UCR grows on its students. Those who are not excited and attached to the school from the beginning usually find that they cannot help but love it once they get here. The majority of students enjoy their time at UCR. While a number of students come to UCR with the idea of transferring after their first two years, many often change their minds because they are pleasantly surprised with what a smaller campus atmosphere and community has to offer. In some ways, one could say that the positive aspects of UCR have been part of a well-kept secret that is making its way out. To the surprise of many, UCR definitely has potential to be a place where students can be extremely happy. The campus itself has an excellent and welcoming feel through both scenery and aspects of the general campus community. Although the University is growing, it still remains one of the smallest UC campuses and continues to offer a personal touch. As the school grows, an increasing number of academic programs, social clubs, and organizations are developing, providing the feel of schools within a school, which makes the University smaller for its students.
Like any school, UCR has its drawbacks. For those who want a party school and a huge social scene in the surrounding community, Riverside is not the best place to be. There are some parties centering from the fraternities and sororities, but there are not many clubs or bars in the immediate area around the school. Most students drive 20 to 30 minutes or more into parts of Moreno Valley, Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Diego for weekend fun. While UCR has its downsides, especially with the surrounding area, it definitely has its advantages, too. With the lack of entertainment in the immediate neighborhood, students learn quickly how to make their own fun. When given a chance, UCR often becomes a great place for students to enjoy and gain from the overall college experience.