In the words of the always-poetic Katy Perry, “Nothing comes close to the golden coast!”
Okay, maybe labeling pop singer Katy Perry as a poetic lyricist was somewhat of a stretch on my part. But, in my honest opinion, her sentiment — as expressed in her 2011 hit pop single “California Gurls” — is a truthful one. Really, can anything compare to the greatness of the West Coast? Though I’m a native northern Californian and therefore somewhat partial to my surroundings, I must argue: what could be a better place to spend your years as a college student than out west?
Don’t agree, yet? Well, here’s my reasoning:
1. For us, life’s a beach…literally.
It seems everywhere you turn in the grand state of California, you’ll find surf-able waves and golden sand. They come in the form of expansive public beaches, as well as better-concealed, hidden gems. But, Cali aside, let’s not forget the spacious beaches along the Oregon coast and Washington. West Coast beaches are not frigid and unwelcoming in the colder months, like the ones are back east, and they easily live up to their reputation as some of the best in the country. Where better to spend a study break or kick back with some buddies?
2. We have good people and goooooood vibes.
It’s naturally cooler to live out west, away from the East Coast hubbub and serious-mindedness. Here in the western states, we maintain an entirely different state of mind. Extensive relaxation is a crucial component of West Coast living; we do things on our own time and we make ample headspace for “chilling” on a day-to-day basis. College students are among the most stressed out young people there are, but it’s comforting to know the relaxed social customs of the West Coast can ease some of the burdens of studying and meeting academic expectations.
3. We’re all about the athletics.
For the active and brawny among us, the West Coast boasts some of the finest collegiate athletics in the country. I mean, what teams are more fun and engaging to watch than those that comprise the Pac-12 conference, which, I might add, are 12 of the most prestigious universities in the world. The Pac-12 is nicknamed “The Conference of Champions,” having won more NCAA National Team Championships than any other conference in history. But, all Division-I sports aside, you’ll surely find a college (or professional — we have great ones, too) team on the court or on the field worth watching out west.
4. Everyone enjoys our burritos (and other cuisine, of course).
The culinary scene on the West Coast is truly a world apart. With an abundance of fresh fish and other seafood it’s easy to find delicious a nutritious meals everywhere you go along the western coast. The remarkably fertile Pacific Northwest also allows for many types of delicious produce, which is incorporated into cuisine influenced by cultures all around the globe. The West Coast’s closer proximity to Mexico makes for some amazing culinary influence. Probably most revered of all are the delectable burritos and tacos native to San Francisco and southern California, which cannot compare to their inferior East Coast imitations. Personally, I’d eat good Mexican food every day of my life and can think of no better, legitimate reason to attend a college out west, truthfully.
5. Just listen to our vocabulary.
Step over the California border and you’ll hear a dialect unlike any other. No, thing’s aren't “wicked” here, but they are hella chill. Dude, like, I’m not tryna brag, but we’re way cool and always clutch out here on the West Coast.
6. We’re the best at mixed media.
Los Angeles and other parts of SoCal are the epicenter for the production of most mainstream television and film, as well as home to many of your favorite celebs. What better way to experience the programs and features you love than to go school where they’re created? And the same goes for music lovers. California is also home to Coachella and Outside Lands, arguably our country’s two greatest music festivals. Who doesn’t love chilled-out chances to dance around in hipster clothing and flower crowns before the likes of popular bands? College kids love that stuff, am I right?
7. We’re outdoors-y folks.
Health is important to us West Coasters and we utilize our beautiful wildness for many recreational or competitive activities. Windsurfing, skiing, running — you name it. Whether you’re an aspiring professional or merely someone looking to have a good time outdoors, whatever activity you seek is here and easy to find. Furthermore, there’s always time for a leisurely walk on the beach or a hike through one of our many national parks (Yosemite, though!). And, since the outdoors is such an integral part of the West Coast culture, you’ll always know where to look to find a friend to explore with!
8. We’re also green freaks.
Varying levels of initiative exist across the U.S. when it comes to preserving the state of the environment, especially among college age students, and there is a noticeable difference in attitude between people on the West and East Coasts. Out west, the recycling and compost movements have especially taken off and as the threats of global warming and depleting nonrenewable resources have shed light on the need to protect the world around us, the more this “green mentality” has been promoted. It’s hard to find a store out west that doesn't promote the use of reusable bags or a restaurant without marked recycling or compost bins. So why not try to be ecologically conscious, too, as a college student? It’s for the best. Think of the planet.
9. Our domain has all terrain.
Winter’s are never harsh out here and summers are warm, but not unbearable. Given the weather, I’d say it’s pretty painful to exist anywhere else in this country. After all, we’re far from the “polar vortex” and have so many unique locations worth exploring. Literally. You can hike in a beautiful National Forest, climb glaciers and snowy mountains in the colder parts, beach it, frolic about in wine country or even choose to wander within an urban labyrinth like San Francisco or Seattle. The West Coast really does have it all, terrain wise at least, and you can surely find a suitable school in whatever type of location appeals to you.
10. There’s In-N-Out — need I say more?
No explanation needed. Just look at that burger.
Lead Image Credit: Unsplash