A week or so ago I went on a 3 day trip to California to tour colleges. Let me tell you, the TED talk I watched on time management is disturbingly true, “time is elastic.” What does that mean? We accomplish our priorities by making time for them, even if the time required seems to not be there. I always experience this feeling while traveling because I complete an uncanny amount of activities on vacation. Maybe it’s magic; maybe it’s the lost sleep…
USC (University of Southern California) is a dream. From the faculty, to the campus, to the Dornsife College, (the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences at USC) it is everything a college should be. Unlike some other colleges I’ve visited, I felt like the staff was excited about the students and loved their jobs. The school offered so many stellar courses, it could satisfy even the students most hungry for knowledge. The students were friendly and passionate about what they were studying. My tour guide, Dru, works as an intern for Google while attending the college. The school encourages students’ creative personalities as well, which, as a person who is not interested in mathematical-type careers, is reassuring.
While we’re on the topic of college I have something to say. If you’re not interested in my criticism of college, skip this paragraph. I’m sick of colleges pushing for one type of student. They all say that they support diversity and creativity, but actions speak louder than words. And do you want to know what I see? A predominantly White and Asian student body who are majoring in medical and engineering fields. While I am white, I still know this is not right. As a person who loves art and english, I feel like I’m at a disadvantage, not only in being accepted into a college, but in society. Certain types of people seem to be valued more than others, and while doctors are essential for curing ails, writers are essential for curing ignorance. I want to feel valued even if I’m not mainstream, and I’m sure you do too. Next time you see inequality, call it out. To make a change, you must open your mouth, or in this case, your laptop.
Back to my trip! I also visited UCLA, Loyola Marymount, and Chapman. The campuses were so beautiful and I regret not taking more pictures to share with you! They are all great colleges and I highly recommend looking into them. I did eliminate LMU from my list because I felt like it was very conservative and not big enough for me. But, if you’re looking for a Jesuit college with about 6,000 students and a phenomenal film school, this could be the place for you! UCLA is definitely a reach for me, which feels defeating. Both my parents, my aunt, and my grandmother went there, but because it’s public, legacy really doesn’t give you too much of an advantage. Also, if you’re interested in a very large school with rigorous academics and a great football culture this could be your perfect fit. It’s a school that will wow anyone who sets foot on its campus. Finally, Chapman is as described by my mom “the country club of colleges.” Seriously. It’s cafeteria is nicer than half of the restaurants out there. Beautiful people were scurrying about its campus playing sports and rushing sororities when I was there. The only downfall was the school was not in session, so I could not accurately assess its academics.
The hotel Angeleno was a great price for its convenient location and swanky interior. I stayed on the 15th floor and my room had a walk out balcony. If the hum of the traffic bothers you, beware, because it is located right on the side of the highway.
I went to the Beverly Hills Hotel for brunch and its pink and green theme carried throughout the entire hotel is adorable! While leaving, I was taking pictures of the hotel and my mom pointed out Mark Wahlberg was walking by us! At first, he kept looking at me and I couldn’t figure out why. Then my Mom pointed out that he thought I was trying to take a picture of him because I had my camera out! I totally wish I got a picture with him but I choked and said I didn’t want to take a picture with him. The memory is what counts though! BTW I’m planning to work by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel sometime in the near future.
Later that day, my mom and I went to Venice Beach. We rented bikes and rode along the beach and watched some street performers do flips, spray paint, and mime. That evening I drove up the PCH to a Malibu beach to watch the sunset. The horizon glowed hues of orange, red, and gold. It was one of those moments when time froze and everything in world was just as it should be. After that, I drove us to Gladstone’s and we ate dinner and conversed.
That night, we shopped at 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. I bought a ton of clothes that I desperately needed. Another day, I shopped around Westwood and finally found an oversized distressed denim jacket with cuts in the elbows that I had been looking for forever! My mom discovered Brandy Melville and bought more there than I did…including a navy blue V-cut sweater with thin white stripes she’s wearing as she cooks dinner right now.
Another hotspot in Westwood is the Palomino bar, which my mom and I were lucky enough to get a spot in on a Friday night. UCLA students made up about half of the customers, along with a woman in scrubs, some couples that appeared to be on a date, and large groups of people in their twenties. The service was impressive, considering the amount of people who were packed into the place.
The trip and how much we accomplished in 3 days was truly remarkable. California is a state that stretches far and wide and has something to offer for everyone. The close proximity among big cities, beaches, and the mountains is a rarity you can find in few other places. If you’re looking for a fast-paced and luxurious lifestyle like I am, be sure to check out LA.