The Golden Campuses

Dear Diary,

If I could do one thing over again, it would be to go to college again. But this time, instead of just going to one college, I’d go to every single college in America for just one day. College campuses fascinate me because they become design museums of sorts. Most older universities are a collection of beautiful old buildings, starkly modern mid-century buildings, enthrallingly ugly 80s buildings, and 90s buildings (that always look like they are made from Legos). Colleges campus designs are meant to reflect the values of higher education: learning, community, safety, history, romance, and so on. When I was looking at colleges, I barely even considered California’s wonderful universities. Now that I’m back on the West Coast, I’ve gained an appreciation for the beautiful, green, sprawling nature of California’s campuses. So here are some pictures to get you in the mood for learning:

Here is one of my favorite UC Campuses, Berkeley. It’s my parents’ alma mater, so I’ve been there a lot.

I mean, I can’t with that view.

Sather Gate (then).

Sather Gate (now).

The oft-maligned UC Riverside campus has some striking architectural features, like this lovely cartoony corridor.

Meanwhile, CalTech in glamourous Pasadena looks like an English garden.

This is a crazy auditorium at CalTech that looks like a circus tent.

Our gorgeous local UCLA campus. So grandiose and idyllic.

California’s answer to the elite liberal arts colleges of the Northeast.

The University of the Pacific. Small school, pretty campus.

The Stanford campus has never been one of my favorites, mainly because I feel it uses the Califonia Mission style in an inappropriate scale (way too big). That being said, it’s still a glorious and warm campus.

UC Santa Cruz is another one of my favorites. Mainly because it’s built into a coastal forest. It has a very California 1960s vibe, as exemplified by the lovely arboretum (below).

UC San Diego has some exciting modern architecture.

And their own pier. Beat that, Ivy League!

So, in conclusion, if you are a high school senior you should consider coming out to the Golden State to luxuriate on one of our gorgeous campuses.

You’re Welcome,

4 thoughts on “The Golden Campuses

  1. Awww, this post just made me so nostalgic about college. Those first few images of UC Berkeley are my clear favorites (since I’m a Cal alum) but you’re so right about California offering some amazing universities.

    Also, speaking of lego-like buildings, have you seen Wurster Hall at Berkeley? It’s the School of Architecture, and while most people consider it one of the uglier buildings on campus, all of us architecture students grew to love it!

    Anyway, found your blog via Emily’s blog. I LOVE the show – you and Emily are both hilarious & so talented!

  2. I went to UCSD for 4 years and it was one of the most beautiful places you could imagine going to school. Beach day was three times a week, the campus has groves of eucalyptus trees, and now with the new ECR campus and Price Center buildings, it’s architecture is even more striking. Great post.

  3. Thank you so much for leaving me awestruck! I recently got accepted to UC Santa Cruz, but am still waiting to hear back from UC San Diego being that they take longer to release the admission notices. I’ve been wanting to go to UCSD for the longest time, but now that I got accepted to UCSC I’m torn and know that if I end up getting an acceptance letter from UCSD I will have no clue what to do. I’m thinking that I can go to UCSC for two years, then transfer to UCSD for the rest or for Grad school. Either way, I am STOKED for college! 🙂

  4. Great spread! Makes me wish I could do it all over again. I went to the same school for 3 degrees, based on its ranking in my field, location (proximity to home and family), low undergrad costs, funding, and facilities. If I could do it all over, I’d throw caution to the wind and go to a school based on its environment – so very important. Not only are Cali schools top notch, they can’t be beat for beauty!!!!! Maybe in a next life???? Or, my dream: retire and go back to school!!!!!!

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