UC Irvine was good to me. That’s right. In my last column as sports editor at the New U., I’m not going to get all sappy on you and make some failed attempt to be poetic, describing the true beauty of sports. No, instead I’m going to defend a school and an athletics program that I’ve grown to love and respect.
When I first started as a freshman at UCI, I was just another kid from the suburbs of San Diego. I had never really spent very much time around college campuses so I didn’t have any expectations. After a week or two I realized that I really liked the freedom and adventure that came with living in the dorms with thousands of other kids my age.
Yet after some time passed, and college became more routine, I began to realize (mainly through the complaints of other kids) that the Irvine community that surrounded the university was just like home: the same boring, developed, controlled environment as many of our suburban hometowns. UCI wasn’t a college in the middle of a ‘college town,’ it was the centerpiece of a master- planned city of soccer moms and upper-middle-class homes patrolled by an ever-present police force.
While UCI undoubtedly has its downsides, it most certainly has some things that make it wonderful.
We have a sprawling park in the center of campus where students can come together and throw a Frisbee around, have a picnic or just take a break from their classes by lying in the grass and listening to their iPods. Until last year, we had a pub (and will again when the new Student Center reopens) where students of all ages came together and hung out.
The fact that UCI is nestled in suburbia means that it is safe. There are rarely violent crimes in or around campus and, for the most part, girls are safe walking around campus alone at night