Don’t worry. You’re not really missing anything. If you really want to see the costumes and the chaos, just go to a friend’s house who lives closer to the heart of Isla Vista, like on Pardall. But make sure to STAY INSIDE. You can enjoy the festivities from afar. It’s not worth being pushed around by stinky cowboys; stinky slutty bumblebees. If you have any issues with big, crowds of people, beware. It’s easy to get lost.
Still bored? No one “interesting” walking past your window? Invite a few friends over, who don’t want to get involved with that stuff either and just have dinner and watch a movie while you wait and watch the window.
While you’re inside, keep the door locked. Use all the locks if there are more than one. And don’t answer the door if you aren’t expecting anyone. I had to spend the night at my friend’s house because I didn’t dare risk walking back to my dorm alone. Early in the morning, when everyone would be sleeping, I awoke to a loud knocking on the door. My friend opens the door and a guy tries to come inside. He wasn’t going to do anything. He just swore that that was where he lived. My friend lived in a gated apartment. After several attempts, security finally comes and takes the young fellow away. I’m sure he didn’t get in trouble. He was just confused and…drunk.
Stay on campus if you can
The university campus was made to make you feel safe. It was made to be safe. And it is. During the entire Halloween week foot patrolmen will be walking around campus. The campus is right next to Isla Vista, where all of the action takes place, but it seems as though it’s an entirely different and separate world, aside from the occasional students in costumes. The campus is going to be empty. Most of the student population is going to be in I.V. as well as the majority of the attention. Even though no one is there, it’s still very safe.
The buddy system from kindergarten and elementary school is back. Don’t go anywhere by yourself. There really is safety in numbers. No matter how well you know Isla Vista, with the dense crowds, there is always the risk of getting lost. It’s always nice to have the assurance of instant assistance at your elbow. Hopefully nothing will happen, but you never know.
Halloween in Santa Barbara can be fun and safe. You just have to be careful and use your common sense. You’ll hear this repeatedly for weeks before October 31: keep it safe; keep it local. Your experience doesn’t have to be traumatizing. Santa Barbara has a very different way of enjoying the day, which calls for some special care.