On any given weekend night, Isla Vista’s streets are filled to their bottle-strewn brim with glam girls in designer dresses, laidback hippies in the latest boho-chic, buttoned-up conservatives in sweet sweater sets, and guys of every color and creed in the same uniform: jeans, button-downs, Axe.

So, what are incoming first-years to do as they try to survive this strange new sea of people during that first crucial weekend in college? Fear not, and follow these simple tips.

Dress to kill, but make sure your shoes don’t. It’s an unspoken rule that UCSB’s student body tends toward the tanned, toned, terrifically turned-out side of the style spectrum, but equally important is the rule that declares flip-flops appropriate for any occasion. Take advantage of this one so you can trek up and down D.P. without whining about achy arches-your feet and your friends will thank you.

Know your limits. Whether deciding between beer or booze, or four shots instead of five, get to know what level of imbibing works for you and stick with it. Trust me; a good buzz is always better than a bad blackout when it comes to actually enjoying yourself.

Remember, college is what you make of it. Any night can be as wild as you want it to be, or as tame as your tastes run. Nobody says you have to get wasted just because it’s the weekend, and nobody says you should avoid every party with the Facebook tagline “Let’s Get Wasted!” just because you’re not a big drinker. Take advantage of everything I.V. has to offer; just make sure you don’t get taken advantage of in the process.

Don’t be afraid to just knock on doors when you don’t know people. Chances are anyone throwing a big party in I.V. will be happy to open their home to a few freshmen, as long as they are respectful, polite, and properly attired if there’s a theme. Follow the golden rule, and people will tend to treat you well no matter what year you are. And, if all else fails, offer to put money toward the booze.


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