i love the social scene, it's still counter-culture...but i don't dig the dirt that much.
great parties i hear, although it's byob unless you know someone. i hear 420 there was amazing (at cloyne at least).
coops are awesome. yeah, dirty, but its a tradeoff. you can live in a clean apartment with one or two, or maybe 3 friends, or a house way far away from campus with 5 or so friends, OR you could live in a dirty place but have a crazier experience.
it's AMAZING! if you're really against dirt, then live in the dorms the first year (do you HAVE to get a meal-plan?) and board at the co-ops for the first two semesters. that way, you'll get some points and have a leg up for applying to houses. honestly, it looks dirty (graffiti and some smudges on the walls) but it's not a big deal. read more at usca.org
My friend lives in Hoyt, and she likes it a lot. She has a single and it's really quiet there, so studying is not a problem at all. Plus, it's pretty close by. She pays $6K and works five hours a week. She doesn't have school on Fridays, so that's her work day.
you'll get some points and have a leg up for applying to houses.
hey i was there during SenIOr Weekend...and to be honest, yes its dirty AT TIMES but there are some that are nicely kept by the tenants, cuz theyre forced to. but i love the party scene in them. yes during 420 it was OFF THE HOOK, man. i went to 2 parties and i was in heaven!!!! gee, i am not even in cal yet and i already went to some of their best parties!!!! man, if you're outgoing--and i hope you are--then coops is your best bet, although you might wanna spend your first semester at the dorms to make some friends. i tell you this because the guys at the coops are mainly upper division or sophmores who already have made plenty of friends. i was told: live in dorms first semester, make some friends, move out the dorms, choose coop or apartment, whatever youre into.