Hi s21, freshmen may live at Santa Catalina Residence Hall (previously Francisco Torres), one of the Channel Island five RH's (Anacapa, San Miguel, San Nic, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz), or in Manzanita Village. It all depends on what suits you: freshmen who live in Santa Catalina will find it far, as it's not on the main campus. Most bike, or take the bus, and some bring their cars for the commute.
With the Channel Island 5, you are close to campus (UCEN, music building, lecture halls), and you have DLG and Ortega Dining Commons conveniently situated nearby.
Manzanita Village tends to be for continuing students rather than freshmen. That being said, it is located near Carrillo Dining Commons, has the most spacious rooms (incl. co-ed bathrooms), and is across the street from Isla Vista.
Hope this helps! Residence Halls Descriptions & Rates