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The University of California - Santa Barbara

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Quite Bright
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Date: May 10 2008
Major: Linguistics (This Major's Salary over time)
UCSB was the ultimate exercise in choice: you have unlimited resources to bask in either/both intellectual curiosity, and unrestrained play. Most students choose the latter; some still get things together in time to graduate, and others go off the deep end and are booted out by the University (which has no qualms about culling students who significantly fail to maintain the achievements that got them into UCSB).

The Admissions office doesn't screen judiciously; rather, like most UCs, there is a formula to your application and students have a variety of ways towards reaching the minimum score.

You could say that a

second Admissions process
takes place once you're in, and it takes place both in and out of the classroom. There are plenty of weeder courses and professors have little patience for the (hordes of) lackadaisical goof-offs in their classes, but are very giving to students who follow up. Beyond the classroom, the greatest test at UCSB is for a student to learn how to handle all the distractions that are available. You live on or around the beach, close to all your friends (whose ranks are constantly growing), there is an unnatural number of goodlooking people, there are way too many parties for the Greek system to even try to monopolize, and the intramural sports offering is endless.

Academically, the natural sciences and engineering departments are tops across the US, and graduates from those programs have little difficulty landing well paid jobs in the industry. The humanities and social sciences attract a mixed bag: quite a lot of quiet, absent-minded intellectuals who party surprisingly hard on weekends, along with your more usual set of athletes, barbie dolls, bleeding heart poets and alternative fashion folks. UCSB has a disproportionately high number of students who have the people-smarts, social savvy and networking skills to score juicy jobs in the Californian entertainment industry. Just about every intellectually curious student at UCSB is noticed, does well, has a great time, and moves on. The large ranks of students who are devoid of intellectual curiosity still know how to "get the job done"; they simply prefer to "party hardy" and speak California lingo than to join the ranks of the intelligentsia.

I consider myself at the very top of the heap when it comes to my university experience. I was very, very lucky to have chosen UCSB over East Coast liberal arts colleges, UCSC and UCLA, and it has been hard to move on. It has actually distracted me from my current job, which requires intense and sustained concentration. I do sometimes wonder whether I'll ever live things like that again; my mind wanders for a little bit, and then I realize that what UCSB taught is precisely that: MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THINGS!

questionI am trying to decide whether I should go to UCSB or UCLA. I am a history major, and I am thinking about entering law after earning my undergraduate. Which school would better prepare me, and if so by how much. Is there a significant difference besides prestige? Thankyou
questionI live in NJ and want to go to colledge in California but I feel like I'm going to have a disadvantage because I don't live in California. What should I do to higher my chances of getting in?
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The University of California - Santa Barbara
The University of California - Santa Barbara
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