Advice from Orientation Leaders

Are you ready to experience everything that UC Santa Cruz has to offer? Our Summer Orientation leaders were once in your shoes and would like to provide you with a bit of friendly advice about how to maximize your UC Santa Cruz experience!

If you could go back and start your first year over, what would you do differently?

Why is it important to get to know your professors early?

If you could give any advice to incoming students, what would it be?

What are some things you wish you took advantage of early on in your college career?

What are some things you wish you knew/learned about the campus and/or the Santa Cruz community as a first year that made your experience much easier and enjoyable?

What is your favorite restaurant in Santa Cruz?

If you could go back and start your first year over, what would you do differently?

“I would definitely utilize the academic counselors more and go to the department of my proposed major for assistance on how to get ahead and have more opportunities in my field.”

“I would not have been so preoccupied with my new social life, and would have balanced both my academic life and social life.”

“I would take more advantage of programs such as MSI, PE classes, and clubs and program across campus, not just at Stevenson alone. I would have taken more classes I found interesting rather than those I knew I needed.”

“I would not spend the fall quarter moping around in my apartment. I felt very homesick and depressed at the beginning of freshman year and I chose to stay indoors instead of getting involved and making friends.”

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Why is it important to get to know your professors early?

"You should get to know your prefessor because he/she will help you understand the material better by talking to you one-on-one if you need the additional support."

"If you have an emergency and/or did not turn something in on time, they could be more understanding if they know you and your situation."

"They provide you with recommendation letters when you need them for work, scholarship or internship opportunities."

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If you could give any advice to incoming students, what would it be?

Time management is key- you will have to study more, but you can still have lots of fun as a college student.”

“Everyone is just as nervous as you are about meeting new people, so sit down and start a conversation with someone! Also, explore the forest and do as many activities as you can with people from your dorm or other students the first quarter; it’s how you will get to know people.”

“College is all about growth, take every challenge and make it a learning experience. Don’t give up, you came this far, you can do it… and have FUN ”

“The library is my eternal savior! You can rent laptops, iPads, and instead of buying books, you can just check them out! Ask your professor if the textbook is on reserve, you’ll sometimes save hundreds of dollars by doing this. The metro also stops at a certain time (usually a little after midnight) and you don’t want to get stuck in downtown without a ride. Check the bus schedule before you go down (try to avoid the 20 unless you actually live on that route) or call a cab if you’re stuck.

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. This is your chance to find out what it is that you wanna do. It isn’t always a clear path.”

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What are some things you wish you took advantage of early on in your college career?

Academic Advising is a resource most students take for granted. The advisors work really hard to understand you and your needs. Each student will have at least 2 advisors while they are a UCSC student.”

“One thing I didn’t discover until my sophomore year is the Career Center. They are incredibly helpful and willing to sit down with you and plan exactly how to tailor your resume to fit your career goals, whether it’s just to land a part time job or plan more long term.”

“I wish I took advantage of student organizations on campus because early in college you have extra time and can be more involved and later on you will be limited to how much you get to participate because you need to study, work, etc.”

“I wish I would have taken a physical education course my first year, like Pilates. They are really fun and I think everyone should try one.”

“I wish I had taken advantage of the tutoring services earlier, such as free drop in math tutoring at Jack Baskin, MSI, ACE, and LSS tutors.”

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What are some things you wish you knew/learned about the campus and/or the Santa Cruz community as a first year that made your experience much easier and enjoyable?

Walking paths through the forest are beautiful and can get you to class without having to take the bus. There are a lot of campus organizations at the OPERS fair that are fun to check out. Also college nights generally have good food and fun entertainment. I also learned that the bus system is very easy to get around, it is so good you don’t even need a car.” See walking map.

“I wish I knew about Zipcar. I always wanted to go to San Francisco with my friends over a three-day weekend but none of us could bring our cars back on campus. If I knew about Zipcar earlier, it would have made my freshman year more interesting.”

“That undergraduate students are allowed to take graduate courses with the permission of professors.”

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What is your favorite restaurant in Santa Cruz?

“Taqueria Vallarta and Los Pericos are my favorite choices for a lovely burrito after a hard day of studying. Also if there are any Indian fans out there, Royal Taj is the best (and in my opinion the only) option for quality in the greater Santa Cruz area.”

“I like to go to Saturn Café. They have the best milkshakes and finger food such as sliders and nachos. They are all vegetarian/vegan but you won’t be disappointed. I am a huge meat eater and this place is still awesome.”

“Sitar has wonderful Indian food, and Zoccoli’s is a great deli with fabulous sandwiches, and Betty’s Burgers and Jack’s have delicious burgers. And of course Marini’s is the greatest candy store.”

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