1) Go to the beach
UCSC is has an endless beach scene complete with totally radical fifty year old surfers, retro cafes, as well as the famous Beach Boardwalk.
This school is amazing if you love the great outdoors. If you have a personal vendetta against redwoods, this may not be the school for you. However, if you love said trees, it's a great idea to grab some friends and escape to the treehouse or get lost in Oakes.
3) Go downtown
Downtown Santa Cruz is everything you could want and more. There are well known food joints such as Starbucks, Subway, Pizza My Heart, and The Sandwich Spot as well as a rad strip of awesome retail stores like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, as well as many bookstores you could get lost in. There's always something going on downtown, whether it be UCSC's Slugs and Fishnets performing RHPS, a metal show at the Catalyst, or first friday.