Camille Locke, ‘17, attends the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is double majoring in dance and environmental science with a minor in art.
Q: What classes are you taking?
A: I was there over the summer (for) the Freshman Summer Start Program. It wasn’t that many classes, (and) it was really fun. We had just one building for freshmen, and we all got really close. It was five weeks long and started in the latter half of summer. I took 13 units: Environmental Science 2, a required seminar that we all took to get acquainted with different resources on campus, and a modern dance class. I (also) took a Library Research Seminar that was (almost) the exact same thing as the sophomore project.
(In spring) quarter I’m taking ballet, modern (dance), two pointe classes, Intro to Oceanography and Environmental Science 3. I’m (also) doing a theater workshop, where I have to be a model for the theater students so that they can learn how to draw costumes.
Q: How big were your classes?
A: (In) my winter quarter honors seminar there were seven of us.
My biggest class was Intro to Psychology (in fall quarter), and that was 850 students. But I always sit in the first row, so it didn’t feel like a big class.
Q: Which have been your favorite and least favorite classes?
A: That’s a hard question.
My least favorite class could have been statistics (in winter quarter). I just really don’t enjoy the topic at all, so it was hard to get into it. I was doing something because I had to do it (instead of) learning information that I really cared about
I think my favorite class was Environmental Science 1. The professor was amazing. She still remembers me.
I’m a part of a group called CALPIRG, (and) we were going to set up an educational event to learn more about environmental issues. She remembered me when I asked her if she wanted to speak at the event. It was really cool that she still knew who I was.
A: It’s on most of the UC campuses, and it’s sort of a lobbyist group that works towards environmental change and student involvement in politics. The plastic bag ban in groceries that was passed statewide was because of CALPIRG’s involvement in that fight.
It’s a cool organization. I’ve been working on different campaigns with different organizations, and I’m working to get Amazon crude oil banned from use in California because it’s really horrible, obviously, because of deforestation of the Amazon. Also, a lot of pollution and toxic materials are left in the Amazon, and California is one of the main (groups) that help drive Amazonian oil drilling.
Q: What other extracurriculars do you do?
A: A lot of what I do is dance-oriented. You can audition for a lot of opportunities to perform through the dance department.
(In) fall quarter I was doing “The Nutcracker,” and that was a lot of rehearsal time. Winter quarter I (was) rehearsing for spring dance concert, which (was) the second week of spring quarter.
I’m also rehearsing for two independent projects that fellow students have asked me to be a part of, so I rehearse for those a couple times a week.
Q: What is your housing like?
A: I live in a building called San Nicolas, and it’s where everyone who does the Freshman Summer Start Program is housed over the summer. You can choose to stay there over the school year.
It’s a high-rise with eight floors – I live on the eighth. I have a really beautiful ocean view.
I have a double with one other girl, and I live with around 40 other girls on my floor and 40 other guys. It’s coed, but separated by hall. We have a community bathroom that has three stalls, five sinks and six showers.
Q: How was your transition from high school to college?
A: I definitely think that Country Day prepared me for doing well in college classes. I think there’s a lot of people that are extremely smart but have known how to get their grades in public schools around the country that are just not of the same caliber as Country Day. (At Country Day) you can’t easily do well without putting a lot of work into it, so I learned how to study effectively.
I think my biggest transition was living away from home, because it is pretty far and there isn’t a super-easy way to fly home – I would have to drive home every time. It’s about a six-and-a-half-hour car ride, so it’s not super easy to come home. There (have) been many times where I haven’t come home the entire quarter. (Spring break was) the first time I’ve been home since Christmas time.
It’s definitely interesting to only be around people that you met just a few months ago for 10 weeks at a time.
Q: Why can’t you fly home?
A: I would have to get a train or a bus down to (Los Angeles International Airport) and then fly to Sacramento. There is a airport in Santa Barbara, but it’s really small and only does private flights and only to specific places. Sacramento isn’t one of those places.
Q: What is your favorite part about college?
