side, no judgement if you chose to drink and go to parties. It is college and you should have fun. There will never be another time where you will be able to hang out with your friends on a Tuesday night and not worry about other people judging you for not having your life together. But if you do choose this life, you have to make sure to stay on top of your studies. Many incoming freshmen forget that they have to balance a social and academic life, so they do not do as well as they could their freshman year. Do not make that same mistake!
Speaking of parties, are there only frat parties?
No! The more friends that you meet and the more upperclassman you meet, you will be invited to a lot of kickbacks. I feel like kickbacks are a lot more fun rather than parties because you spend time with people that you actually know rather than with a bunch of strangers in a loud and crowded room. Sometimes, parties can be fun. I believe that there can be an even mixture of both. Do not think that there are only large parties though, there are plenty of small kickbacks that you can enjoy with friends.
Since you mentioned frats, do they only throw parties?
I think this is a huge misconception for frats and sororities. Frats do not exist only to exclusively throw parties, they do a variety of other things. I believe that movies have instilled in us the idea that frats throw huge parties and sororities only exist to go to the said parties. Frats and sororities often throw events that support their philanthropies. Each Greek life organization has their own specific philanthropy and they hold events that raise money and awareness for their organization. Also, on top of that, they have to maintain a certain GPA to be part of Greek life, so they are forced to balance their social and academic life.
With all this talk about parties, is it super loud in IV?
It is actually not as loud as you might think unless you live on DP (Del Playa) or next to some loud neighbors. Living on DP is cool because of the view and everything, but it can be extremely loud – especially on the weekends. If you have loud neighbors, you can always go over and tell them to turn it down. People are usually pretty understandable when it comes to turning down their music. Even on days like Deltopia or Halloween, things have gotten quieter because law enforcement has been cracking down to ensure people’s safety and that people follow the midnight quiet ordinance because of recent tragedies.
I can’t wait to go to the beach every day because it’s so close!
This is another HUGE misconception that many people that come to UCSB having. I know so many people that wished that they made use of the beach that is our backyard. I think it’s so crazy because I can probably count how many times I’ve been to the beach on both hands, maybe three. Unless you are a surfer or avid beach-goer, you are very rarely going to go to the beach. There is probably more tar on the beach than there is people. I hate to break it to you, but it’s the truth.
Will I need my car?
Honestly, you don’t really need a car. There are a lot of food places throughout IV that are walkable distances. There are also buses that can take you just about anywhere. The parking in IV is also a headache because it is so difficult to find parking. There are so many cars that people are parked literally bumper to bumper. People in IV are also reckless with cars. You definitely should avoid bringing a car if you can, you really do not need it.