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Treat Yourself to a Post-Midterm Break

Now that UCSB midterm season is done, take the opportunity to relax for a couple days, before finals come around the corner. School can be such a stressful thing, but remember, it will end eventually. That’s why you need to make most of your time here and just enjoy the little things while you can. For example, if you have a whole lot of work to do but you just can’t pull yourself together to do it, take a break. There is no harm of using an hour or two to grab a bite to eat or chat with your friends. However, the hardest part about taking a break is to remember to get back to work afterwards! I know that when I see my friends, I just want to hang out with them and catch up on the great things in life – the things that don’t stress you out.

To make sure that you won’t explode under the soon-to-be craziness of finals, here are a couple places I enjoy walking to for a treat when I need to relieve my stress.

  • Starbucks – It is literally right down the street from Tropicana on Embarcadero del Norte and the service is nice and usually quick. It’s a great place to get in and out, plus enjoy a refreshing drink.

  • Equilibrium Cafe – This is a wonderful crepe place. I would eat here every single day if the Freshman 15 was not a factor. They have great homemade crepes and a nice selection of ice cream flavors. If you’re craving something sweet or savory, don’t hesitate. The price is great. Equilibrium is located on Pardall Road.

  • Hana Kitchen – I love this new restaurant! They have really delicious boba drinks, slushies, and lunch bowls. If you never had boba before, this is a great place to go to try the Asian drink with tapioca “pearls.” I kinda want to go and get some right now! It’s also located on Pardall.

  • Bagel Café – I can’t stop thinking about which delicious bagel to order the next time I go. This is a small shop on Trigo Road, but hard to miss. It’s always filled with people. I suggest you try all the flavors on the menu, just not all at one time! There’s even a nice little park next to it, so you can sit and enjoy your Hannah Bananah or Irish Special bagel in the sun.

I hope that you will take a break from all your studying, just for a couple hours. School is definitely important and I want you to succeed, but to succeed you need to learn to balance your own well-being. By taking a nice breather and relaxing a bit, I promise you will be more level-headed and ready to finish your tasks.

Enjoy Spring Quarter at UCSB

When I first came to UC Santa Barbara, I was amazed by everything that surrounded me, especially the beach. I never knew how I’d have enough time to discover all that is Isla Vista; it just seemed like there was so much to do. But lately, I’ve found myself spending more and more time sitting in my room and watching old episodes of Gossip Girl.

I’m sure that everyone will agree that now that we’ve settled into our new Santa Barbara lives, we’ve stopped adventuring because Santa Barbara is no longer a “new place.” But I think everyone should take advantage of the beautiful sunshine that comes with Spring Quarter and get out and make some memories. Here are a few suggestions:

  • The beach is a seven minute walk or a three minute run away and never ceases to take my breath away, especially around sunset, and is the perfect study break to bring back your focus.

  • On a Thursday or Sunday, head over to the Farmer’s Market that takes place on Market Place Drive. It’s only a ten minute bike ride.

  • If you want to take a day of escape, there’s always a bus going to State Street and, as UCSB students, we are eligible to ride the bus for free with a sticker on our ID from the Associated Students office.

  • Round up a group of friends and drive to Inspiration Point or one of the many other hiking locations located in Santa Barbara.

  • Maybe you just need to remind yourself why you really chose to go to UCSB. Simply step in the elevator at the library, ride up to the eighth floor, and take a look out of any window. Take a breath and realize all that UCSB has to offer.

Take it all in, fellow Gauchos, and go make some memories!

Got Free Time on Your Hands?

As a UCSB student, I wish I could say that I had free time on my hands. It would be just great to relax the day away and just enjoy the warm sun. However, it’s hard! Especially when classes are rolling and we all have our things to do.

If you do find time to just lounge around, here are some things you can definitely say were worth it. Okay, I can’t promise you that one hundred percent, but they are really good suggestions, IMHO.

  1. Hit the gym. Yeah, you heard me. Nothing feels better than going to the fitness center at Del Norte and working on your body for a bit. That feeling of self-improvement will last all day. Then you won’t feel as bad to have that ice cream cone at the i.v. drip. (YUM!)

  2. Take a nice nap. Believe it or not, even though naps may seem useless when you’re bouncing around all day – just take them. If you have time in between classes, it’s less likely that you’ll fall asleep in your chair while your teacher lectures in class. Beware! Only take naps 12-25 minutes long. There are studies that have been done that say those times are the best. I honestly don’t know what studies specifically, but a quick Google search or exploration on Wikipedia will show you the results!

  3. De-stress with music. Sometimes you can feel as if life may be too quiet. Just stick in those ear buds and drown out the silence around you. This can clear your mind and prepare you for whatever is coming. Try not to listen to music too loud or you may blow your eardrums out! It’s nice to lie in bed and just enjoy the tunes. I believe that it will set your mind straight and put your moods in order. You know how we can all get moody.

