Welcome to the Jungle

To UC San Diego’s incoming students, welcome. We’re so glad you made it. And you have, indeed, made it.

If our own experiences are anything to go by, you have spent the past 18 years of your life working up to this point, spending an alarming amount of time on Advanced Placement courses, marching band and volunteer excursions into Malawi. And then, flush with credits and excitement, you chose UC San Diego over all other esteemed institutions (it’s OK, we didn’t get into UCLA or Cal either). This school may not have been your first choice, but aside from occasional awkward family gatherings, it hardly matters anymore. You are the one who can make your college experience count, and believe us, you’ll have many opportunities.

You’ve heard a great deal, we presume, about the campus. From the 3-D glasses and YOLO-themed acceptance packet, you learned that UC San Diego is Disneyland. From current students, you learned that “SD” stands for socially dead and that choosing Revelle College as a humanities major is a terrible decision. Or perhaps you learned that too late.

But what you should know, beyond the U.S. News and World rankings, beyond the press clippings, good and bad, is that this is your college experience — your chronicle of higher education. Away from the judging eyes of your parents, nobody here will push you into an internship because it will be good for your career prospects. Nobody is even going to push you to study. Your successes and follies are all your own, so embrace it.

It is entirely possible to spend your time here juggling two classes (unless you are on financial aid) and a League of Legends addiction. It is also entirely possible to drink your way out of college in the first quarter. Instead, take a different path and broaden your mind — you may just be another engineering student, but that hardly means you have to lock yourself in the library.

Seek out groups of interesting people, as we did. The members of this editorial board have all spent the better part of their college careers in student journalism, but we all have different interests, and have consequently taken different paths.

Our opinion editor joined Greek life her first week at UC San Diego and is now an active member of Chi Omega. Our associate opinion editor, combining her affinity for biological sciences and writing, joined Saltman Quarterly, an undergraduate biological research journal. Our venerable editor in chief used her opportunities at the paper to take all-expenses paid trips to Israel and Tennessee to learn more about digital media and reporting.

So go Greek, or join the Quidditch club. Read the paper. Take a glassblowing class at the crafts center. Try Hare Krishna (Old Student Center, Wednesdays) at least once. Again, read the paper. Trust your instincts, keep your wits about you and never let first impressions guide your judgement.

But remember, above all, that college is not a four-year waiting room before you start the rest of your life. Many graduates cross the stage with no conception of future plans and a bare-bones resume, but we don’t recommend it. Find your purpose here, or at the very least, a profession. Get an internship, work in a lab, befriend a professor. Keep up your contacts, because they will be valuable in the future. And if all else fails, learn another language.

 

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$0
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$0
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal