Find out what the members of the class of 2016 are up to in their first year of college. A college freshman is featured in the Freshman Focus every week.
Maddy Judd, ‘16, attends UC Santa Barbara. She is majoring in English and plans to minor in pre-law.
Q: How do you get around campus?
A: If you go to a bike school, like UCSB, you want to make sure you get your bus pass as soon as possible.
My roommate and I wanted to buy groceries when school first started, so we biked to the store. But we didn’t realize that we would have to get the groceries back to our dorm.
We should’ve just left the groceries there, but we ended up buying baskets for our bikes there.
Riding back, we were struggling to bike while we had bags wrapped around our arms, and my roommate fell. And our groceries fell into the street!
Q: Have you participated in the tortilla toss at soccer games? (The tradition involves the student section throwing tortillas onto the field to support the team.)
A: Of course! It’s become very chaotic though.
Upperclassmen yell at underclassmen because they rip up the tortillas and throw them into the crowd or at the referees. But you’re only supposed to throw the tortillas for good luck, like before a penalty kick.
Q: Where do you get the tortillas from?
A: You either buy them at the store, or you can join a Gaucho spirit club that provides them at the games.
The dining hall doesn’t serve tortillas on game day because they know people would steal them.
Q: What classes are you taking?
A: Last quarter I took Psychology 1, European Literature: Homer to Dante, History of American People and an intro to library research seminar.
Q: What did you learn in your seminar?
A: They taught how to find materials in our library, which can be tough because it’s 10 stories. And they also taught us how to do an annotated bibliography. I never knew what that was before.
Q: What were your favorite classes?
A: In the beginning it was psychology because I had never taken it before. And learning about how the mind works was really interesting.
It switched to the History of American People because it tied in everything I learned in APUSH (AP U.S. History) and AP Euro (AP European History). It felt like a conclusion to those two classes.
Q: What classes are you taking this upcoming quarter?
A: An intro to oceanography class, Dinosaurs, American Literature 1900-present and Feminine Studies: Women, Society, and Culture.
Q: You’re only starting your second quarter when you get back from break? Isn’t that late?
A: UCSB is on the quarter system, but most people don’t take classes during the summer quarter. So it’s basically a trimester system.
Q: Least favorite?
A: My English class was upper division, so I thought it was going to be tough. But the professor only talked about the plot of the books we read; he didn’t analyze them at all. As long as I read the books, I didn’t have to go to class.
Q: How do you like your dorm?
A: My dorm is really nice. There are two dorms at Santa Catalina (a residence hall); I live in the north tower. They were originally hotels before the school bought them.
I have two roommates, and we share a Jack and Jill bathroom with two people in the adjacent room.
It’s two miles off the main campus. So that’s a 10-minute bike ride or a 15-minute bus ride. (The distance) was really annoying at first, but now I like how a school with 24,000 students is shrunk down to 2,000.
There’s a pool outside my window, and I can see the ocean from my room.
Q: How often are you at the beach?
A: I probably go every other week, but I make sure I go with friends.
Q: What’s the biggest difference of going to such a large school after being at Country Day?
A: My psych class had 850 people. At first it was kind of overwhelming because I didn’t know anyone. But I enjoyed the anonymity. It’s up to you to do your own work. At Country Day, if you didn’t do your work, teachers would get on your butt because they wanted you to succeed.
Every time I would tell people my class size (at Country Day), they would say sorry and pity me. But I found out that these kids who went to large public schools were having trouble in sections taught by TAs that only had 10-20 people, while I was used to it.
Q: Do you participate in any extracurriculars or clubs?
A: I joined the Daily Nexus, the student-run newspaper. I signed up for news writing at first, but I switched to layout because I didn’t have the time to go out and do interviews in downtown Santa Barbara, which is a 30-minute bus ride from the main campus.
I’m doing graphic design, not actual page editing. They had me do four trial graphics to judge my talent. Now I’m getting paid $9 per graphic. It’s one of the few college newspapers that pays its students instead of just giving them credit.
Q: Is it more demanding than your time on the Octagon?
A: It’s a lot more stressful. I get a call saying I need to create a graphic due in three hours. Since I don’t have InDesign or Photoshop, I have to work at the library, which is 2.5 miles from my dorm. It’s fun though.
They have their own version of the Cave, which is also called the Cave.
I’m going to join the news writing staff this quarter because I have more time.
Q: How did you choose UCSB?
A: Going into the college process I didn’t want a first choice. That way I wouldn’t be let down if I didn’t get in. I ended up choosing between Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz.
I really liked the campus and community at UCSB. I liked the beachy vibe and the large size of the campus. And I met a couple people from there who were similar to me personality-wise. I didn’t get that from Santa Cruz.
Q: What do you like most about the school?
A: Even though it’s a really big school, there are still a lot of opportunities for me to get individual attention and to feel independent, like the newspaper and the TA classes.
Q: What’s your advice for the class of 2017?
A: Enjoy your senior year as much as you can. I know my friends really wanted to leave high school. But reflecting back now, they really miss certain aspects of high school and especially certain aspects of Country Day. They miss the familiarity of their friends and teachers.
But maybe it’s kind of like how moms romanticize the experience of having their first child when they decide to have more kids.
—By Adam Dean