Contrary to popular opinion, UCR can be, and is, a place where students are extremely happy. Both the scenery and community give the University an excellent welcoming feel, especially within the smaller campus atmosphere. The administration is hands-on and treats students less like a set of numbers and more like a human being. Those who are not excited and attached to the school from the beginning usually are pleasantly surprised by how much UCR grows on them. The sheer quantity and quality of academic programs, social clubs, and organizations offer a personal touch and endless opportunities. The level of diversity and tolerance allow for a general feeling of acceptance, along with the peacefully beautiful landscape and the classes that invite innovative thinking.
Like any school, UCR does have a downside, namely its lack of a social scene. Riverside is not exactly "Party Central," and there is not a significant amount of clubs or bars in the immediate surrounding area. The fraternities and sororities do feature parties for those interested, though they are few and far between. Most students take the time and expense to drive into parts of Moreno Valley, Orange Country, Los Angeles, and San Diego in order to have weekend fun, despite the 20-minute to two-hour travel time. However, with the lack of entertainment in the neighborhood, students quickly learn how to make their own fun (and also find more time to focus on their studies). When given the chance, UCR becomes a great place for students to enjoy and gain a meaningful college experience.