I'm a junior going into my senior year of high school at a competitive public high school in California and flipping out about college right now. I've been doing the research a lot lately and with my 3.6 Unweighted UC GPA (3.7 or 3.8ish unweighted haven't calculated that yet), 2080 SAT, 30 ACT, 5's on my AP English Language and APUSH tests and the best personal statement in said AP English class as graded by my teacher, I'm hoping that UC Davis, Irvine, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz will all be reasonable goals for me to achieve when I apply very soon.
But I'm concerned about those last two schools. I've done the research and on paper, I like certain parts of both schools. But I'm worried about attending either if I get into either based on their reputations as huge party schools.
I for one have never used "substances" in my life and while I consider myself a little geeky but very social and always eager to try new things and meet new people, drugs and alcohol are not on that list.
So give it to me straight; how bad is the party scene at UCSC?
If I'm not into drugs and alcohol, would I become an outcast?
Do the schools bad reputations ever affect social status and/or grad schools/job opportunities?
If the answer to the second question is no, what are some other ways to have fun and get a good education at the school?
I personally have nothing against people who like to party hard, I'll admit I've even been to a rave once on a friend's behalf; nor am I ignorant enough to suggest that everyone who goes to UCSC is a pot head or that no one cares about their grades (They wouldn't be in college if they didn't). I just want to make sure that wherever I end up, I am able to obtain a great education and have fun at the same time.