It has been a couple of years since I first came to UC Irvine, but I still remember walking around campus, trying to adjust to my new life. I was still in shock by the time my second week at UCI had begun.
I couldn’t stop reminding myself that I was a new college student on the west coast. I could cut class without receiving detention, and best of all, no parents were around to judge me or tell me what to do. I exhibited the classic first-year mentality that college was the pinnacle of freedom.
For all you out-of-state first-years, you know how exciting it is to say that you’re in the ‘O.C.,’ with all its glitz and glory, not to mention its incessant sunshine, warm weather, green trees and grass and flowers aplenty.
It’s the place where everyone wears sandals throughout the year and Prada and Coach bags litter the campus.
There really is a bubble that encases Orange County, and part of my fascination with the area is the fact that it is such a different world here.
I cannot tell you how intriguing I’ve found Southern California to be. I have even heard Northern California residents tell me that it’s different down here, so it’s not just this crazy, speculating Rhode Islander’s imagination.
For out-of-state students, there are a number of ways to get to know California. The most obvious is to question your friends when they refer to things specific to the area.
From my first year, until even the last few months, I’ve learned about the beauty of Rainbow sandals, outdoor escalators, clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls at Boudin Bakery, cupcakes from Sprinkles and the seals at Newport Beach.
After learning about new things, explore them. However, be sure to finish that essay or study for that test before you embark on your journey so you can have fun without regrets.
It is all a part of being a first-year