Surviving the streets of IV

Alex Sundquist

This is a dangerous playground we call home. Sex, drugs, and alcohol top our itinerary, in retrospect. Education should be No.1 at this point.

Living in Isla Vista for two and a half years has shaped my perceptions and taught me many lessons. I have had the best of times and the worst of times. Tragedies and triumphs are polar opposites that depict college life.

All I can say is moderation is the key, and class is the focus. We party at least four nights a week and take part in all sorts of debauchery. This is not in the pink for our mind, body, spirit and future (literally speaking). My grades have substantially slipped because of my behavior. I am coming to a fork in the road, and can’t jeopardize my success.

The site called,, provides some shocking statistics. Twenty-five percent of all crime in Santa Barbara occurs in IV, which is six-tenths of a square mile. This exceeds the crime rate of the surrounding county by 500 percent. Rapes, stabbings, and even death are always in the news surrounding Santa Barbara and UCSB. This Web site provides accurate non-fiction crimes that habitually ridicule Isla Vista. An entire website that bashes IV definitely shows that education and extreme party life do not match.

After a night of heavy drinking you feel like a mop, used on a filthy floor. You are drained, with that empty-sickness feeling, and extreme lack of motivation. The hangover is never fun; ironically we use the alcohol as a cure. Alcohol is the number one contributor to trials and tribulations. This stretches from the classroom the streets.

The point I am making is our social culture in Santa Barbara as young adults revolves around alcohol. The key is moderation. Binge drinking is so common now, we have to learn to drink logically and look towards the future. Our choices now will stretch for centuries to come.

Quarrels, one-night stands, blackouts, and police were all in an average weekend in IV. The consequences are unfathomable until a certain bad night occurs. Anyone’s world could be turned upside down in the blink of an eye.

I have broken house keg stand records, smashed, half-gallons like the fountain of youth, and blacked out like Guy Pierce in Memento. Established a fighting record of 4-2, with some group fights as well. My belt gained many notches from college chicks, the majority I may never talk to again. I blame alcohol and the socialization in Santa Barbara for my problems. A sober person in IV is prosperous, and this attitude needs to change. Knowledge is power, not a 40 ounce of King Cobra.

I reached the fork in the road developed through experience, insight, and reflection to discern truth and exercise my good judgment. A wise attitude, belief, and course of action. I only wish I reached this crossroad earlier in my exsistnece, and moved out of IV sooner.

-Alex Sundquist

is a Journalism 271 Student