Throughout high school, I had my “independence baby steps,” aka little things to prove to myself, and my parents, that I would be able to take care of myself as an adult. Little things like cooking for myself, doing my own laundry, obtaining a job, and the big one—driving. I think the first thing I did when I got my license was book it to American Apparel to buy a top I’d been eying. But who could blame me? I had a car, I had my freedom!
“So what am I getting at?” you might be asking. Well, just as soon as many of us have gotten our licenses, we are shipped off to college and must resort back to our early years when our bike, skateboard, or public transportation were our only means of getting anywhere on our own.
So I’ve put together a guide, one might say, to how everything will be okay without a car.
Your skateboard can get you pretty much anywhere in Isla Vista, and you don’t have to worry about the time or hassle of locking it up because you can simply carry it with you. Skateboarding can easily get you to the Rec Center, IV Deli, Freebirds (for world-famous burritos!), and the beach. And if you are one of the many who has not yet mastered the art of balancing, might I suggest you dig out that trusty scooter you refused to let your parents give away? Come on, you kept it for a reason.
Your second means of transportation: your bike. We know you still have it from those glorious years of high school, so bring it with you to college. (If you don’t have a bike, don’t fret. There is a bike shop just a few blocks away that has a wide variety of pretty colors). Tropicana Gardens has bicycle racks throughout the property, so you won’t have to worry about where to lock it. Take advantage of all of the bike paths throughout UCSB and Goleta. I highly recommend biking over to the Farmer’s Market at the Camino Real Market Place.
However, if you’re not up for the challenge, the bus becomes an excellent resource. Your SBCC student ID works as a bus pass on the Santa Barbara MTD and can take you to many other places besides school. You can look over to the Santa Barbara MTD website to get a more descriptive look at which busses will take you where. The 24x will take you to the Kmart/Costco Shopping center and it runs about every 30 minutes. The 24x will also take you downtown to the transit center. Finally, the 15x express bus will become your new best friend because it will take you directly from Trop to school and back!
Yes, taking the bus to school can take some planning (you’ll have to wake up a little earlier to secure a seat), but it’s also a great opportunity. Many SBCC students use the bus each day, so what better way to get to know people? Everyone is super friendly and eager to meet new people, especially those first few weeks.
So what if you are one of the luckiest people on earth who gets to bring their car with them to school? Don’t take this for granted. In addition to being able to easily get to Kmart, you will also be able to venture throughout Goleta. You can hit up Trader Joe’s, Michaels craft store or Bed Bath & Beyond. You will also have the opportunity to venture to Santa Barbara’s beautiful downtown, perhaps to visit the famous Mission, or to the many hiking trails Santa Barbara has to offer.
Now if you have a car, I highly recommend finding people who have classes at SBCC at the same time as you. You can offer to carpool with them, which will get you a pass to the carpool lot, saving you a lot of time trying to find a parking spot on campus in the morning. I’m sure those who you’re giving a ride will be generous and chip in for gas. But all in all, it’s just nice to have someone to accompany you.
I hope this information makes getting around in Santa Barbara a little simpler and a lot less uncertain.