Friday, July 16, 2010

An Almost-Senior's Guide to Colleges [Part 1]

I guess it's only fair to put all the college mumbo-jumbo into two huge posts so that it's not TOO horrible to read, so here goes.
Several colleges, presented in the order they were visited, starting out with....

UCSB: University of California Santa Barbara
So basically, UCSB is gorgeous. Which is kind of funny, because at the time I was visiting, I was totally not feeling it all. Now, I'll just attribute it to the massive headache and lethargy I get when I'm in the sun sometimes because the pictures my mom took don't really show UCSB in a bad light. At all.

The view from UCSB. Yes, it's right next to the beach. Apparently people go there after classes with their swimsuits and study in the sand. And possibly swim, too. Not bad at all...

A typical campus building on the UCSB campus. One thing I appreciate about these colleges is that they understand the importance of nature. I'm glad it's not all cement and brick, but there are trees and flowers and strange red statues! Interesting.

The dining hall at UCSB- basically, it looks like a mall. No joke- you go in, and there's a Panda Express on your right, a burger joint on your left, and a huge dining area in the middle. This isn't the typical dorm dining hall, though, rest assured- it's a place where you can spend extra money to get "better" food- which translates to "a place where I would never eat because it's probably too expensive". But that's okay. It's pretty.

I feel like I'm going to sound like a broken record "this school is gorgeous, this school is gorgeous, this school is gorgeous" but I can't help it. They're all amazing! So here it is again. Pepperdine is gorgeous. We didn't even get a guided tour on this one, but we didn't need one for our jaws to literally drop when we saw the Malibu-residing campus.

The view of the gym/sports center. Yes, that's a football field, tennis court, and Olympic sized pool (that was actually used in the Olympics) on the valley next to a Malibu hill. Speechless.

Pepperdine is a Christian school and fittingly has a church on campus (with crazy-pretty stained glass). If I went here, I'd probably be distracted during services all the time with these windows.

One of their quads. I love all of their palm trees, fountains, and lovely buildings- and their views of the beach, too.

USC: University of Southern California

One of the things I loved about the USC tour was that our tour guide was very amiable and told us a whole bunch of stories about his experiences at USC, including the hilarious traditions.

According to Anthony, the week of finals are hell. As to be expected, of course, but all USC students like to have a little fun during all that stress and at the stroke of midnight (or was it at 3 o'clock in the morning?) music is blasted in the quads so students can dance for 15 minutes, and then some of the crazier students all jump into the fountain.
And then they all return to studying.

Lots of beautiful brickwork on campus, in addition to plentiful palm trees and fountains! Huzzah!

The library of USC. I KNOW.
Our tour guide told us it was like Hogwarts because there's a lot of marble, a lot of books, and chandeliers and stained glass everywhere. CRAZY.

UCLA: University of California Los Angeles
UCLA was very similar to USC in that all the buildings were made out of bricks. I definitely love the feel of both the campuses because it feels like you're at a castle or something! In fact, some of the halls at UCLA were designed after great Italian churches- so they're gorgeous.

Right? Say I took out that little lamp post that says "Schoenberg Hall"- it'd look like I was in Europe or something.

Another thing our tour guide told us about was the CRAZY rivalry between USC and UCLA. Things aren't as bad now, but back in the day they did things like:
1. USC filled UCLA's fountain with red dye and detergent which led to a flooded-with-bubbles quad. Which had to be shut down and majorly repaired.
2. UCLA cut off Tommy Trojan's arm (USC's mascot and a bronze statue).
3. USC let a psychology course worth of crickets into UCLA's library. On finals week. The library had to be closed down for all of that week.
4. UCLA filled a water-holding helicopter with "blue poo"- a mix of blue paint and animal manure- and released it all over USC's campus, soaking the students and buildings.

On a happier (but as interesting) note, UCLA has been used as a set for Harvard in more movies than Harvard has itself! (Think "Legally Blonde".)

And that is why I was considering not posting this- there is SO MUCH to tell! This is only even Part 1...


Alexandria said...

These are all great schools, with beautiful scenary.

Mama Bear advice? Do not go to Santa Barbara...way TOO much of a party school. They keep that under wraps, but I have been to parties there. Um. No bueno!!

So proud of you dollface!

Celeste said...

ahh the good ol' days of getting ready for college. keep us updated with what you're thinking! i take it you're staying in california? california schools are the best :)

linnykins said...

Woah. Your universities in the States make our NZ ones look so small in comparison. Good luck deciding!!

Allison said...

Alex- I have heard about UCSB partying, but I didn't know to what extent. That'll definitely be put into consideration because I do not want to be surrounded by that!

Celeste- CA all the way! Haha, but maybe I'll do a study abroad like you did!

Linnykins- I KNOW! They're huge! I did visit some smaller colleges, but the universities fit multiple thousand people. (I say multiple thousand because I have no idea of the exact number. Haha.)

Karina F. said...


Any school can be a party school if you want to party. And if you don't, you don't! :) Safa loves it SB!


USC/UCLA feuds make me laugh.

Mimi said...

all very good schools. i have friends who go to ucsb, usc, and ucla. they all love their schools. pepperdine is really beautiful. if you like the feel of a "small" campus, pepperdine is a really good choice. i also heard they have the best food! :D

p.s. enter my giveaway for a chance to win a cute top! and get a code to get 15% off online shopping! :D

<3, Mimi

Meghan O said...

oh the days of looking at colleges! I don't miss it. I'm all the way in MA so my college search was a bit different...
All those schools so far look amazing! Good Luck on the search!!

Alyssa said...

I can't even imagine going to college by a beach and being able to go there after class. I don't think I'd be able to handle how awesome that would be.
Love your layout!!

Marci Darling said...

Well, you know I am still rooting for Pepperdine.


Justice Pirate said...

I have a friend who went to Pepperdine and had a great time (other than being so far from family). She has used her degree well!

samnhal said...

Oh wow, I never went on College tours, because well, I was lazy and didn't decide where I wanted to go until I was in my Senior year. Those campuses are amazing. For real, they are beautiful. I guess that comes with living in sunny California and having so many old beautiful colleges

Anonymous said...

California girls, they're undeniable ;)