“To thine own self be true.”
-Polonius to his son Laertes, moments before the younger takes off for a journey abroad at the end of Hamlet, Act I, Scene iii.

It’s a familiar mantra invariably relayed to wide-eyed young adults as they prepare to embark on the great journey in life known as college. And while we do encourage you to stay true to yourself and where you come from, never losing sight of your family and your morals and your values, college is the time to break out of your comfort zone and see what you are all about. Whether your place of origin is as close as the other side of Highway 17 or as far away as the Eastern United States, Japan or Australia, Santa Cruz is full of things you’ve probably never seen before. The creative energy here is infectious. You will undoubtedly be introduced to ideas and people that will leave an indelible effect on your being.

So take them in.

Seek out classes that are pointed and enriching.  Absorb the wisdom of professors who have generously offered up pieces of themselves – their enlightenment, wit, optimism, and critique. Discover awe-inspiring people and fascinating places, all drenched in UCSC and Santa Cruz culture.  This place of ours is like no other.  Santa Cruz never ceases to bestow upon inhabitants an endless slurry of surprises and secrets.

In this issue of City on a Hill Press we hope that new arrivals and old friends alike will learn something new and different about this fabled city by the sea and all of the amazing people, organizations, locations and ideals contained within it.

The uniqueness of Santa Cruz is no freak occurrence — it is the result of a conscious decision by the people who’ve passed through, and stayed, in this storied place.  Every day, Santa Cruzans make choices to break out of the box, challenge the status quo and discover parts of themselves they never knew existed. Once they’ve discovered their untapped potential, these people, in the true Santa Cruz tradition, rarely keep quiet.

So whatever new perspectives you gain from this back-to-school guide, and whatever personal discoveries you make during your time in this fascinating community, we hope you shout them from the rooftops.  Santa Cruz will listen.

stay true,

Michelle Fitzsimmons & Carley Stavis