Like, just because 5 other people in your group of friends just happened to choose UCSC as their first choice doesn't mean you shouldn't just to prove that it's all coincidental. If you want to go to UCSC, do it.
If you're scared that you won't be able to branch out because you'll be sticking to the same people the entire time, well... that isn't true. You're all going to find new people to hang out with - and you might still stick in the same group, and there ain't nothin' wrong with that.
You might change. Your friendships might change. Oh well. I doubt anything will be RUINED though just because you're seeing a few of the same people in a whole new environment. I wish that more of my friends from my grade back at home came here. It's nice reminiscing with a few TL kids I see walking around, but that's about it.
My only suggestion of what NOT to do: do NOT be roommates with a friend from back at home. Rooming with someone totally new is a great way to branch out. Also, I know of people who roomed with their best friends, and after a few months, they simply couldn't STAND them. Their friendship dynamic changed a whole lot. I could see things going to hell with James if he went here, for example, within a week or two. :P
And my personal opinion of what I'd like you all to choose? UCSC. :P Please take it with a grain of salt, as wherever you choose should be where you go. But I think it'd be totally awesome hanging with you guys, if for only a year (or so). And now a few more points with a small chattin' log:
Bryan Groza: I'd feel weird going to the same school as everybody
Bryan Groza: I kind of like the idea of being in an entirely fresh environment
Jeffrey Faden: Even so, I'm not sure how tight-knit we'd all still be.
Jeffrey Faden: The idea does sound very nice.
Bryan Groza: If everybody was to be in Porter or something though
Bryan Groza: I mean, it'd be neat like HEY YAY MY FRIENDS
Bryan Groza: But I'd be worried about not branching out and meeting new people
Jeffrey Faden: Now I can't imagine how I ever thought a new environment would be great when I was so happy with my current one.
Jeffrey Faden: I don't branch out and meet new people the way I am now.
Bryan Groza: Mm
Bryan Groza: I've been in the fresh new environment situation a couple times before
Jeffrey Faden: To be completely honest, I'm waiting for you guys to come and pull me out of my room.
Bryan Groza: Heh
Also, something else that's sorta helpful or something:
Hannah Davis: What about UCSC was that outstanding?
Jeffrey Faden: The environment.
Jeffrey Faden: The locaton, too.
Jeffrey Faden: Away from the Bay Area, but then again, not.
Jeffrey Faden: Right next to the ocean. Awesome climate. And I haven't even mentioned the view.
Jeffrey Faden: You'll really find the same sort of people anywhere. Same sort of education, too.
Jeffrey Faden: All the profs have the same credentials.
Jeffrey Faden: Some schools have special programs that other's don't, but in my case, that doesn't really matter.
Jeffrey Faden: So it was really the location that was most important to me.
Jeffrey Faden: The social atmosphere (slightly leaning on the liberal side) was appealing, too.