As an incoming Freshman I was very curious about where to live for my first year in college. I always got small tidbits of information but never definitive advice from anyone. Here's the SBCC housing breakdown I wish I got before coming to SBCC.
The quietest of the Mesa apartment complexes and also where I currently live. The demographic is 60% student and 40% adult. I personally enjoy the view at Buena Vista, the closeness to campus (1 minute walk), and consistent quietness you'll get year round. However, I do wish the population here was more social. Due to the strict noise and party restrictions, most of the tenants at Buena Vista won't ever get to know each other. My official recommendation on Buena Vista is to live there your second year with your established friend group, not your first year due to a lack of a social scene.
Cliff House is definitely the most in the middle of the road apartment complex on the Mesa. Most tenants know each other as they have an awesome court yard where people tend to hang out. Even more so a lot of parties get thrown there and one might be able to quickly meet their neighbors due to the consistent social functions. Although they do get rowdy on the weekends, it never is overbearing or I never really hear people complain about it. All in all, I would recommend Cliff House if you wan the social scene and relative quiteness.
Bonus round: Tropicana Gardens Dorm in Isla Vista
Tropicana Gardens aka Trop is a privately owned dorm complex in Isla Vista. I tend to hear mixed reviews about it. To sum it up, the food is always average and the same. The social scene is definitely more solid than the other popular living situations as it typically is 90% or more 1st year students. Furthermore the staff there put on events for the students so it definitely gives you that true college experience. The amenities are decent as they have a pool and smaller gym. Beyond that the price is expensive and you will be taking the bus that takes 15-20 minutes a day to go from Isla Vista to Santa Barbara. All in all if you have the money to spend I would recommend Tropicana over the other complexes for a freshman.