Isla Vista party and drug lifestyle leads to boredom and isolation

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

PATRICK MARAVELIAS, Channels Staff

I moved to Isla Vista in the summer of 2014, ready to embrace the freedom of living away from home and experience what I had only heard through stories.

From the legendary parties and sun-kissed women to the promise land for degenerates and free spirits, it was an easy decision to move.

I could not have been more disappointed at what I had willingly signed up for. First and foremost the place is a slum, the landlords could care less about providing a decent living situation as long as they’re getting paid.

Not to mention the ungodly amount of money everyone pays to share a room in a house packed with kids fresh out of their daddy’s house that have no idea how to function in civilized society, let alone wash a dish.

The partying got really old really fast. Every time I mustered up the energy to go out on the weekends I came back home within 30 minutes. I felt so uncomfortable. Two hundred people packed into the same front yard with awful music playing for a half hour until one of the six billion police officers that patrol Isla Vista came to shut it down.

Most of the kids I met were too self-absorbed or glued to their phones. Social interaction has become very plastic, alongside dating, especially with the rampant spike in the number of kids using apps like Tinder. It is rare in Isla Vista to have a good conversation that doesn’t involve the subjects of UCSB, drugs or partying.

The thing I still can’t wrap my head around is the fact that I am in the minority, most of the people I come in contact with seem to love Isla Vista. They look at me like I’m insane, how could anyone not love this beautiful place with the ocean five minutes from my doorstep and more drugs and parties than anyone should have access to?

What I’ve come to learn is how artificial Isla Vista has become, there’s no soul left in it anymore. As a City College student I feel completely isolated when I’m at home.

Most UCSB students have a bit of a hang-up about City College kids. If you read through Yik Yak, it is full of complaints regarding how inconvenient it is for us lowly community college attendees to dare show our face in the holy land of UCSB. Roughly 3,500 of the 23,000 people living in Isla Vista attend City College.

The Greek life has also cast a lonely shadow on both City College students as well as those of us who choose to not rush for personal reasons. Eleven percent of undergraduate students at UCSB are involved in a fraternity or sorority.

Especially when it comes to partying, or even general social interaction, you really do not matter unless you pay to put those letters on your jacket.

My first semester here I started using drugs pretty heavily as well. The Molly and Ecstasy craze is very prevalent in Isla Vista and I fell into that for longer than I’m proud of. While I am grateful for the learning experience, it was a horrible, depressive and anxiety-ridden place to be in and most of the kids that I see fall into it don’t ever get out.

Since moving here, my grades have suffered. I started smoking cigarettes, I lost over 30 pounds and my mental health has been in complete disarray. I take full responsibility for my own actions but this is the effect Isla Vista has on people.

Maybe I’m just a cynic or maybe my own personal issues gets in the way of letting me enjoy this place. That being said, I really do believe Isla Vista is a grotesque and toxic environment that needs serious attention it may never receive.

I’ve learned a lot since moving here, most notably that I need to get out as soon as possible. By the end of finals week I’ll be long gone, saying a silent prayer that the few friends I have here will turn out alright. Good riddance, Isla Vista.