  4. Take a walk with whoever else has free time to grab a bite. Yeah, I know that Tropicana Del Norte has a meal plan that allows you to eat as much as you like! However, you don’t want to forget to enjoy the little things in life, like going out for a bite on occasion. It may make a little impact on your wallet, but seriously, it will be worth it. Plus, you go out to enjoy the company as well.

  5. Play some games. If you really just want to enjoy the company around home, play some pool or ping-pong, or even take a swim. The Tropicana Del Norte front desk also has board games available to borrow, so take a stab at Taboo, Pictionary or chess. It’s always nice to have a little competition in your life.

  6. Go to the hot tub on campus. Last, but not least, go and melt your troubles away as you slowly enjoy the steamy waters of the hot tub at the UCSB Rec Cen. It is amazing to just relax all those muscles you’ve been using while walking, biking, or even standing while bussing to class. The hot tub is definitely the way to go. I wish I had one in my room!

There are many ways to use your free time, and these are are just a couple of ways to relax and enjoy yourself. I know you all need your alone time, and when you do get it – make the most of it!

The Joys of College Studies: A Late Night Rambling from a UCSB Student

My English professor emailed us a really funny joke:

Knock Knock

Who’s there?



I was giggling really hard until I saw under the joke, she attached additional reading on top of our already ginormous pile of reading, and had added the joke to lighten the mood before torturing us. That’s college…There’s just too much to do here.

There’s schoolwork, hanging out with friends, acknowledging the beach’s existence every once in a while, job interviews, volunteering, eating ALL THE TIME and more I can’t even think of right now. Life is so distracting here, but I can’t believe the fun I’m having!

It’s like a party in my living room every night, because everyone comes over to do homework and we always have 10 people give or take, scattered around, making a mess, talking and pretending to study. Okay, we actually watch a lot of Youtube videos and look at the UCSB memes, and it’s ridiculously entertaining. JUST KIDDING.

Next weekend, my friend and I are going to go and study at the beach. Only in Santa Barbara, juh! Y’know, and San Diego and LA. Probably Santa Cruz, too, on nice days. I’d write more but seem to be currently only capable of gibberish, so I’m going to go read now.

A UCSB Senior’s Reflection on Her Freshman Year

Now that freshman year at UCSB is long past, I think I can finally talk about it and not feel embarrassed. Let me just say then that it was…amazing! Sure, I’ll admit that I was super shy and not so willing to try new things. I’m pretty sure everyone that lived on the same floor in my residence hall thought I was a pretty “keep to herself” kind of girl. But hey, I got past that and it all worked out for the better. Now I want to do anything and everything I can before I leave beautiful Santa Barbara. I believe that I finally broke from my shell after being part of Vietnamese Culture Night at school. I signed myself up to be a part of the All Girls Traditional Dance.

Sure, practices got really intense and stressful but I got through them. After all, the show must go on! After four months of practicing, the moment that I had been waiting for came—it was finally my time to get up on that huge stage in Campbell Hall. Even though the dance was only 5 minutes, I had 100 adrenaline rushes. It will be forever be an unforgettable experience. Thus, freshman year was pretty…amazing! Don’t you agree?

Study Sanctuaries at UCSB

Everyone needs a place to get away to either study or just hang out. It’s always good to get that needed alone time. I find myself going crazy when I can’t take a moment to relax and enjoy – me! It can get pretty hectic in college, especially when its social central. Friends are always available, which is a great thing, but it’s also important to get your study time in.

The library is a cool place, but honestly it can get stuffy and the lighting makes me a little sleepy. Although I haven’t been around Santa Barbara for long, I have found a couple of other convenient places for you to check out.

  1. No doubt about the UCEN – there are always little rooms and hallways you can study or just relax in. It’s usually very quiet and has great access to snacks and Jamba Juice! There is a little coffee shop in the corner of the UCEN called, Nicoletti’s, which has great prices for their pastries. The banana bread there is GREAT!

  2. Believe it or not, theUCSB Multi-Cultural Center has a great selection of rooms to choose from. Some of them may be rented out for the day, but they are usually open. The MCC lounge is downstairs next to the entrance. There are couches and tables, whichever you prefer, and it’s completely quiet. Windows are all over the room so you won’t feel as if you’ve been trapped in a cell. It’s also close to the Corner Store, which has many snack options. (YUM!)

  3. Take the bike path towardsManzanita – this is a beautiful sight to see, especially between the hours of 3-6pm, as the sun is about to turn in. All the way at the end of the path, you’ll find picnic tables. If you’re thinking about getting some reading done there, make sure you bring a pair of sunglasses. This is my favorite place since the weather is always perfect. I enjoy the cool ocean breeze as the waves hit the shore, and just let the sunshine come down and warm my soul.

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy these study spots as much as I did. You can never go wrong with Starbucks, a local coffee shop, or even the living rooms and study lounge at Tropicana Del Norte. Enjoy and good luck studying!