Irvine definitely isn’t a party town, which correlates with another frequently heard understatement in Irvine: “There are some old people here.” Pretty much 99.99 percent of Irvine consists of mild-mannered, upper-class denizens. If you’re going to UCI, be prepared for the social doldrums. Just repeat to yourself that you’re here to learn.
Having a car dramatically reduces the social despair that most students will endure due to the hour’s driving distance between UCI and surrounding attractions. Places like Disneyland, Huntington Beach, Staples Center, and the San Diego Zoo are pretty popular attractions for students who can plan the time and the funds to get there. Although there is a ton to do in the cities surrounding Irvine, like shopping at Fashion Island or visiting Knott’s Berry Farm, you’re still going to need transportation to get to many of the local places. It’s strongly advised that you bring your car to UCI or else you may be stuck with only visits to the Edwards University Town Center movie theater across the street. UCI has a huge pool of commuting students, so if you can’t bring your own car, you can at least find a friend who doesn’t mind you clinging on as a freeloader. Together, you can check out all the noteworthy sites outside of Irvine.