It Might be Irvine, but I Love College

Sofia Panuelos/Staff Photographer

It’s hard to explain what I find so incredible about Irvine. I knew that Irvine was the school for me the second I stepped onto Ring Road during my senior year of high school for a tour. I immediately felt a connection to the school.

College counselors had warned us not to fall in love with the first campus we visited, but I am unashamed to say I did not follow their advice. Every other school I visited after Irvine paled in comparison. Even UCLA with its magnificent buildings could not give me the same rush of serene exhilaration. Nothing beats walking through Aldrich Park and looking at the students basking in the afternoon sun.

My freshman year was perfect from start to finish. It was as if the planets had aligned to give me the best year of my life — from the all-nighter I pulled with my hall at SPOP to the all-nighter I pulled on my last day of freshman year with my best friends. Irvine was simply magical.

Now, when I say freshman year was perfect, I am not discounting the hard times. Adjusting to life away from home and my high school friends was very difficult. The tough times helped me grow. It was a necessary stepping stone in my life.

Despite its reputation for being a quiet, commuter college town, I have found Irvine to be very lively and vibrant. Irvine has some of the best shopping in Orange County. It’s a convenient five-minute drive to Newport Beach. Hiking trails surround the city. If anyone is bored on campus then it is their own fault for not taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

Ring Road is full of clubs selling food, giving out free things and promoting their events. There are hundreds of clubs to join, activities to do and people to meet.  The posters that line the bridges also offer a great way to find out about campus activities like movie screenings, giveaways and club meetings. The school itself is so full of life it is impossible not to fall in love with it.

One of my favorite things about the school is Aldrich Park. During welcome week my friend and I spent almost every night wandering around the school, sharing our excitement for the endless possibilities the new school year has to offer.

I have spent many afternoons lying in the park reading a book or hanging out with my friends. Picnics are our favorite pastime, especially after Brandywine started their green boxed-lunch program.

The best thing about college life is all the wonderful, diverse and intriguing people you will meet. You are guaranteed to have at least one Nor Cal versus So Cal debate during your time in Irvine.

The most unique thing Irvine has to offer in my opinion is the Anteater mascot. I love the fact that our school has such an original mascot. Every other mascot seems to be an Eagle, Bear or Panther. Nothing beats an Anteater!

My love for UCI is growing every day. Irvine is filled with opportunities to expand your horizons — you just have to make sure you take advantage of them.