Many students here will admit that UCI wasn’t their first choice or even their second. While UCI still doesn’t live up to the prestige of UCLA or UC Berkeley—leading to some serious inferiority complexes among some students—it’s increasingly gaining respect. It may not have a football team, an infinite number of majors, a true college town atmosphere, an abundance of parking spots, or even a reputable mascot, but the administration is still growing and expanding the campus with the public funds and donations that it gains.
Despite being strong in academics and fair in athletics, there are still some heavy skeptics in a group of would-be happy, shiny people. No university, no matter how good, can please everyone. Whether you enjoy UCI will be based on what you make of it through your own perceptions. With enough imagination, you should never be bored, and there is no pressure to do anything you don’t want to. The minimum courseload is light, and most people take at least one class beyond the minimum required for full-time status. This leaves plenty of time to socialize, hang out in the beautifully maintained park at the center of the campus, or do whatever else suits you best. UCI and the community of Irvine eventually become like a second home to many students here. While it’s not perfect, it’s hard for anyone to resist falling in love with the beach on a Southern California day. The University of California at Irvine is the perfect school to mix work and play.