A: I really like all the different people that I’ve met. I think it’s really interesting to be able to encounter so many different types of people, interests, hobbies, personalities and ways of being. It’s definitely opened my eyes to all the different upbringings people have had, and how they came to be who they are now. Being able to make those those friends and make those connections without actually having an upbringing together is one of my favorite parts.
Q: What is your favorite part of UCSB?
A: I’ve really enjoyed that with the dance department I can easily double major, and they support that. At their core, they believe that a dance major should also have other interests instead of just dancing. I think that’s a really valuable thing in the world of dance because you’re kind of dispensable. (If) you break your leg (and) can’t dance anymore, the directors aren’t gonna care about you if you’re not dancing. So I think it’s really important to have that strong backbone in other interests.
Q: What is unique about UCSB?
A: The location.
The campus is on the beach, so it’s about a two-minute walk from my dorm room to the closest sand beach. I can very easily take a few minutes to go to the beach if I need to cool down or relax.
There are a lot of unique areas on campus. There is no area where a lot of people walk all the time, so you can find those places that are super quiet to study. You can be outside all the time because it’s the perfect weather all the time.
It’s also really nice to have an off-campus (area) that is safe and fun. You can get sick of the dining hall pretty quickly, so maybe once a week you go to Isla Vista, which is a town right next to Santa Barbara. There are thousands of restaurants there that are unique to only Isla Vista, and they’re super quirky and cute.
Q: Do you go to the beach a lot?
A: I went a lot during summer and fall, but in winter it was getting pretty cold.
Also, the mudslides following the fire caused the beaches to have a lot of chemical debris, so we actually weren’t allowed to go to the beach very often during winter quarter.
Q: How do you get around campus?
A: I usually bike. Santa Barbara is very much set up as a biking campus.
I’ve definitely heard horror stories of what can happen if you’re not paying attention. I have a friend who fell off her bike the first week of school and broke her jaw, and she had to have her jaw wired shut the entire first quarter.
But biking for me feels the safest because there are skateboards, people walking (and) scooters. It’s more of a hassle to be on the sidewalk where there are different types of transportation, whereas the bike lanes are reserved only for bikes. Bikes also have the right of way for the entire campus and Isla Vista, so it’s really easy to be a biker because you don’t have to stop.
Q: What is the overall tone of UCSB?
A: One of our really common slogans is “Study hard, play hard,” and I definitely feel that. People have a lot of fun, but then turn around and do super great in their classes.
UCSB is very happy. People are so friendly and nice and will do nice things for other people just because they’re having a good day. People are not going out of their way to be competitive or to be mean.
Q: Have you participated in any traditions?
A: We don’t have a football team, so our school spirit is in soccer – kind of like Country Day.
I went to the Cal Poly game, (who) we have a big rivalry with, and the big thing we do is throw tortillas at the other team. I don’t know why, and it’s so funny because there are specific people that are on tortilla duty. They have to run and grab all the tortillas off the field before the play can go again. It’s so random and weird. It looks like it’s raining circles.
I’ve read that it’s technically supposed to be green tortillas, but nobody has any green tortillas, so we all just throw regular tortillas. I stole mine from the dining commons.
Q: Have you made any freshman mistakes?
A: I know that a lot of people take winter quarter really easily because it is colder and just kind of sadder in general, (but) I went really heavy on my schedule.
I don’t regret it, but I think I would have been happier if I didn’t have such a busy schedule because it is cold and rainy, and if you’re always working hard, it’s not the best environment.
Q: Has anything about college surprised you?
A: I am surprised at how many people I know and faces I recognize. I thought that by going to a big school like UCSB I couldn’t possibly find a familiar face in a crowd. But almost everywhere I go I know at least one person that I can have a conversation with and not feel like a stranger.
Q: Do you have any college advice for Country Day’s class of 2018?
A: Seize the day – I’ve been living by it.
You’re only in this specific environment for four to five years, and it’s a very crazy experience in the sense that everyone there is learning, is your own age and has similar interests. Being in that environment, being with all those people, is the time to search for yourself, learn about other people and be inspired.
Meet as many people and do as many things as you can, because it’s the only time that you can.