1. The Anteaters are winning.
And by winning I mean, UC Irvine has been ranked first among universities under 50 years old. So if you enjoy being a part of a school experiencing national recognition for its relatively new standings, the Eater Nation is the place to be.
2. Did I mention that we are talking about Anteaters?
If we go back in history, petitioning for Peter the Anteater began as a joke, but has turned out to be the greatest accidental victory in history! Niccolò Machiavelli asked, “is it better to be feared or loved?” Peter proves that you can be both!
2. Together we Zot!
Zot! Zot! Zot! The Anteater victory cry is UC Irvine’s traditional cheer. Not many schools can say they have something as awesome as this. It’s a lot more interesting than “Go Bruins,” if you ask me.
4. I’m somewhere on a beach.
UCI is less than fifteen minutes from the coastal shores of Newport Beach, because being located in Orange Country makes it pretty darn close to many of the best beaches in Southern California. A drive to Huntington or Laguna Beach is also minutes away!
5. Safety comes first.
After watching Netflix hits like The Hunting Ground, we all want to know that we are safe during college, and students at UC Irvine have that peace of mind knowing that they live in one of the safest cities in America.
6. We’re better than the Average Joe’s.
UCI doesn’t just play some silly annual dodge ball game. Irvine students play the world’s most intense battle of dodge ball known to man, even setting Guinness World Records. So hit me with your best ZOT!
7. We don’t have football.
How many minutes of a football game have you actually watched? And I mean really watched (not talking to your friends, checking your phone, trying to impress hot guys with false interest, and making unnecessary runs to the snack bar). I bet you weren’t even hungry! So now that we are being honest, if you did NOT grow up a total daddy’s girl watching football on the tube all your life, you are probably just like me! And that means you are secretly glad Irvine does not have a football team. Now you can skip those “college hallmarks” and proceed to the beach or over to the Bren Center for an engaging basketball game.
8. Irvine is minutes away from The Happiest Place on Earth.
As a struggling college student, finding money to pay for a trip to Disneyland is probably not on the top of your list (or maybe it is!). Either way, you are not just living next to a major tourist destination, but a magical place that sprinkles happiness everywhere, including Irvine!
9. Walking around campus is not a mountainous endeavor.
Not to name names or point fingers, but there are some hilly college campuses and honestly, if you have to wait around for a college bus to take you everywhere, that does not seem like fun. At UC Irvine you can ride your bike with ease, and stroll through Aldrich Park without breaking a sweat. Walking around campus should not be a hike, especially when there are plenty of real trails just a short drive away.
10. Sometimes being underrated is a good thing!
It’s hard for such a young university to compete with names like UCLA and Berkeley, so sometimes Irvine has to take a back seat when it comes to name recognition. But that is actually an advantage when thinking about where to apply for college. With an acceptance rate of 38.7% in 2015, it is low enough that you know your hard work paid off when you are accepted. But it is also high enough that you know you are not trying to join an elitist cult (Harvard). Just kidding, but not really.
11. UC Irvine is sitting in an extremely affluent community of cutting edge innovation and brand new infrastructure.
Everywhere you look when driving through Irvine, you can see modern buildings and welcoming new stores. This is a community full of entrepreneurs, starting new companies, and rejuvenating old ones. This is a place for forward-thinking students and passionate citizens who want to improve their beloved city.
12. This is where it’s at for athletes.
UCI does not like to brag, so I will do it for them. Fifty UCI athletes have completed in the Olympic Games, they have achieved 28 national titles in nine sports, and 63 individual athletes have won national titles. That’s kind of a big deal.
13. Being a part of Orange County, we know food.
College students have got to eat, and when they get tired of UCI’s delicious food, restaurants like Lucca Café and Ruby’s Shake Shack in Crystal Cove know how to treat them right.
14. Students learn a lot at UC Irvine, including how to treat themselves.
Fashion Island is right around the corner from campus, for when students need to celebrate their scholarly success, or when they need some cheering up after an inevitable college break up. Both are sufficient reasons to splurge.
15. You actually need to try to not be fit.
The Southern California geography has created countless hiking trails all around Irvine’s campus, including Quail Hill Preserve and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. You can take this time to work off your freshman fifteen and simultaneously perfect the tan you started at Newport Beach.
16. On the weekends, students take it to the islands.
Whether you want to go to Balboa Island or beautiful Catalina, UCI students like to spend their time on the water. Irvine is the perfect location for all island lovers, because while we can’t drop everything and fly to Hawaii, we have some great alternatives.
17. The men.
“I am not attracted to tall, tan, gorgeous men,” said no straight woman ever. Just take a stroll through campus and you will see what I mean. Did I mention tall?
18. We owe it to ourselves to have an Eat, Pray, Love moment in college.
College is the time to figure out who you truly are, but to do that we need to stray far from our comfort zones and discover things outside of our tiny bubbles. UC Irvine has an amazing study abroad program that can give its students the opportunity to discover the world, along with discovering themselves in a far away land. It worked out in the end for Julia Roberts, so who’s to say it won’t for you?
19. Irvine’s climate is considered one of the best in the world.
Sunny and 75. What else is there to say?
20. You are never isolated.
UCI is your second home, but if you need to visit your first one, it is very accessible. For some people, they discover some random college in the middle of Iowa and swoon at the thought of cold weeks stuck on campus because they are half an hour away from the nearest town and the snow is too deep to leave; yeah, that sounds really nice. If you would rather spend the next four years surrounded by people, places, and things, this is the school with the perfect location, and easy access to venture home every once in a while (to ask for money).
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Nicole is an eighteen year old writer from Southern California. When not writing, she is cooking, reading, or hiking in Malibu. A freshman at the University of California, Irvine, Nicole plans on double majoring in Business Administration and Literary Journalism. One day she will be the editor in chief of Self Magazine and will live in New York City with her three mini pigs.