Ethan Ham, '15, (back row, second from right) travels to the University of Arizona to play with his UC San Diego club soccer team.

FRESHMAN FOCUS: Sunny weather a plus for Ethan Ham at UC San Diego, but dorm, dining situation disappoint

(Photo used by permission of Ham)
Ethan Ham, ’15, (back row, second from right) traveled to the University of Arizona to play with his UC San Diego club soccer team.

Find out what the members of the class of 2015 are up to in their first year of college. A college freshman is featured in the Freshman Focus every week.

Ethan Ham, ‘15, attends UC San Diego. He is majoring in material physics.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: General Ed Writing, Chemistry 6B, Math 20E (vector calculus) and Computer Literacy (basic computer science). Computer Literacy is a requirement.

Q: What’s your favorite class?

A: Chemistry. It’s interesting, and it’s not very hard because I took AP Chemistry in high school.

Q: Are you excited for the end of the quarter?

A: No. Next week is finals, and my math final is going to be very difficult.

Q: Why?

A: My teacher has a very thick French accent that makes him hard to understand. On top of that, he’s not very good at explaining the material too. He’s definitely a step down from what I had in (teacher Glenn) Mangold.

Q: How’s your dorm?

A: It’s OK. I live in an on-campus apartment. I chose it because it has a kitchen and a living room.

My four roommates and I share one bathroom. UCSD has six housing colleges. I live in the one for science and engineering majors. But I try not to spend a lot of time at my dorm.

Q: Why?

A: My roommates are all Chinese, and they play League of Legends (a video game). So when I come home I always hear them shouting in Chinese to each other across the apartment. They also have bad bathroom hygiene; our bathroom is disgusting.

Q: How’s the weather?

A: Seventy and sunny nearly every day.

Q: The food?

A: All right. Some dining halls have better food than others. UCSD charges students by each individual item, instead of buffet style. So that sucks for me because I eat a lot.

Q: Are you participating in any extracurricular activities?

A: I play club soccer, and I’m trying to rush a fraternity too. I also go to the gym most days.

Q: What’s San Diego like?

A: I’ve only gone to the city a few times just for some concerts. It’s about a 20-minute drive. The beach is only a 10-minute walk.

Q: Have you learned how to surf yet?

A: No. But I’m going to take classes that the school offers over spring break to learn.

Q: What makes UCSD  so special?

A: It has a good academic reputation, and it’s right next to the beach.

Q: Was it hard adjusting to the campus?

A: It’s a big campus. But there are a lot of resources that make it easy to find your way around.

Q: What has surprised you about San Diego?

A: There are a lot of Asians.

Q: Do you have any advice for the class of 2017?

A: If you’re applying to UCSD, choose Muir or Eleanor Roosevelt College because they have the best campuses.

—By Adam Dean

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